As the Republican-controlled Congress continues to fail at everything they do, the Democrats are taking the opportunity to present a clear and progressive message about the future of America try not to “alienate” anyone by having things like hard opinions or principles. After releasing a plan that focused largely on economics instead of any social issues, they now say they won’t withhold any financial support for candidates who oppose abortion.

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Rep. Ben Ray Luján told the Hill “There is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates. As we look at candidates across the country, you need to make sure you have candidates that fit the district, that can win in these districts across America.” He said Democrats need a “broad coalition” in order to pick up more seats. Which sounds like code for “we don’t want to piss anyone off by fighting for abortion rights.”

One of the key things that separates Republicans and Democrats is their stance on abortion issues, and while there are plenty of Democrats who are personally anti-abortion, working to pass pro-choice legislation and protect Roe v. Wade has long been part of the Democratic party platform. So Lujan’s statement is striking many as walking back on a promise.

“It’s short-sighted and dangerous to pave the path to victory in 2018 at the expense of women,’ said Destiny Lopez, Co-Director of the All* Above All Action Fund. “Let’s not forget that the widely-lauded Democratic platform in 2016 clearly opposed not just restrictions on legal abortion–it also opposed the Hyde Amendment which bans abortion coverage. We urge the party to put its weight behind candidates who will stand with women.”

Mitchell Stille, NARAL Pro-Choice‘s National Campaigns Director, also said the move was “bad politics.” She said in a statement, “Anyone who actually thinks that Donald Trump and the GOP candidates won in 2016 because of their opposition to abortion rights is sorely mistaken. A small minority of voters vote strictly on an anti-choice platform. Those same voters just aren’t going to vote for Democrats anyway — they fundamentally disagree with just about everything Democrats stand for. Economic security isn’t possible without reproductive freedom. Gender equality isn’t possible without reproductive freedom. Families of all political leanings understand that — it’s time people in ‘this town’ caught up.”

People who understand that access to abortion is a human right (not to mention an issue of economic equality!), are just generally not having it.

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It’s one thing to not demand ideological purity of everyone in a political party. Progress comes from people with different ideas and priorities coming together to figure things out. It’s an entirely different thing to abandon a key part of your party’s platform in an effort to find “winning candidates.” And remember, seven out of ten people oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. That’s a lot of votes!

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