While an overwhelming majority of leaders and members in the Democratic Party continue to embrace the idea that women should be allowed to obtain an abortion, as currently protected at a federal level under Roe v. Wade, a 2020 study from Pew found that 3 out of 10 Democrats or left-leaning independents do not agree with the party’s stance on the issue.
Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, Kristen Day, executive director for Democrats for Life, says she agrees with Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s assessment from the leaked draft opinion that it is time to allow states to decide how they are going to handle the issue of abortion.
Anti-abortion activists participate in the 49th annual March for Life as they march past the U.S. Supreme Court on January 21, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
“I think when Roe v. Wade was decided it stopped an important discussion by our nation of how we treat the pre-born and how we treat women who experience unplanned pregnancies, so I think it’s really important [that] it go back to the states because we can’t continue right now and what is happening,” Day said, reflecting on the moment she found out about the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision to federally legalize abortion.
Describing her outreach to national party leaders, Day said there is a lot of “tone deafness” and that she has had no luck receiving a response to the “multiple letters” that were sent to Jaime Harrison, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, requesting meetings with him and elected pro-life Democrats.
“I think there’s a lot of tone deafness when it comes to the Democratic leadership,” Day said. “They’re really beholden to the abortion lobby and I say the abortion corporation. As Democrats, we normally don’t protect corporations, yet the Democratic Party decided to embrace this corporation and deregulate it, which is not consistent with Democratic values.”
“We have requested a meeting with Jaime Harrison multiple times, we hand-delivered a letter to the DNC … he has refused to meet with us,” Day added. “He has refused to meet with pro-life Democrat voices within the party.”
Pro-life demonstrators march during the “Right To Life” rally on January 15, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
With the 2022 midterm elections approaching, Day said she believes many Democrats are out of tune with the viewpoints of Americans in other states who do not support lenient restrictions on abortion and insisted it won’t play out well for Democrats come election time.
“I think the Democrat Party is really overplaying their hand and they’re not recognizing the reality of what people are thinking outside of California and New York,” she said. “When you look at the rallies yesterday, yeah, there were big rallies in California and New York and outside the Supreme Court in D.C. where abortion is legal up to nine months in all those places. But when you look in the rest of the country, people don’t support abortion up to nine months. They support reasonable regulations, they support reasonable limitations. I think it’s going to effect midterms in a bad way for Democrats.
Day said Democratic Party leaders like President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have “failed to learn” that a majority of Americans “want limitations and regulations on abortion.”
“The pro-life vote can swing a seat,” Day warned. “I think it’s dangerous to promote this abortion extremism as mainstream and I think it will definitely harm [Democrats] in the midterms.”
Nonetheless, Day said she remains optimistic as additional pro-life Democrats, many of whom she said are black, have begun “speaking up for pro-life voices” and entering elections across the country.
Pro-life activists gather for the National March for Life rally in Washington January 27, 2017. (REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)
“Ironically, right now, a lot of our candidates are coming from the Black community,” she said. “A lot of these strong pro-life voices are coming from the Black community. I think that’s something the Democratic Party is unaware of, as well. There is a shift not only in the Hispanic community, but also in the black community.”
Compared to the demographics of the whole U.S. population, Black women were “substantially overrepresented” among those obtaining abortions in 2014, according to a study from the Guttmacher Institute. Thirty-nine percent of women who obtained abortions in 2014 were White, while 28% were Black, 25% were Hispanic, and 6% were Asian or Pacific islander.
Regarding the recent Supreme Court leak, Day said she believes it is “dangerous” that people from within the court would consider doing such a thing in an attempt to defend their own beliefs.
“I think it’s very dangerous for one person to decide that to advance they’re agenda they’re gonna leak something to the public,” Day said. “Specifically on this issue, it’s a very emotional issue with very strong opinions on both sides. It’s horrifying that someone thought to leak it was a good idea.”
Day said she believes if the individual responsible for leaking the information to the press is discovered, then a “strong response” should be sent so that it “doesn’t happen again.”
Jess Meeth, who serves as communications director for Democrats for Life, told Fox News about the importance of understanding how real of an issue abortion is and said she was “stunned” about Monday’s Supreme Court leak from Politico.
