Mary Margaret Olohan on February 8, 2020
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders said Saturday that “being pro-choice is an essential part” of being a Democrat.
The Vermont senator spoke Saturday morning at the “Our Rights, Our Courts” presidential forum in New Hampshire. Demand Justice Initiative, Center for Reproductive Rights, NARAL Pro-Choice America and MSNBC cosponsored the event.
Sanders discussed whether Democrats must be pro-choice. “I think in the Senate’s, probably 95% of the Democrats are pro-choice, the other few are not — in the House, maybe even a higher percentage,” he said.
“So that’s kind of what my view is. I think by this time in history, I think when we talk about what a Democrat is, I think being pro-choice is an essential part of that,” he added.
Sanders’s words come after pro-life Democrat Kristin Day questioned former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Democratic inclusion of pro-life Democrats during a Jan. 26 town hall with Fox’s Chris Wallace.
“I’m a proud pro-life Democrat,” she said. “Do you want the support of pro-life Democratic voters?”
“There are 21 million of us. And if so, would you support more moderate platform language to ensure the party of diversity and inclusion does include everybody?” she continued.
Buttigieg said that though he respects her views, he is not going to try to earn her vote “by tricking” her.
“I am pro-choice,” he said. “I believe a woman ought to be able to make that decision.”
Day protested that the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate did not address her question and pointed out that the Democratic platform “contains language that says we don’t belong.”
“I support the position of my party that this kind of medical care needs to be available to everyone,” Buttigieg told her.
Day, the executive director of Democrats For Life of America, later told the Daily Caller News Foundation that Buttigeig gave voters “a reason to vote against him” when he told her that her views were not embraced by the Democratic Party.
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