A pro-life Democrat activist who confronted presidential candidate Mayor Peter Buttigieg at a town hall in Iowa has spoken out about the experience, calling on the party to be more accepting of her side of the abortion debate.
Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America, asked the South Bend, Indiana, mayor at the Fox News Town Hall on Sunday whether he would support more “moderate platform language” so that the Democratic Party was more accepting of pro-life Democrats.
“Well, I respect where you're coming from, and I hope to earn your vote. But I'm not going to try to earn your vote by tricking you. I am pro-choice. And I believe that a woman ought to be able to make that decision,” Buttigieg responded.
“The best I can offer is that if we can't agree on where to draw the line, the next best thing we can do is agree on who should draw the line. And in my view, it's the woman who's faced with that decision in her own life.”
In an opinion piece published by USA Today on Thursday, Day wrote that she took issue with the response, believing that he failed to properly answer her question about being more accepting of pro-life Democrats.
“He refused — twice — to even answer that part of my question and instead focused on his unyielding support for abortion and did not really seem to want the vote from me or people who share my views," Day wrote.
“The reality today is that the Democratic Party, hounded by abortion extremists, is deep in the pockets of the pro-choice lobby.”
Day explained that the party platform in 1996 and 2000 included language like stating that Democrats were “a party of inclusion” and that they “respect the individual conscience of each American on this difficult issue.”
“But in 2012, the platform removed the word ‘rare’ in its discussion of abortion and, in 2016, the party officially called for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibit federal health care programs from funding the procedure,” Day added.
“Buttigieg likes to talk about ‘future former Republicans.’ With his extreme stance on abortion, though, he is doing precisely the opposite: building an army of future former Democrats, disturbed by Trump but forced into a corner.”
“I want my party back,” she concluded.
In April 2017, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez announced that the party would no longer support any Democratic candidates who opposed abortion.
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman's right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” he said at the time. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”
The announcement garnered criticism from both pro-choice and pro-life Democrats, notably California Rep. Nancy Pelosi who felt the position was unwelcoming.
That July, U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the new “litmus test” had been reversed.
“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,” he said, as reported by The Hill.