“I was stunned about the leak,” Meeth said. “It was just such a breech of confidence and that was upsetting.”
Meeth said California is working to become a “sanctuary state” for women seeking to obtain an abortion. “The lack of regulation should be horrifying, no matter what side or what people think about abortion,” she said.
Pro-life activists during the 2018 March for Life on January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
“The lack of regulation on abortion has been so, so upsetting,” Meeth said. “We cannot forget that there are real people involved and we just cannot brush that aside. Real people are being affected right now there are women in pregnancies who need real help and real support. That’s another thing in mainstream media that’s not being covered. No one is highlighting how this is going to affect women in low-income and minority communities. … It’s important that we remember who is being affected.”
“We see so many harrowing statistics in minority communities and low-income communities,” Meeth added. “With all the dialogue that I have with fellow Democrats, that’s the area where they will stop and listen, where we’re talking about how we can provide real, concrete support for women during and after pregnancy.”
Democrats and left-leaning Americans are much more likely than Republicans and right-leaning Americans to side with abortion being legal in all or most cases, according to a 2019 study from the Pew Research Center. The study’s results showed that 82% of Democrats would support the procedure, with 36% of Republicans in agreement. Compared to the same study taken three years prior, that gap has widened. In 2016, there was a 33-point margin between Democrats, 72%, and Republicans, 39%, who supported legal abortion in all or most cases.
Louisiana state Sen. Katrina Jackson, who has worked on several measures in an effort to support her mission of protecting life overall, also spoke to Fox News to address the leak and whether individual states should have the ability to decide the fate of abortions within their own borders.
“I really believe that Roe v. Wade should be overturned for all states, but I understand his logic regarding those who are elected to determine whether or not they want abortion in their state,” Jackson said.
Describing abortion as a “racial bias procedure that was originally implicated by Margaret Sanger and others to ensure that African Americans and other minorities didn’t reproduce at what they considered to be an ‘alarming rate,'” Jackson noted that a majority of constituents in Louisiana favored a constitutional amendment in 2020 that would have done away with the procedure in the state.
Regarding the leak from the Supreme Court, Jackson said it puts the work of the court in “jeopardy.”
Louisiana State Representative and Senator-Elect Katrina Jackson speaks at Stork Ball 2020 at the Ronald Reagan Building on January 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Save The Storks)
“The court is a sacred institution in our nation that has had the ability to operate outside of public scrutiny prior to the leak coming out,” Jackson said. “When you have leaks of this nature, it says something about where we are as a nation that we will do whatever is necessary when a judge makes a decision adverse to what we believe. It puts the integrity of the justices discussions, their preparations, in jeopardy.”
Jackson insisted that the leak will cause justices on the court to work under “pressure” and could lead them to making a political decision when ordinarily that would not have to be the case.
“Justice is supposed to be blind,” she said. “It’s not supposed to be based on politics.”
“For them and their families, I pray that the decision they made not drastically impact them – as it shouldn’t. Because decisions come out when they’re supposed to come out. That is my concern. The people that work in the courts have to respect the justice’s decisions and privacy until decisions are released. That’s troubling.”
David Trujillo holds a sign as a school bus drives by on the street in front of a building housing an abortion provider in Dallas, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021.A federal court on Monday dismissed challenges to a fetal heartbeat law. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
“For me, as a practicing attorney, it is greatly concerning that someone who may have been pro-abortion released that [draft] to start this political fireback at the justices before his opinion was officially released,” she added. “I think it was very strategic…”
Despite the focus that national party leaders have placed on the issue, Jackson said abortion is just one issue that should be of focus in the upcoming midterm. She said she is interested in working past her differences on abortion with party leaders on a national level to accomplish other things that are important to her, including rising gas prices, the federal minimum wage, and education.
“To the extent you feel that you’re being pushed into a situation that you believe abortion should be legal, maybe it should be a factor, but a major factor with everything else that’s going on, I would tell both the Republicans and the Democratic party – both pro-lifers and pro-abortion people – there are major issues and this is one of them. This is ONE of them,” she said.
“I haven’t found a religion yet, whether it’s Christianity or otherwise, that promotes the shedding of innocent blood,” she said, noting that she will support life from “womb to the tomb.”
Fox News’ Thomas Phippen contributed to this article.
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