Kristen Day, the president of Democrats for Life (disclosure: I know her personally) responded to these rumblings in a recent email to supporters:
When I read an article about the alleged "death of the pro-life democrat" following our event at the Democratic National Convention, I chuckled. It is wishful thinking by Republicans, but not the truth. Pro-life democrats are not dead. In fact, we are more alive, more motivated, more united, and growing!I think that the article she refers to is this one, by Dan McConchie (who I also know personally). Although McConchie is a good deal more conservative than Day, I do not consider McConchie's article to be "wishful thinking"-- on the contrary, I believe that he is genuinely saddened by the plight of pro-life Democrats. He fondly remembers the good old days, when "in 1992, five anti-abortion governors addressed the Democratic convention." That would be unthinkable now.
There are 21 million pro-life Democrats, and we have only scratched the surface of bringing this large coalition together to bring change to our party. The momentum from our convention event has not brought death, but re-birth. We had a historic number of hits on our Facebook page, increased activity on Twitter, an increase in the number of inquiries, and a record number of new memberships!
This convention has given us the energy and the legitimacy to advance the cause of life consistently, effectively, and proudly as pro-life Democrats.
McConchie is particularly concerned that "anti-abortion Democrats in state legislatures complain that the national party actively blocks their efforts to move up the ranks, instead favoring those who toe the party’s radical line on abortion." Day shares his concern, insisting: "Pro-life Democrats cannot and will not be marginalized or silenced by our party."
In light of pro-life public opinion trends, I agree with McConchie that the Democratic Party is shooting itself in the foot with its unyielding loyalty to the abortion industry. Day and others like her are the solution-- but will the party leadership ever embrace them?