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What is a vote for a pro-life Democrat?

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Democratic Party Platform explicitly states, “[w]e stand proudly for a woman’s right to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade, and regardless of her ability to pay. We stand firmly against Republican efforts to undermine that right.” This is incompatible with Congressman Joe Donnelly’s recent remarks at the law school that, as The Observer paraphrased, “despite people’s impressions of the Democratic Party, the party is not inherently pro-choice.” Even a vote for a personally pro-life democrat is a vote for a leadership staunchly opposed to life, and the priorities of the leadership are what rule the legislative process.Installing Nancy Pelosi (whose former chief of staff, Cecile Richards, runs the political arm of Planned Parenthood) as Speaker of the House ensures pro-abortion bills are brought to the floor whereas pro-life proposals are tabled and rarely, if ever, brought up for a vote. Pelosi’s agenda includes the override of the president’s Mexico City Policy, which would reinstate our taxpayer dollars paying for abortion overseas, federal funding for abortion, the “Freedom of Choice Act” (codifying Roe as a statute), etc.The third vote of the new democrat-controlled congress, H.R. 3, proposed funding embryo-destructive research. Donnelly voted “no,” but the bill passed, due in part to the Democrat composition of Congress and in part to Pelosi’s management of the floor (though ultimately vetoed by President Bush). Meanwhile, pro-life bills continue to languish. Even those sponsored by pro-life Democrats such as the Pregnant Woman Support Act are not brought to the floor under the current regime.Donnelly’s votes against life-destroying measures are commendable, but it was his vote for Pelosi that brought anti-life legislation to the floor and barred the possibility of pro-life bills. Donnelly was asked how he could reconcile his vote for Pelosi, or support of either of the Democrat presidential candidates with his pro-life convictions. His demeanor shifted and he attacked Republicans instead of addressing the concerns about his party leadership and anti-life platform. Donnelly’s ability to protect the life in his district, as he informed his listeners he was “constitutionally required” to do, is seriously handicapped by his party’s control of Congress. The bottom line is this: A nation can not have a pro-life direction when it is controlled by a party whose platform touts abortion as a “fundamental right” and whose leadership is determined to enshrine it as “reproductive justice.”

Anna Franzonellosecond year law studentBadin HallApr. 2