by Thomas Valentine
Pro-life Democrats? They still exist?
The answer is just barely, and if far-leftists have their way, they will be almost completely gone from the national party.
Up until the Obama years, there was a fairly sizable contingent of pro-life Democrats in Congress. This bloc of a dozen or so lawmakers were the last major holdouts preventing the passage of Obamacare in 2010 because it allowed for taxpayer funding of abortion. Led by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), they pushed for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which would have ensured that no federal money would go towards abortions. The amendment was supported by Republicans, who were in the minority, but opposed by most Democrats in the majority. The amendment failed, and the bloc refused to budge until Obama offered them a deal in which he promised to sign an executive order prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion in exchange for their votes. This order did not actually block the avenues through which Obamacare funds abortion — it was a sham. But despite warnings from pro-life groups, all but one of them caved and voted for Obamacare.
Pro-life groups like the Susan B. Anthony List went after these Democrats for betraying their promises and supporting the largest expansion of taxpayer funding of abortion. Rather than face a tough re-election battle, Stupak retired, and several others from his bloc were defeated in Republican waves in 2010 and 2014.
Now, there are only three pro-life Democrats left in the House: Reps. Henry Cuellar (Texas), Collin Peterson (Minn.), and Dan Lipinski (Ill.). Lipinski, who represents a district in Chicago suburbs, is the one member of the Stupak bloc who did not surrender after the Obama “deal.” He has been a stalwart defender of the right to life, routinely breaking with his party to stand on principle with a nearly flawless pro-life voting record.
Lipinski is a Democrat from a bygone era — meaning about 15 years ago — when they were still reasonable on such issues. He supports natural marriage and the First Amendment Defense Act, backs drug testing for unemployment beneficiaries, and generally opposes illegal immigration. That doesn’t necessarily make him some kind of Ted Cruz conservative. But he is the type of Democrat — moderate and honest — that was in the norm during the Clinton and Bush years but that has rapidly disappeared as the party has surged further left.
Now, top Democrats are looking to destroy Lipinski. He’s facing a contentious primary challenge from Marie Newman, who is focusing her entire campaign against Lipinski around the fact that he is pro-life and opposes gay marriage (as most Democrats did until 6 to 7 years ago). She recently launched a nasty ad against Lipinski for being so evil as to represent the views of his constituents.
Far left progressives are going hard after Lipinski, pouring millions of dollars into his primary race to try to take him out and make an example of him. The message of this campaign? Pro-lifers are no longer allowed in the Democratic Party.
I will always stand with those who stand up for the right to life, and I am glad there are honest, clear-thinking Democrats left in Congress. I applaud Dan Lipinski for his courage and hope he will get another term in Congress. And I urge pro-lifers around the country, conservative Republicans or not, to offer Congressman Lipinski their support.
Photo credit: National Science Foundation via Flickr