Texas Dem Defends Pro-Life Colleagues: ‘Litmus Test on Any One Issue Just Won’t Work’

By Craig Bannister | April 26, 2017 | 5:12pm EDT
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)

“Diversity is what makes our party great,” Texas Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar told, responding to party Chair Tom Perez’s declaration that support of abortion is “not negotiable.” contacted Cuellar after Perez issued a statement demanding that “Every Democrat” must support abortion – regardless of his or her constituents’ values:

“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”

Asked to weigh in on the DNC Chair's declaration that all Democrats must support abortion, and that their support is "not negotiable," Rep. Cuellar told that party “litmus tests on any one issue just won’t work.” Instead, he said, common core values and diversity are what distinguish the Democratic Party:

“First of all, I am proud to be in the Democratic party. We are a big tent, united by many of my core values, like quality public education and affordable health care for all. Sometimes, we can have different ideas about how best to reflect those values in the law, so litmus tests on any one issue just won’t work. That diversity makes our party great.”

What’s more, constituents take priority over any particular party leader, the congressman concluded:

“Elected officials are accountable to our constituents before we are accountable to any political party leader; our votes should reflect that.”

Perez’s full statement demanding support for abortion from all Democrats is presented below:

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