A Democratic party leader says the party is willing to support any pro-life candidates.
U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján, of New Mexico, who is also the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman, said there would be no “litmus test” on abortion for candidates.
"As we look at candidates across the country, you need to make sure you have candidates that fit the district, that can win in these districts across America," said Luján, as reported Monday by The Hill.
"To pick up 24 [seats in Congress] and get to 218, that is the job. We'll need a broad coalition to get that done ... We are going to need all of that, we have to be a big family in order to win the House back."
Luján’s announcement is a change from what the Democratic party said earlier this year.In April, Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez had said the party would not support any candidates who did not consider themselves pro-choice.
"Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman's right to make her own choices about her body and her health," he said in April. "That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state."
"At a time when women's rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country ... we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice."
But Perez’ statements drew division among some Democrats, including former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi, who is pro-choice, said such a policy would alienate many pro-life Democrats.
"I grew up Nancy D'Alesandro, in Baltimore, Maryland; in Little Italy; in a very devout Catholic family; fiercely patriotic; proud of our town and heritage, and staunchly Democratic," said Pelosi.
"Most of those people — my family, extended family — are not pro-choice. You think I'm kicking them out of the Democratic Party?"
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Publication date: August 1, 2017