In response to a leader in the Democratic Party saying the abortion issue will not be a “litmus test” for Democratic candidates in 2018, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood, and other Democrat-support groups, said that “progressive” candidates must be pro-abortion.
On August 2, the NARAL wrote a statement of principles, endorsed by 13 groups, such as Planned Parenthood and Democracy for America, which laid down a series of “As progressives, we …” statements, saying that abortion is an economic issue that must be promoted by progressives.
It concludes: “As a progressive movement, we recognize that over the last decade there has been a massive erosion of access to abortion and attacks on contraception and we cannot back away from this fight without abandoning people and undercutting core constituencies in our base.
“As we always have, progressives share our party with people who personally don’t believe that abortion is an option for them. This includes self-identified ‘pro-life’ legislators up until the moment they seek to impose those personal views on their constituents and the country.
“If they vote to restrict abortion access or contraception access, they then undercut the party platform and they undercut the welfare of women.
“We strive for and believe in personal evolution and growth so, if they have voted to do so in the past, the burden of proof is upon them through subsequent votes and/or public statements -- not in the heat of a campaign -- but prior to running for office or reelection.
“Thus, as progressives, we know to organize, mobilize, and win elections we must field candidates who understand the integral nature of these core values and bring the full power of our collective base to win.”
This came after Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman, told The Hill in an interview that abortion would not be a “litmus test” for Democratic candidates running in 2018.
On Monday, July 31, The Hill published the story, “Dem campaign chief vows no litmus test on abortion.” It reported that, “Democrats will not withhold financial support for candidates who oppose abortion rights, the chairman of the party’s campaign arm in the House said in an interview with The Hill.”
NARAL President Ilyse Hogue.
In a NARAL press release, the NARAL Pro-Choice America Ilyse Hogue said, “Our basic rights and freedoms are under assault daily from the Trump Administration. The Democratic Party cannot give an inch in their opposition to this Administration.”
“That is true across the board and especially true when it comes to abortion rights,” she continued. “The Democratic Party cannot and will not win if it turns it’s back on women and our fundamental rights.”
Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has also been criticizing politicians on Twitter about this issue for the last four days.
Planned Parenthood President
Cecile Richards. (PPFA)
Richards’ post from Friday morning promoted a teenvox story entitled “Dear Democrats, Equality Is Impossible Without Reproductive Rights,” which responded to the Luján interview.
On Wednesday, Richards also posted a New York Times opinion piece, “Of Course Abortion Should be a Litmus Test for Democrats.” Richards tweeted, “‘What good is an economic opportunity if large swaths of the population can’t access it?’ Hear hear!”
She was quoting a section of the piece which argued that there is “no model of economic equality that does not reckon with ‘identity politics.’”
The Times said, “There is no economic equality without the ability to terminate a pregnancy. There is no economic equality without the overthrow of white supremacy. What good is an economic opportunity if large swaths of the population can’t access it?”