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Are pro-life Democrats becoming extinct?

March 23, 2010

Is it still possible for an American political leader from the Democratic Party to uphold the pro-life cause? Reflecting in the Wall Street Journal on the recent example of Rep. Bart Stupak, columnist William McGurn reaches a negative conclusion. He adds the sobering note that if pro-lifers act to punish Democrats who abandon their cause, they may only succeed in electing pro-abortion Democrats instead. Would that be a step backward? McGurn is not sure:

If the Stupak crew goes down, they will probably be replaced by pro-life Republicans or pro-choice Democrats. Either way, it means fewer pro-life Democrats. On the other hand, many who cheered Mr. Stupak will say the "pivotal moment" came Sunday—and he chose liberalism over life.


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  • Posted by: Gentillylace - Mar. 24, 2010 4:43 AM ET USA

    I'm a social conservative, but also a pacifist social democrat. If I'd been a Representative voting on health care reform, I would've been too scared to vote either yes or no. I don't want to be complicit in abortion, but I don't want to ally myself with people who say Obamacare is unconstitutional. I think I would've voted "present" to appease my conscience. Neither Democrats nor Republicans speak for me now. Unless there are left-wing pro-lifers running, I'll vote, but leave the ballot blank.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Mar. 23, 2010 11:29 PM ET USA

    Invert the question: If you are a pro-life Democrat office holder, do you have a future in the party that over and over again compromised other pro-life Democrats? I don't think so. If pro-life is a non-negotiable for you, your only home is now the Republican party.

  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Mar. 23, 2010 9:59 PM ET USA

    Anyone truly pro-life should not be a member of the Democrat party for the simple reason that the Party platform has a plank supporting abortion! I have said for years that, just as you can't be Catholic and pro-choice, you can't be Democrat and pro-life. Anyone who says or thinks otherwise is being disingenuous. They need to change the platform or change their affiliations, if they are truly pro-life, which I seriously doubt after Sunday.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Mar. 23, 2010 8:51 PM ET USA

    Congressman Stupak needs a month-long Ignatian retreat to help him come to terms with his Catholic identity. Let me suggest December 2010, once he is defeated. We need to realize that the Democrat party is the party that, when given a choice, picks expediency and political correctness over rectitude. Republicans are not saints, and too many of them just want power and tax reduction, but at least they aren't on record favoring abominations.

  • Posted by: chachabala1981 - Mar. 23, 2010 6:15 PM ET USA

    The vile DeGette was willing to accept an Executive Order limiting abortion funding in the bill. She knew how temporary an Executive Order will be. Does Stupak?

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Mar. 23, 2010 2:35 PM ET USA

    There are no pro-life Democrats. Stupak showed his true colors. To succeed in this Democratic party you have to live by abortion, tax, and spend.