Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Sunday indicated that pro-life Democrats seeking moderation in the party’s platform language about abortion should not get their hopes up.
The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, took questions during a Fox News town hall in Claremont, New Hampshire, on Sunday night.
One question for Buttigieg came from pro-life Democrat Kristen Day.
“I am a proud, pro-life Democrat,” Day said. “So, do you want the support of pro-life Democratic voters? There are about 21 million of us. And if so, would you support more moderate platform language in the Democratic Party to ensure that the party of diversity and inclusion really does include everybody?”
Buttigieg responded that he respected Day but did not agree.
“I’m not going to try to earn your vote by tricking you,” he said. “I am pro-choice, and I believe that a woman ought to be able to make that decision.
“I know that the difference of opinion that you and I have is one that we come by honestly. …
“The best I can offer is that if we can’t agree on where to draw the line, the next best thing we can do is agree on who should draw the line, and in my view, it’s the woman who’s faced with that decision in her own life.”
When host Chris Wallace asked Day if she was OK with that answer, she said she was not.
“He didn’t answer the second part of my question,” she said, “and the second part was, the Democratic platform contains language that basically says that we don’t belong, we have no part in the party because it says abortion should be legal up to nine months, the government should pay for it. …
“In 1996 and several years after that, there was language in the Democratic platform that said that we understand that people have very differing views on this issue but we are a big tent party that includes everybody and therefore we welcome you — people like me — into the party so we can work on issues that we agree on.”
Day asked if he would be open to language in the party’s platform saying “our party is diverse and inclusive and we want everybody.”
Buttigieg didn’t directly answer her but made it clear he believes almost all abortions should be legal.
“I support the position of my party — that this kind of medical care needs to be available to everyone, and I support the Roe v. Wade framework that holds that early in pregnancy there are very few restrictions and late in pregnancy there are very few exceptions,” he said.
The comment earned Buttigieg some criticism on Twitter.
Pete Buttigieg just told a pro-life, Democrat *woman* she has no place in today’s Democrat Party. All she asked for was a recognition there is diversity of thought on the issue and that it be put in the platform language. He said no and told her to deal with it.
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) January 27, 2020
Such callous narrow-mindless is 1) so wrong (on the merits and given the beautiful, now past Democrat legacy of defending the little guy) and 2) giving away a key component of an election-winning voter base. https://t.co/KXM66LhkfB
— MarjorieDannenfelser (@marjoriesba) January 27, 2020
WATCH → Pro-Life woman asks Pete Buttigieg if there’s room for her in the Democrat Party.
He doubled down on the Dems’ extreme agenda of government-funded abortions up to the moment of birth.
— Steve Scalise (@GeauxScalise) January 27, 2020
The 2016 Democratic platform said Democrats “will support sexual and reproductive health and rights around the globe. In addition to expanding the availability of affordable family planning information and contraceptive supplies, we believe that safe abortion must be part of comprehensive maternal and women’s health care and included as part of America’s global health programming.”
As Day mentioned, the party platform in 1996 was more welcoming of pro-life views, saying, “The Democratic Party is a party of inclusion. We respect the individual conscience of each American on this difficult issue, and we welcome all our members to participate at every level of our party.”
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