On Friday, pro-lifers from around the world will stream to the Mall in D.C. for the annual March for Life. Protecting human life is a value that transcends the political divide, and people of all political affiliations have come since the March began decades ago.
But that diversity has become threatened in recent years, a problem caused by leaders of the Democratic Party who have grown unwelcoming toward pro-life positions and candidates.
As president of the March, I can say we hope and pray this will change. Or I should say change back to an earlier time, when abortion wasn’t as partisan an issue for political parties.
We long for more leaders like Democrat Robert Casey Sr., the late former governor of Pennsylvania who famously enforced the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act in the Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. We also welcome current elected officials such as Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), who was snubbed by his own party for his pro-life views while running for reelection.
The March for Life encourages pro-life Democrats and, in particular, Democratic leadership, to embrace policies that support the inherent dignity of the unborn child. Republicans and Democrats should stand together in defense of life, the ultimate human right.
Sadly, it is no secret how extreme the Democratic Party establishment has become on the issue of abortion.
The most recent party platform, for instance, calls for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal dollars from going toward abortions except in the case of rape, incest or to save the mother’s life.
Estimates show the Hyde Amendment has prevented more than 2 million abortions since its enactment in 1976, according to an analysis by the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Asked in 2011 if, generally speaking, they were in favor of using public funds for abortions when women can’t afford it, 61 percent of Americans said they were opposed, according to a poll by CNN/Opinion Research Corp.
That does not seem to impact Democratic Party leadership. In 2017, then-Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said support for abortion rights is “nonnegotiable” for Democratic candidates. As longtime pro-life Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak put it in response: “We’re no longer the ‘Big Tent Party.’ I fear we’re now the ‘pro-abortion rights’ party,” he wrote in a Time essay that August.
Democratic leadership has become so beholden to the pro-abortion lobby that they have aligned themselves with Planned Parenthood. The group is under investigation by the Justice Department related to the transfer and selling of aborted baby body parts, Politico reported in 2017.
Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that Planned Parenthood reportedly spent $38 million in the 2016 election cycle and $20 million toward the 2018 midterm elections to elect pro-abortion Democrats. And Democratic political affiliation has become tantamount to abortion-on-demand because of groups like NARAL and Emily’s List, which pump tens of millions of dollars into the campaign coffers of pro-abortion Democrats.
In 16 years of polling, Gallup has found consistently that more Americans say abortion is “morally wrong” than those who say it is “morally acceptable.”
Even against this backdrop, March for Life seeks to have both sides of the political aisle represented and will continue to do so. We remain hopeful that American politics will catch up with the culture one day.
Now, more than ever, it is important to unite our voices in defense of the unborn because some of the most pro-abortion politicians in America now hold the gavel in the U.S. House. And so, we continue the fight together and we keep marching.
Jeanne Mancini is president of March for Life.