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Pro-Life Dems Call on Party To Ditch Alienating Pro-Abortion Stance

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A group of more than 100 Christian pastors, religion professors and other advocates is urging the Democratic National Committee to adopt a party platform that’s friendlier to the pro-life movement.

In a letter organized by the pro-life group Democrats for Life and set to be sent Friday, the group of Christians calls on the Democratic Party to rescind its platform’s support for ending restrictions on federal funding for abortion. That stance was added to the party’s 2016 platform, to the frustration of pro-life Democrats.

Last year, Joe Biden, the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee, shifted his position to back an end to restrictions on government funding for abortion.

“We call upon you to recognize the inviolable human dignity of the child, before and after birth,” the group wrote in its letter to the Democratic platform committee, shared in advance with The Associated Press.

“We urge you to reject a litmus test on pro-life people of faith seeking office in the Democratic Party.”

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Among the signatories of the letter are the Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition and a member of former President Barack Obama’s faith-based advisory council, and John DeBerry, a longtime Tennessee state representative and pastor.

Democrats for Life Executive Director Kristen Day said that her group had sent a letter in 2016 opposing the Democratic platform’s inclusion of language backing federal funding for abortion that drew far fewer signatories.

This week’s letter, which includes registered Democrats as well as independents, is “a much bigger effort,” she said.

Day also warned that the addition of another position Biden has backed — codification of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling — would alienate pro-life religious voters.

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Biden is “a little bit ahead” of where Hillary Clinton was in 2016 in terms of faith-based voter outreach, Day said, but the prospect that the Democratic platform would back codification of Roe “would just massively damage relationships with religious voters who don’t necessarily want to see that.”

“It’s hugely important for the campaign and Vice President Biden to understand the importance of this vote,” Day said of pro-life Democrats. “It shouldn’t be taken for granted.”

A draft Democratic platform released this week will be voted on by mail before the party’s mostly-virtual convention, which is set to start Aug. 17.


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