Undemocratic Democrats: Ostracism of Pro-Life Members

Undemocratic Democrats: Ostracism of Pro-Life Members July 3, 2024

The Democratic Party has long touted itself as the party of the people, open to everyone. It is the party of Civil Rights, insisting on inclusion of all races and creeds. Nonetheless, the Democratic Party ostracizes its pro-life members.

Since 1992, when the Democratic Convention denied a speaking slot to Gov. Robert Casey, Sr. of Pennsylvania because he was pro-life, the party has become more and more intolerant of its pro-life members. It has refused to support pro-life candidates and forced out party officials from their jobs, no matter their credentials as Democrats.

Democrats are as stubborn as a donkey in their pro-life opposition.

In Texas, the state chapter of Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) was allowed to host a caucus and information booth at the state conventions from 1992 through 2018. In 2020, the pandemic made that impossible, and in 2022, the party itself made that impossible.

Excuses were given about “lack of space,” and inquiries went unanswered. In 2024, DFLA’s application for a program ad was ignored. The party has become so afraid of pro-life activity that the once “anyone can host a caucus” policy has been replaced by officially sanctioned pre-set caucuses only.

The Delegate Guide to the 2024 Texas Democratic Convention said the party was working to “open doors, increase transparency, and break down barriers to participation,” yet once again the party put up barriers to pro-life Democrats.

So party participation requires passing an abortion litmus test. Is it any wonder that Democrats haven’t won a statewide office in pro-life Texas in 30 years?

The situation with the national party is much the same. Many pro-life Democrats have changed parties or quit their party positions because of harassment. The party no longer exemplifies “democratic” in the sense of fairness and openness.

One Strike and You’re Out!

Pro-life Democrats are still Democrats – they may disagree with the party platform on just life issues. There are lots of “pro-choice” Democrats who don’t agree with the party platform 100% (I’m sure it’s the same with Republicans); yet those Democrats are allowed to continue participating while pro-life members are not.

Considering that one-third of Democrats self-identifies as pro-life, you’d think the party would try to find common ground with them. Instead, these pro-life Democrats are ignored, used, abused, or forced out.

Democrats for Life of America promotes protecting life from womb to tomb. Image: Maria Oswalt on Unsplash


The party should be courting supporters, not telling them “It’s our narrow, selective way or no way.” Besides that, elected officials are supposed to represent their constituents. That means sharing their values. If Democrats don’t offer pro-life candidates, the party has little chance of winning in many areas; thus, shooting itself in the foot.

Democrats Are Not Representative of Public Opinion

Several years ago, the Texas Democratic Chair lamented the lack of young people at the state convention. He needs to realize the reasons: with each new generation, we have seen that young people are increasingly pro-life and independent of party politics.

Just recently, a poll showed that 65% of people 18-24 years of age want limits on abortion, and other polls show similar results for voters as a whole. However, the Democratic Party supports abortion on demand, for any reason, at any time during the pregnancy. How do they expect to sell something that radical?

Easy. They know people will vote for Democrats as the “pro-choice” party and won’t pay sufficient attention to how far the severely pro-abortion leadership will take things once in office.

The Catholic Connection

What does all this mean for Catholics? Well, in certain parts of the country, like the Northeast, Catholics have traditionally voted heavily Democratic. It’s a natural fit – the social justice policies of the Democrats and the social justice practices of the Church.

For that reason, many Catholics still vote Democratic despite the abortion plank (and for pro-abortion Catholics, because of it), even if they have to hold their noses while voting. They figure that they agree with the Democrats on more issues than with the Republicans, so abortion gets set aside.

Will pro-life Democrats vote Democratic or rethink their strategy?                                    Image: Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Loyalty Disregarded

In fact, a recent poll by DFLA found that among pro-life Democrats themselves, 45.5% plan to vote for Biden. As supporters of the overall Democratic platform, many do not want to be single-issue voters, even if that issue is a practice that kills nearly 2500 children every day.

This loyalty to the Democratic Party is not rewarded. A pro-life person can vote for Democrats but cannot participate in the party. Last year, a friend of mine was viciously ejected from the Oregon Democratic Party when someone found out that, besides multiple volunteer hours with the Democrats, she also worked for pro-life causes. She was removed from committees, received hate mail, and lost a lot of “friends.”

Over 25 years ago, a long-time Democratic supporter was told to leave the New Jersey party headquarters and not come back after he came out as pro-life. So, this intolerant behavior has been going on for a long time. So has the fight for inclusion – that New Jersey man helped organize DFLA. Party intolerance has resulted in 25 years of a continuous thorn in its side.

The Democratic party has lost a lot of talent this way, not only among volunteers but also among elected officials and people who would have made winning candidates. The effect is an elite cadre of radical pro-abortion people who run a smaller party that still claims dominance thanks to the financial support of the powerful and wealthy abortion industry.

Results and Reactions

It is not likely that the Democratic Party will open up, allow dialogue, or respect differences on life issues. It may, however, self-destruct and/or lead American society into collapse.

The state of political division, largely caused by the abortion wedge, has turned Republicans into radical reactionaries (see Tearing Us Apart: How Abortion Harms Everything and Solves Nothing by Ryan T. Anderson and Alexandra DeSanctis). The clash of these two parties is destroying America, and voters want to find a solution to this situation.

That DFLA poll also showed that 38.1% of pro-life Democrats will vote for a candidate from an alternative party. If nationwide we had such a large protest vote, maybe that would shake up the status quo.

On July 4, 2023, I published: “Having a Catholic Voice in Party Politics.” In that blog, I recommended a multi-party system and proportional representation. Among the alternative parties, probably the closest to Catholic values is the American Solidarity Party since it follows the Consistent Life Ethic, and its presidential candidate, Peter Sonski, is also a Catholic.

Having a Catholic Voice in Party Politics


Under the current political circumstances, I ask pro-life Democrats to think very seriously about this party that rejects them. Fight for inclusion. Fight for a change in the party platform, or cast your vote for someone else, someone who actually represents you.

About Lois Kerschen
There have been many different titles for the work I have done – Educator, Writer, Editor, Administrator – but the one that has applied to me from birth is that of Catholic. With rare exceptions, I am in a pew on Sunday trying to be attentive and prayerful. My mind wanders a lot, and not just to problems or plans, but also to what I would like to say about things I hear in the homily or the readings. Thus the name “Musings from the Pew.” So here is my chance. This column will be about life as a Catholic and the challenges we face. I have been a pro-life activist for many years, so life issues as related to the Church will be mentioned from time to time. I have also traveled to a lot of parishes, so I want to share what I have seen or experienced with other Catholics in a different setting. Call it “The Wandering Pew” within “Musings from the Pew.” My blogs will not be theological treatises but the observations and suggestions of an active, answer-seeking mind. I find great joy in the Catholic faith and want to defend the Church so that others may find that joy. Background: Bachelor's in chemistry/biology/history; Master's in creative writing; doctorate in English literature. Have published American Proverbs About Women and various literary and scholarly articles. Co-founded Democrats for Life of America; currently serve as Consistent Life Network board member and with the Proportional Representation Coalition of California as the American Solidarity Party representative. Music minister at my church. You can read more about the author here.

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