Tom Perez recently said pro-life Americans are not welcome in the Democratic Party. He suggested they should surrender their U.S. passports, because they don’t belong in this country, either.
Of course, he didn’t put it in exactly those terms.
Politicians never speak clearly, out of the fear that someone might actually understand them. But the message resounded like a clarion bell. Here is what the chairman of the Democratic National Committee said about people like me:
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable, and should not change city by city or state by state.”
It’s no surprise that pro-life Democrats have something in common with Moses: a familiarity with wandering in deserts.
The shock comes from the fact that not only does the DNC chairman presume to evict 23 percent of the family from the homestead (because about one-quarter of the registered Democrats believe abortion should be illegal in virtually all circumstances). That is his right as the official voice of the party, even though it is a foolish thing to do. The real horror of his words is their breadth and depth, reaching as they do to delegitimize American citizens who disagree with his position on abortion.
To be fair, some Democrats have decided to push back somewhat against the truly terrifying statement of their leader.
But then there is Sen. Bob Casey Jr., who has always described himself as “pro-life,” but has a less than convincing record in opposing abortion. I reached out to his office, asking for a reaction to Perez’s edict and this was the initial response I received: “Sen. Casey is a pro-life Democrat — he supports women and children before and after birth. Sen. Casey has a long record of advocating for women in the U.S. Senate, including providing access to contraception and funding for family planning services. He voted to confirm both Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court while opposing the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch. In the Senate, he passed into law the Pregnancy Assistance Fund which provides aid to pregnant women across the country. And Senator Casey has fought back against far right attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and cut family planning funding through Title X.”
OK, I thought, he opposed Gorsuch, supports Planned Parenthood and doesn’t like the “far right.” He’s also done a lot for the children who had the good luck to make it through the birth canal. Fair enough. But he still hadn’t told me whether I, a pro-life American, was in danger of being deported. So I persisted, and this is what I got:
“Senator Casey believes the Democratic Party has always been a diverse and inclusive party and wants it to remain that way.”
Good for him. He needs to tell that to his party chairman. In fact, he needs to tell that to all of the people out there who think it’s fine to ridicule those of us who are publicly and passionately opposed to abortion on demand.
I’m a pro-life American, and I think people who defend the civil and human rights of the unborn deserve respect, not ridicule or harassment.