WASHINGTON, D.C. (FR) – In the wake of Supreme Court hearings on a key abortion case, a group of 50 Democratic congressmen have spoken out in defense of the unborn – in obvious oppostion to their party’s official position on the abortion issue.
Led by Rep. John LaFalce, the congressmen sent a letter to Ron Brown, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, asking that the plank regarding abortion be removed from the Democratic Party’s platform. Rep. LaFalce, a New York democrat who mobilized the congressmen, called the party’s stance “poor politics”; he cited that the last three presidential elections have been lost due to the crossover of Democrats with traditional values who left the party because of social issues such as abortion.
The official party platform currently states: “We believe … that the fundamental right of reproductive choice should be guaranteed regardless of ability to pay.” Abortion is considered a fundamental right which merits public funding, said LaFalce. “The Democratic party is seen more and more as the party of abortion – a sure recipe for losing irretrievably a significant segment of our traditional base of support,” he said in the letter.
“This issue is not going to go away,” he continued. “Nor is it likely that public attitudes on this issue will change significantly given the mere passage of time. We therefore think it politically wrongheaded for our party to be on record as favoring the use of taxpayer dollars to fund an alleged ‘fundamental right’ which is so strongly opposed in conscience by millions of Americans and by ourselves.”
LaFalce concluded the letter by challenging the party to “alter its course.” Although he has a consistent pro-life voting record, he waited until now to submit the letter because “he wouldn’t be able to live with himself,” according to Tom Cowley, press secretary for LaFalce. “He feels very strongly that the Democratic party is out of touch with America on this issue,” Cowley said.