By Matt Wittenbrook
It’s hard to believe, but the Democrats are trying to reduce their membership base. If you don’t believe me, believe Thomas Perez, the new party chairman. He told pro-lifers they are no longer welcome in his party.
“That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.” His remark has sparked nationwide debate among anti-abortion members of his party.
I say “his” party, because that is not my party, the party of inclusiveness and diversity. I have been a lifelong member of the Democratic Party, which has never been an exclusive clique.
One would think the party that lost both the executive and legislative branches of government and is poised to lose the judicial branch, would want to broaden its base, not narrow it. In addition, the number of elected Democrats in Congress and in statehouses across the country is at the lowest level since the 1930s. A recent Washington Post/ABC poll that found 67 percent of Americans feel the Democratic Party is out of touch with voters.
Speaking about her own family heritage, Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, said, “Most of these people are not pro-choice. Do you think I am kicking them out of the party?” She went on to say her party’s position is why Donald Trump is president of the United States.
New York State Sen. Ruben Diaz, a pro-life Democrat from the Bronx, is on the Advisory Board of Democrats for Life of New York. He says one of the reasons he has repeatedly been elected to Senate terms is because of his pro-life constituents. Putting a litmus test that requires loyalty to abortion-rights extremists has proven suicidal.
Under Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the party’s platform supported repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which would require taxpayers to fund abortion on demand.
Perez’s exclusionary tactic, I believe, has more to do with exorbitant campaign contributions that candidates and the DNC have received, and hope to continue to receive, from abortion rights groups.
According to Open Secrets.com, Democrats received $30 million from Planned Parenthood alone leading up to Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
These country club Democratic leaders who are apologists for abortion are elitist and classist. They are abandoning low-income women, the very people they purport to advocate for.
As a Free Methodist pastor in rural New York, I am proud of the role my church played in the abolition of slavery. I want to belong to the party of the underdog, the poor and the vulnerable. And there’s no one more helpless than an unborn human being. To me, that seems like a real Democrat.
Democratic leaders have abandoned the party. If they want to become the Abortion Party, they can do that. But we real Democrats will not be bullied. We aren’t going anywhere.
Matt Wittenbrook is president of the New York State Chapter of Democrats for Life of America.