An October 28 Christianity Today article entitled, “The death of pro-life Democrats,” included this sobering observation:
Thanks to pro-life groups and backlash over health care reform, the Democratic pro-life vote in the House of Representatives is likely to halve on November 2, making abortion even more of a partisan issue.
The actual decrease according to the article: From 40-60, depending on the issue, to 22-35. CT notes these will “likely be replaced with more conservative pro-life Republicans.”
What Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life, think the shift will mean, from the article:
From a Republican perspective, this is a very good strategy because you don’t want a strong pro-life voice in the Democratic Party; it takes it away as a campaign issue. The pro-choice groups are the same way. I think the pro-choice groups and the pro-life Republicans are on the same page: “We don’t want these pro-life Democrats in the party.”
And Stephen Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at Catholic University of America:
To the extent that the pro-life movement tries to restrict the definition of being pro-life to the Republican Party, unless the stars realign and the Republican Party becomes 2/3 of the electorate, they’re cutting themselves off from the possibility of building the kinds of alliances that might be able to advance the pro-life agenda. If you want to do something about stem-cell research, or make progress on the whole of the pro-life agenda, you’re going to need some Democrats to come along. Going after pro-life Democrats is not going to help the pro-life cause.
Speaking from the other side was Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List:
Assuming that our plans work out well, we will have a very strong team to work with, and a team that understands the consequences of undermining the pro-life position. They’ll see people who lost because they said they were pro-life and then didn’t vote that way.… Real movements behave like that; they don’t just say “well, throw me a few crumbs and we’ll be just fine.” This Congress will be very strong and we’ll be able to build on that.
What do you think?