By Maggie DeWitte
Do you tend to vote Democrat? Are you a little uncomfortable with your party leadership that is rigid on their call for abortion-on-demand for the entire nine months of a mother’s pregnancy? But, are you reluctant to call yourself a pro-life Democrat?
By the same token, are you uncomfortable with Republicans on some, even most issues?
I respectfully would like to engage you in a conversation. In fact, this may be the most important blogpost we’ve ever posted.
Here’s the deal: the pro-life movement needs your help. You may be held back from getting involved because of some misconceptions about Iowans for LIFE (IFL) specifically, and the pro-life movement generally.
Let’s clear the air
Let’s quickly clear the air on some of your immediate concerns:
Is IFL non-partisan? Yes.
Is IFL a single issue non-profit? Non profit, yes. Regarding issues, we are dedicated to protecting human life by informing, educating, and inspiring society to value the sanctity of all human life from its conception to natural death.
We’re certainly focused on abortion since nearly a million occur in the U.S. every year. However, we are concerned about other life-related issues, such as euthanasia and contraception. So, we ARE focused on a single issue which we broadly characterize as “dignity of life” issues, but this area is complex enough to encompass multiple political and social issues.
Does IFL ever take positions on other issues such as immigration reform, minimum wage, or tax reform? No. The way we see it, social justice begins with life. We focus on life issues alone. Sometimes, this dips into other areas, such as mandates requiring pro lifers (such as The Little Sisters of the Poor) to purchase abortifacients in their health insurance coverage). This is not to say we don’t care about those issues or think that they are unimportant. They are simply not part of our mission.
Does IFL use their blog and social media platform to promote specific political candidates? No.
Okay, that’s a little about us. Let’s talk about the Democratic Party. Iowans for LIFE believes that the party’s leadership may not represent the views of rank and file Democrats.
The truth about the pro life movement
Many, maybe even most in the pro-life movement, aren’t purists. We have supporters who call themselves pro-life, but are willing to consider a variety of exceptions for abortion, with which IFL disagrees.
Most Democrats are the same. According to a Marist Poll just published in January, 79% of self-identifying Democrats do not support unfettered abortion any time during a woman’s pregnancy, unlike your party’s leadership.
Do you? If you’re like the majority of rank and file Democrats, keep reading.
Pro-life Democrat polling data
Some 61% of rank and file Democrats support significant regulations on abortion in one form or another. For example:
- 29% want abortion restricted to the first three months of a pregnancy.
- 19% only want abortion used in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
- 9% only want it used if it is necessary to save the life of the mother.
- 4% of Democrats believe it should never be permitted under any circumstances.
Democratic leadership has become more extreme on abortion issues
By contrast, the Democratic 2016 party platform called for a repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which would compel pro life Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to pay for human abortion for Medicaid recipients, an egregious violation of your conscience rights.
Here in Iowa, not a single Democratic legislator voted for the The Heartbeat Bill, which extends human rights protections to the pre-born when their heartbeat is detected.
Last year, not a single Democrat voted to regulate abortion at the point when a pre-born person can feel the pain of abortion.
At the national level, every House Democrat but six voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. A variety of sources, including the Centers for Disease Control, estimate that more than 1200 babies survive an abortion attempt each year and are born-alive. This bill would require an abortion clinic to transport the infant to the hospital to save her life, report the incident, and be subject to legal sanction if they don’t comply with either.
A similar bill passed both houses with a voice vote in 2002. In light of the polling data above, you can see how far party leadership has drifted away from rank and file Democrats since then.
Take a couple of minutes to watch the video below of a woman who survived an abortion attempt. You can find hundreds of survivors on YouTube, but I show this one since the victim, Melissa Ohden, spoke at our banquet a number of years ago:
Iowans for LIFE invites Democrats to support the cause of life
Let’s be honest, IFL is probably more pro-life than you, but you’re probably more pro-life than your party’s leadership.
Would you really want an abortionist to leave a baby who survives an abortion attempt to die?
I doubt it.
Let’s meet in the middle
I know Democrats are supportive of Planned Parenthood. I’ll shoot straight with you: we’re not. The organization dramatically shifted its focus during Cecile Richard’s tenure as CEO away from legitimate women’s reproductive health issues and towards abortion.
Since her first year on the job in 2006, PP experienced a 23% decline in patient visits at the same time that abortions increased by 11 percent. What is striking about this number is that the national abortion rate sharply declined at the same time Planned Parenthood’s abortion business was rising.
At the same time, the number of cancer screenings performed at PP dropped every year that Richards was president, with 200 percent more screenings taking place in 2006 than in 2017. Even more, Ms. Richards and Planned Parenthood hasn’t been forthright with us on the services they provide. For example, they launched a massive PR campaign that suggested that they provide mammograms as a foundational component of their women’s reproductive healthcare services. It turns out it wasn’t true:
Iowans for Life believes that on this critical issue of human abortion, a majority of rank and file Democrats have more in common with our position than the Democrat’s leadership at the state and national level.
Support the little guy like Democrats always have
So, am I asking you to vote Republican? Actually, no. I’m asking you to support the little guy by voting for candidates who roll back abortion and “make it rare” as President Bill Clinton called for back in the 90s. After all, the Democratic Party was once known as the party of the little guy.
I’m asking you to wield your considerable clout. Let your Democratic representatives know you want them to vote pro life. Here in Iowa, not one voted for any regulations on human abortion in the past two years.
I suspect that many of these Democrats are more pro-life than their votes indicate. But they need to hear from people like you that they won’t lose your vote if they vote pro-life.
If this concerns you and you’d like to do something about it, here’s a list of Iowa legislators who opposed The Heartbeat Bill, which the governor just signed into law. Let them know your displeasure.
No other issue is relevant if you’ve been aborted. Everything begins with life.
We’ve got to stop shouting at each other. I acknowledge that social media has gotten very polarized. Let’s try to change that.
Thanks for reading this far. I do appreciate it.
[Thanks to Iowans for LIFE for permission to publish this blogpost. Quiner’s Diner sits on their Board of Directors. Iowans for LIFE depends entirely on donations to pursue a mission of advancing the dignity of life. Every dollar counts, even it it is $5. Please support us with your donation. Thank-you.]