In today’s Washington Post, Peter Steinfels, former editor of Commonweal, affirms that there are, indeed, pro-life Democrats out there — and he is one of them:
In the left-of-center universes where I have mostly lived, worked and been politically active, it is now awkward to introduce oneself as a Democrat who supports the choice for life over that of abortion. The reaction is often polite but perplexed. I have regularly had people greet this news with a shocked silence — as though supporting universal health care, economic redistribution, minority rights, strong unions, environmental regulation, gun controls, criminal justice reform and freedom of expression but balking at abortion is so illogical that it can be explained only by some psychological deficit or religious dogmatism beyond rational discussion. A few outraged interlocutors have suggested that to be both a liberal and an abortion opponent is a form of insidious false advertising, just short of claiming to sell oneself as a benign Nazi.
My view is different. I joined the NAACP as a kid, picketed Woolworths in Chicago in solidarity with student sit-ins in the South, helped expose a segregated facility at my university, started in journalism as an intern at a labor and civil rights monthly, spent a week in jail as a Vietnam War protester, edited one liberal journal and wrote for many others, have never pulled a lever for a Republican and joined democratic socialist Michael Harrington in launching the group that eventually became today’s resurgent Democratic Socialists of America.
But credentials like those seem insufficient where abortion is concerned. Millions of Americans with liberal commitments and anti-Trump convictions, but who oppose abortion, feel they are being treated as something between an alien life form that should be uprooted from Democratic Party ranks or merely an endangered species that can happily die of its own accord.