Former Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton says in her upcoming book What Happened that pro-life Democrat lawmakers must vote against pro-life legislation in favor of abortion, regardless of their personal beliefs.
The Washington Examiner shared excerpts from Clinton's book in an article on Monday, which show Clinton's insistence that party members vote the party line.
"Bernie suggested that Democrats should be open to nominating and supporting candidates who are anti-choice. Other topics, such as economic justice, are sacrosanct, but apparently women's health is not," she said, referring to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who campaigned with pro-life mayoral candidate Heath Mello in Omaha last year.
"I don't mean to criticize only Bernie here," Clinton continued, "a lot of progressives join him in thinking that reproductive rights are negotiable."
Sanders continued to stand behind Mello's candidacy, explaining that the party needs to be pragmatic "if we're going to become a 50-state party."
The former secretary of state revealed that she picked Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., as her running mate precisely because of his decision to vote pro-choice on legislation despite his opposition to abortion.
"I've been working for a quarter century with Democrats and Republicans alike to reduce the number of abortions, in part by expanding access to birth control and family planning, and we've made progress," the former first lady claims in the book.
"And I picked as my running mate Tim Kaine, a Democrat personally opposed to abortion because of his Catholic faith but supportive of women's rights as a matter of law and policy."
Clinton's comments echo what Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez said in April, when he argued that "every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman's right to make her own choices about her body and her health."
Perez added that support for abortion is "not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state" and that the Democratic Party "must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice" and fight against Republican and pro-life victories at every level.
Some on the left strongly spoke out against the sentiment, however, insisting that pro-life voices should remain active in the Democrat Party.
"We simply cannot afford to define ourselves based on a singular issue, especially one as divisive and alienating as abortion. As stated above, the Republicans have the majority at every level, and they are actively attempting to strip millions of Americans of their health insurance, roll back any progress we've made on combating climate change, cut benefits for the poor, and demolish public education," wrote at the time Matthew Tyson, co-founder of The New Pro-Life Movement.