Washington, DC -Former Alabama Party Chairman Joe Turnham announced his support for changing the Democratic Party platform to include those who oppose abortion.
"The Democratic Party has a long history as the Big Tent party - one that is open to those with differing opinions," said Joe Turnham, former Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party. "Yet the national platform does not welcome those who oppose abortion even though our whole life position is a natural fit with Democratic priorities of aiding the hungry, poor and downtrodden. We must not allow our differences of opinion on abortion get in the way of ensuring that government protects those who cannot protect themselves."
Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) has coordinated an effort to urge more inclusive language on the controversial issue of abortion, and toward this end has initiated a petition drive urging the Democratic Party to recognize its existing diversity of opinion on the issue. In 1996, President Clinton added language to the platform acknowledging pro-life Democrats and viewed this inclusion as a source of strength for the Party in the first campaign cycle after the historic losses of 1994. The language was removed in 2004.
"Expanding our big tent policy with more inclusive language will bring estranged Democrats back and allow pro-choice and pro-life Democrats to work together for common-sense policies that provide for the poor, protect the environment, and provide affordable and quality education for our future generations. By empowering and supporting pregnant women, this will reduce the demand, and thus the number, of abortions," said Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats For Life of America.
"A recent Gallup Poll indicated that over a one-third of Democrats oppose abortion," said Turnham. "As a Party, we cannot and should not continue to push Democrats out of the Party simply because of their position on abortion. This only hampers our ability to keep Republicans from cutting programs that poor people depend on every day. I am proud to add my name to those who are calling for a big tent policy that includes pro-life Democrats."