Washington D.C., Feb 11, 2020 / 04:00 pm (CNA).- Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said on Tuesday that she would not shut pro-life Democrats out of the party.
Appearing on ABC’s “The View” on Tuesday, Klobuchar was asked by co-host Meghan McCain if “there’s room for pro-life Democrats to vote for you,” citing recent comments by the senator indicating she was open to pro-life support.
“Well first, let me say this. I am strongly pro-choice, I have always been pro-choice,” Klobuchar responded. The senator supports taxpayer-funded abortion and the codification of Roe v. Wade into federal law, but told the New York Times she was “unsure” about allowing chemical abortions to be available over-the-counter.
Klobuchar has also supported taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers and promoters, and has said that regulations on abortions after 24 weeks in a pregnancy “must be consistent with Roe v. Wade.” She told the Times that “attacks on women’s reproductive rights that are happening across the country are coordinated, calculated and dangerous.”
But, Klobuchar told McCain on Tuesday, she did not think pro-life Democrats should be expelled from the party.
“I believe we’re a big-tent party. And there are pro-life Democrats, and they are a part of our party,” she said.
“And I think we need to build a big tent. I think we need to bring people in instead of shutting them out.”
Klobuchar also reportedly told Chris Crawford of Democracy Fund that she would accept the support of pro-life Democrats on Monday.
Today I asked @amyklobuchar if there is room in her coalition for pro-life people. She said yes of course. I asked if she’d try to find common ground on bringing down the number of abortions.
She said “Yes. Yes.” And told me about her work in the adoption caucus in the Senate. pic.twitter.com/CIvfMSulEE
— Chris Crawford (@CrawfordStuff) February 10, 2020
Klobuchar’s comments came as Democratic voters headed to the polls for the New Hampshire primary Feb. 11 and after fellow candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said on Saturday that support for abortion “is an absolutely essential part of being a Democrat.”
“By this time in history, I think, when we talk about what a Democrat is, I think being pro-choice is essentially—an essential part of that,” Sanders stated.
Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said at a Jan. 26 townhall in Iowa that he would do without the support of pro-life Democrats if necessary, over his support for legal abortion.
When asked by Kristen Day, the executive director of Democrats for Life of America, if he wanted the support of pro-life Democrats like her, Buttigieg responded that “I am pro-choice. And I believe that a woman ought to be able to make that decision [on abortion].”
If Democratic voters would not support him over that stance, he added, “I understand.” Last week on “The View,” Buttigieg declined to name a limit on abortion in the third trimester when challeneged about previous statements indication his support for abortion up until the baby’s first breath, instead he said it should be up to the woman to decide and not the government.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was asked in a November debate if there was room in the party for someone like Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who was re-elected in November and who signed into law a ban on abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.
Warren said that abortion rights are “economic rights” and “human rights,” and that the party is “fundamentally” about preserving legal abortion.
She added that “I’m not here to try to drive anyone out of this party. I’m not here to try to build fences.”