It turns out that the pro-life movement is not limited to Republicans.
Shocker, I know. Oftentimes, it seems that only Republicans attend the March for Life or are openly advocating for an abortion-free world. Democrats are the people with “I’m with Her” stickers still on their bumpers who say that abortion should be “safe, legal and on demand” on repeat.
Rarely do you find someone that crosses those lines, and if you do, it’s usually Republicans espousing pro-choice beliefs. You never see a Democrat openly advocating for the baby humans. At least that’s what I thought.
Then I went to Chicago over spring break to help elect a pro-life Democrat.
I was part of a group of Franciscan students that joined the Susan B. Anthony List, a non-partisan organization that seeks to promote pro-life candidates by going into Illinois’ 3rd congressional district and getting voters to support pro-life incumbent Dan Lipinski in the Democratic primary against his opponent, Marie Newman.
The reason we were out there is because Newman was centering her campaign on attacks on Lipinski for his pro-life beliefs, and she had the backing of the national Democratic Party in doing it. Imagine that – the national Democratic Party attacking a seven-term congressman just because he refuses to give into the party line and decides to think for himself. It’s a shame that Democrats are so intent on implementing their own agenda that they ostracize anyone who has the audacity to stand up for himself or herself.
Despite knowing all this, I will admit that it was still hard to get used to the idea of campaigning in support of a Democrat. I am a registered Republican and was proud to vote Republican as soon as I could in the 2016 presidential election. To me, Democrats are generally abortion zealots who do a really good job of tricking women into thinking that they actually support and care about them, and it was hard to believe that not only was there a pro-life Democrat in Congress, but that I was trying to help him get re-elected.
At the same time, however, I began to realize how unrepresentative the “ideal Democrat,” like Newman, would have been for that district. As I walked door-to-door in the Chicago suburbs, almost every person that answered said that they considered themselves pro-life and opposed taxpayer-funded abortion. Mind you, the great majority of our target voters were Democrats.
This experience helped me to realize that the pro-life cause is not limited to Republicans or conservatives because it is, at its core, a human cause. I have found that the few pro-life Democrats I had met previously would grow accustomed to seeing their positive views and reflections on the pro-life movement disregarded and ignored simply because of their party affiliation.
This is unacceptable for a litany of reasons, but largely because it trivializes the fight against abortion to just another fight between parties. The babies that are being saved aren’t Republican babies – that’s a ridiculous notion – so why should we be picky about the party affiliation of the people fighting with us to overturn this great evil?
The majority of Americans, including Democrats at 49 percent, oppose abortion after 20 weeks, according to a Marist poll from January. A high number of Democrats also support other forms of abortion restrictions and 40 percent of Democrats consider abortion to be morally wrong. While this isn’t as pro-life as needs to be, it is still shows that Americans are taking a major step in the right direction.
Of course, there are still several issues that I don’t agree with that most of those same Democrats I talked to would support, such as gay “marriage,” excessive taxation and the current plight of religious freedom. At the same time, it is important to recognize the simple reality that a pro-life Democrat is not an enemy to tentatively welcome, but rather an ally to be embraced. Pro-life Democrats like Dan Lipinski are brave warriors for life, and I am proud to have had the chance to fight for him.