Democrats reject move to allow pro-life stance in party platform

Now here’s a surprise:

The National Democratic Party Platform Committee refused to include pro life language in the party platform.

I also hear that it’s hot in Death Valley and the Pope is still Catholic.

Any other news?

Democrats for Life of America caused a ripple earlier this summer by managing to gain an audience with the 2012 National Democratic Platform Committee. (read their testimony here) If you doubt the hammerlock that pro choice advocates have on the Democratic Party, consider that this is the first time a pro-life group has been allowed to speak to this committee in decades.

Of course, the Democratic Party more than owes this to Democrats for Life of America. They’ve shamelessly used the pro-life imprimatur this group gives in swing district elections. They may not have much respect for pro-life Democrats most of the time, but they have no qualms about getting on the phone and asking for an endorsement when the votes are tight.

I think anyone who can count votes knows that the Affordable Health Care Act would not have become law without the help of Democrats for Life of America. The HHS Mandate made a mockery of the promises President Obama gave to this group concerning abortion and the right to conscience. Democrats for Life of America has filed comments against the HHS Mandate, reminding the President of his promises and asking him to honor them.

So. This organization has certainly earned the right to give testimony to the Democratic Party Platform Committee. It’s too bad that the Committee chose to treat this testimony with the same contempt that the President showed to his promises to them about the Affordable Health Care Act. But, it’s not surprising. At least not to me.

I know these pro-choice Democrats. They aren’t going to give an inch. The only way we will change the Democratic Party Platform is by changing who sits on that committee.

Having said that, I can tell you that I do think the whole exercise was worthwhile. The reason I feel this way is because I know something that both parties want to keep secret: We are never going to overturn Roe v Wade and build a culture of life with half the people.

In the first place, neither political party — and I mean neither political party — wants to reverse Roe v Wade. They both benefit from it too much to ever do that. Forty years of getting nowhere should be our first clue to that.

Even if it was possible to somehow force a change in the law with half the people, that change would not stand. Power shifts back and forth in this country. Whatever one party did, the other one would undo. The truth is, we need both the Democrats and the Republicans if we are going to win this thing. The longer we take figuring that out, the longer the killing will go on.

That’s why Democrats for Life of America is important. I got exasperated with them over the Affordable Health Care Act. I didn’t then and I don’t now understand how anyone could be so naive as to believe those promises. On the other hand, pro-life Democrats, together with pro-life Republicans, are the key to winning the political part of this fight for life.

Anybody who’s ever been in a law-making position can tell you that it’s a lot easier to kill a bill than it is to pass one. All you have to do to kill a piece of legislation is to get the support of the right legislator. That’s it. One legislator in the right position is all it takes. But in order to make a law you need the majorities of both houses, plus the Governor or President. Looking on down the road; you need the Supreme Court.

There is no way — I mean NO WAY — that we are ever going to be able to change the laws on issues of life with just one political party. Oh, we can fiddle with it a bit. We can make a few requirements and issue some regulations. But given the hedge of protection that the Supreme Court has built around the “right” to legal abortion, that’s about it.

Overturning this thing is going to take something massive. That means we need both parties and we need them for quite some time. That’s why Democrats for Life of America is important. It’s also why the ultimate solution can not be entirely political. The amount of money and effort it would take to create two pro-life political parties so long as the people themselves are divided on the issue is unthinkable.

What Democrats for Life of America attempted is important, even if it didn’t succeed. Getting into that party machinery is a big part of how the pro choice people took the Democrats away from us in the first place. Democrats weren’t always pro-abortion. For at least ten years after Roe, the Democratic Party faithful were majority pro-life.

That was an opportunity that pro-life people threw away. If we’re going to change things, we need to make that opportunity for ourselves once again.

There are ardent pro-life Democrats. But as one of them I can tell you that what we mostly get from our party is abuse. Look at the photo at the top of this blog to see what I mean. At the same time, the role we play as pro-life Democrats within the legislative process is absolutely critical.

I know for a fact that there are a number of pro-life bills that would not have passed in Oklahoma the past few years if I had not been there and if I had not been a pro-life Democrat as opposed to a pro-life Republican. It’s a matter of strategy, tactics and positioning that is too complex to explain here. Let it suffice to say that pro-life Democrats are essential to pro-life efforts.

