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Durbin Vs. Pelosi: Can You Be A Pro-Life Democrat?

By  Robert Kraychik

On Sunday, two high-ranking Democrats staked out competing positions on the necessity of supporting lawful access to abortion on-demand among their partisan colleagues.

RealClearPolitics (RCP) noted the differing positions between Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on whether support for lawful access to abortion for any reason is a prerequisite for being a Democrat.

RCP’s two top-featured video clips under its video centerpiece focus on the divergent positions of Durbin and Pelosi:

In a Sunday interview with CNN’s Dana Bash for State of the Union, Durbin framed political support for wholesale access to lawful abortion as a requirement for all Democrat politicians:

“I know within the ranks of the Democratic Party there are those who [the issue of abortion] differently on a personal basis, but when it comes to the policy position, we need to be clear and unequivocal, we need to be understanding of those take a different position because of personal conscience, but as long as they are prepared to back the law – Roe vs. Wade – prepared to back women’s rights as we’ve defined them under the law, I think they can be part of the party.”

Durbin also described lawful access to wholesale abortion as an issue of “reproductive rights.”

Watch the clip of Durbin and Bash below:

Pelosi took a different position in a Sunday interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press. Asked if one can be a “pro-life Democrat,” Pelosi responded in the affirmative:

“Of course. I have served many years in Congress with members who have not shared my very positive – my family would say ‘aggressive position’ – on promoting a women’s right to choose.”

Watch the clip of Pelosi with Todd below:

Both Durbin and Pelosi omitted using the word “abortion” in their comments.

The shared inquiry from Bash and Todd likely came from communications they received from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) regarding the Democrats’ support for Heath Mello’s candidacy for mayor in Omaha, Nebraska.

NARAL describes Mello as an “anti-choice” candidate.

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez released a statement in response to NARAL framing support for lawful access to abortion without limits as essential for all Democrat politicians:

“I fundamentally disagree with Heath Mello’s personal beliefs about women’s reproductive health. It is a promising step that Mello now shares the Democratic Party’s position on women’s fundamental rights. Every candidate who runs as a Democrat should do the same, because every woman should be able to make her own health choices.”

NARAL is a left-wing Democrat-aligned political agitation group, dedicated to expanding lawful access to and taxpayer funding for abortion-on-demand. Its political arm enjoys 501(c)(4) non-profit status.

H/T Tim Hains at RealClearPolitics

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.

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