Thomas P. Koch, the current mayor of Quincy, Mass., and a long-time Democrat from a family of Democrats, announced on Feb. 7 that he had left the Democratic Party because of its extreme position on abortion.
Koch, a Catholic, said he was prompted to leave last spring when Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said all Democratic politicians should support the party's abortion policy, which is abortion on demand.
"I said, okay, I guess that's the last straw for me," Koch recounted, as reported by The Patriot Ledger. "The party platform is so far left on abortion it's sickening."
Koch revealed that he changed his party registration not long after Perez's remarks. He also disclosed that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was a major topic in his family when he was growing up. His father, Richard Koch, eventually stopped working for Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) because of his switch to a pro-abortion position.
"I'm certainly a believer in life starts at conception," said Koch.
The Democratic Party supports abortion on demand, at anytime during a pregnancy, including up to the day the baby is ready to be born. As the party states in its 2016 platform, "Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion—regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured. We believe that reproductive health is core to women’s, men’s, and young people’s health and wellbeing.
"We will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers, which provide critical health services to millions of people. We will continue to oppose—and seek to overturn—federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment. We condemn and will combat any acts of violence, harassment, and intimidation of reproductive health providers, patients, and staff. We will defend the ACA, which extends affordable preventive health care to women, including nocost contraception, and prohibits discrimination in health care based on gender."
Thomas P. Koch, 55, is married and has three children.