I am not trying to take away from the efforts of pro-life Republicans by saying this. I’m certainly not asking anyone to switch parties. All I’m saying is that if we want to stop the killing, we need to get it through our thick skulls that we will need all the people to do it.

  • Jessica Hoff

    That’s a powerful and insightful perspective, Rebecca. Too often people seem to think that it can be done with one party, but for all the reasons you mention, that cannot be the case.

  • Rebecca Hamilton

    I know Jessica. We are going to have to use all our people if we want to change the world for Christ.

  • Nick

    This is very interesting. I honestly wasn’t aware the role that pro-life Democrats had in the system, although I knew they existed, and I’m curious to hear more about this. I know regarding opposing abortion legislation you said that “It’s a matter of strategy, tactics and positioning that is too complex to explain here”, but perhaps you could give an overview of how it’s approached, a “Day in the Life of Public Catholic,” so to speak, when it comes to dealing with that legislation? I think it would be really illuminating.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      This is a good idea! I doubt that I can boil it down to one post, but I’ll take a shot at it in a few weeks.
      ““Day in the Life of Public Catholic,” so to speak, when it comes to dealing with that legislation? ”

      In the meantime, I’m going to start a series which deals with politics and pro-life, same-sex marriage, etc. It’s called Stop Slogan-Voting. Stop Hate-Voting. Stop Being Manipulated. I’ll started this before I moved to Patheos and I’m going to go back to the beginning and run it from the start to get everybody on the same page. It begins Monday, with a new installment running every Monday thereafter until we get through to the end. It’s not the be-all, end-all of the discussion on these things, just what I’ve learned from 16 years in public office. If you’re interested in this, you might tune in.

      • Nick

        I saw the tab for the series. I’ll be sure to! And thanks for the reply. I’ve read the comments on a few other posts and it’s really nice that you take the time to reply to each person.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Thank you Nick.

  • The Ubiquitous

    God bless you and your work. We need more pro-life Democrats. As it is, because of the DNC’s hostility to pro-life work, I am feeling compelled to vote straight-ticket GOP.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I understand.

  • Sharon

    The article above is well written, but there’s a basic logical flaw. The assumption you’re making is that Pro-Choice = Pro-Abortion and because it makes this assumption, most everything becomes nullified. What happens is that people take their own assumptions and agendas and apply it like a coat of paint. When it comes to this argument, you can’t blanket people with labels like Pro-Life/Pro-Choice/Republican/Democrat.
    I am a pro-choice-pro-life woman. That is my individual position. I personally would never have an abortion. I also don’t think I have the right to make that decision for someone else. Which means I’m pro-choice for others, pro-life for myself, because I’ve never had to be in the position where I’ve had to consider abortion as an option. And that’s the crux of the issue: This subject is intensely personal. This deals with a person’s right to make their choices with their own bodies. Do you have the right to tell your neighbor what she can or cannot do with her body? Here’s an experiment: take this ideal from the larger political arena and make it personal. Walk over to your neighbor and tell her she has to do something with her body. Don’t ASK her… TELL HER. Make it a DEMAND. That’s what LAW is… it’s a big freakin’ stick. And if you want to understand the ramifications of what you’re proposing… then start LIVING it. If you can’t walk up to your neighbor and make those demands in person – then perhaps you should think on that and why you can’t… I would be very interested in the outcome of the experiment.

