Christian abortion critics urge Democrats to change platform

A group of more than 100 Christian pastors, religion teachers and other advocates urge the Democratic National Committee to adopt a party platform more friendly to abortion opponents.

In a letter organized by the anti-abortion group Democrats for Life and due to be sent on Friday, the Christian group calls on the Democratic Party to withdraw support for its platform to end restrictions on federal abortion funding . This language was added to the party’s 2016 platform, to the frustration of anti-abortion Democrats. Last year, Joe Biden, the Democrat’s alleged presidential candidate, changed his position to support an end to restrictions on public funding for abortion.

“We call on you to recognize the inviolable human dignity of the child, before and after birth,” the group wrote in its letter to the Democratic Platform committee, shared in advance with the Associated Press. “We urge you to reject a litmus test on people of pro-life faith seeking election to the Democratic Party. “

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Among the signatories of the letter are Reverend Gabriel Salguero, chairman of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition and member of the denominational advisory board of former President Barack Obama; and John DeBerry, a longtime Tennessee state representative and pastor who was recently deleted of the Democratic primary ballot in part because of the votes against the party’s position.

Democrats for Life executive director Kristen Day said her group sent a letter opposing the Democratic Platform’s inclusion in 2016 of language supporting the repeal of federal funding limits for the abortion which attracted far fewer signatories. This week’s letter, which includes registered Democrats as well as independents, is “a much bigger effort,” she said.

Day also warned that the addition of another position supported by Biden – the codification of the Roe v. Wade of the Supreme Court – would alienate religious anti-abortion voters.

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Biden is “a little ahead” of what Hillary Clinton was in 2016 in terms of outreach to faith-based voters, Day said, but the prospect of the Democratic Platform supporting Roe’s codification “would only massively damage dealing with religious voters who don’t necessarily want to see this.

While Democrats have turned to the left on abortion in recent years, there is evidence that abortion opponents are still ready to back the party. Democratic Senator from Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar, despite her strong record of voting for abortion rights, won improbable praise of some abortion critics in February for saying anti-abortion Democrats “are part of our party.”

Day recalled Obama’s work towards “middle ground” on abortion, as the former president said in 2008, and noted that the Biden campaign hired a religious adviser who worked on Obama’s re-election candidacy.

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“It is extremely important for the campaign and Vice President Biden to understand the importance of this vote,” Day said of anti-abortion Democrats who may be motivated by their faith. “It should not be taken for granted. “

A draft Democratic platform released this week will be voted on by mail ahead of the party’s mostly virtual convention, which is due to begin on August 17.

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The Associated Press’s religious coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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