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Pro-life Democrats warn that party's 'extreme' abortion platform is driving voters to the GOP

Many Democratic abortion policies are 'radically out of line with public opinion,' group says.

Updated: August 15, 2020 - 1:11pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A letter this week from members of the pro-life wing of the Democratic Party urged the political organization to soften its stance on abortion rights, claiming that the party's "extreme" position on abortion is driving away voters and making Republican victories more likely. 

The letter from Democrats for Life of America, released on Friday, argues that "many Democratic leaders support abortion at any time, for any reason," putting much of the party outside of the mainstream of American political opinion. 

"The 2016 Democratic Platform endorses taxpayer funding of abortion, opposed by a supermajority of the population," the letter continues. "The same platform endorses taxpayer funding of abortion in developing countries, opposed by three-fourths of voters."

The document, signed by over 100 Democratic politicians, argues that Democrats are "alienating voters" who are less likely to support aggressive abortion rights measures. "When Democratic leaders support late-term abortion, they push many voters into the arms of the
Republican Party," the signees claim. "Many people holding pro-life views are single-issue voters."

"An extreme position on abortion rights violates our commitment to inclusivity and diversity," the letter adds, noting that polling indicates around 30% of Democrats identify as pro-life. 

The letter urges "reintroducing the conscience language from 2000 into the 2020 [Democratic] platform, which acknowledges
that Americans have differing and deeply held views on abortion;" the writers also ask party leaders to "avoid divisive policies, such as passing a law in Congress defining a right to abortion ('codifying Roe v. Wade') and introducing taxpayer-funded abortion ('repealing the Hyde Amendment')."

"Fundamentally, we believe that every single state and county in this country deserves Democratic governance," the letter states. "We should not cede large swathes of the United States to the Republican Party."

The Democratic Party's platform calls for American women to have access to "safe and legal abortion—regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured." It also argues that "safe abortion must be part of comprehensive maternal and women’s health care and included as part of America’s global health programming."