    • http://facebook Mike Speyrer

      Sharon, this line of argument has been used many times over the years. I sympathize with it, but what your proposing is problematic from a consitutional persepctive, as well as in regards to moral imparative. There are many limitations the consitution imposes on us in regards to our neighbor. You overempaphise individual liberity which is at the heart of this issue. I can’t sit in my fenced in yard and just watch my neighbor shoot her children in the front yard saying, “well, its her body I guess I can’t do anything.” Number 1, your rights end with what one does to the body of another, which abortion does. If you deny this fact than you don’t understand what an abortion is. Its supporters give no dignity to the very provable humanity of the other person invoved. #2If I see my neighbor is attempting to hang themselves in the front yard I have a moral imperative to stop them. What is at the heart of the matter in both situations is the basic assumption that life is worth living and saving, which our laws assume, even if another doesn’t think so. Even if you want to take your life, if I know about it, I have the moral obligation to stop you. If I know that you will try to hurt yourself, I can get you legally committed because you pose a danger to yourself. The law presumes that life is worth saving. The hippocratic oath presumes that life is worth saving. Human decency presumes that life is worth saying. She doesn’t have to keep the child if she doesn’t want to, she does NOT have the right to kill it, any more than I have the personal choice to shoot you or anyone else, becuase my choice impedes the freedom of another. That life has the same dignity as a human being that she does. You must not kill innocent life, thats the moral imperative. To say that one should have the freedom to make this choice, and that that choice is legitmate one protected by the law is like saying that one ought to have the freedom and protection under the law to murder. I know very well that you may not think abortion is a good idea, maybe even a bad idea, but to say that one believes this choice should be a legal option is just not rational.
      There are many situations in life we may find ourselves in, some may not be of our choosing, but I take as a mark of moral goodness the words of Socrates, “It is better to suffer an injustice than to commit one.” At least when I suffer an injustice I still get to keep my humanity and know that it may not be preferible, but I’m still human, I’m still myself. My will is still my own and the freedom in that is knowing that I DIDN’t force that will on another. Imbeded in sacrifice is love. Abortion does not require love, only selfwill. This is the kind of selflessness we must encourage in our culture, and inshrine into law. An abortion is an injustice done to another, because it always involves forcing one’s will unjustly on another, and I can choose not to do that. The basis of law must be founded in justice, not injustice.

  • Rebecca Hamilton

    Sharon, thank you for your thoughtful comment. A lot of people are in your position. My reason for differentiating between pro-choice and pro-abortion is that I believe there are many confused people out there who honestly do not want to advocate for abortion but who also believe that the law is not the appropriate place to deal with the issue. I think the root cause of this is that they don’t fully realize that abortion kills a living a child. I believe this because I was once the same myself.

    When I finally understood what abortion was — and it literally took an act of God for me to see this — I was so grieved and remorseful that I thought I couldn’t bear it. Everything changed for me after that.

    This isn’t a flaw in logic. It’s a flaw in comprehension.

    Keep coming back. Feel free to share your viewpoint here whenever you want.

    • Julie

      Thank you! It took an act of God for me too! I feel so terribly sorry the it took me so long to wake up.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        Thank you Julie! Blessings.

  • Confederate Papist

    The pro-abortion people called themselves “Pro-Choice” so as not to call themselves “Pro-Abortion”. It’s wordsmithing to the Nth degree and has been honed and perfected by the political class for generations.

    I admire your strength and fortitude Rebecca. Honesty in a politician is so refreshing, it’s like taking a cool shower on a hot summer’s day after working outdoors 14 hours without a break.

    I do wonder if the two political parties have outworn their welcome. I burned my GOP card after 2006, and will never give a nickel to any candidate again. I would wonder if the moderate and pro-life democrats and the conservative and pro-life republicans banded together and formed a third party if that would tilt the balance of power. I know there’s more to a party platform than just this issue, but I think these segments have more in common than differences.

    God Bless and Deo Vindice!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I think your idea about a third party is worth discussing. But I haven’t thought it through enough to know what I think. Thanks for your comment.

  • Julie

    I never even knew there were Pro-life Democrats, after all, one only ever hears about the Pro-Choice Dems. I hate to identify myself as a Republican, because I’m not but I’m definitely not a Dem either. Especially, not with the current HHS mandate in place. I’m burned out on the whole mess. I don’t want Romney to become president, but I feel, as a Pro-life Catholic, Obama must go! What the hell do I do?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      My friend, I understand how you feel!

      My suggestion is that we all start with prayer.

  • Anthony

    Thank you for your stand on this issue. I weary over the fact that most people associate protecting the unborn with right-wing politics. Why does it even have to be political, anyway? I am a conservative, registered Republican. I vote according to conservative principles. But when it comes to killing a child in the womb (or out of it, for that matter), why won’t more Democrats speak out? Surely there are more of them that despise abortion than the polls show. If we cannot agree on any other issue, this one should be a no-brainer. It’s just sad, isn’t it. I pray you will be able to sway more hearts and minds.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Anthony, I always wonder WHO the pollsters are sampling to get these figures. However, even the polls say that almost 50% of Democrats say they are pro life. That’s millions and millions of people who are being ignored by the party bosses.