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California Gov. Jerry Brown says Democratic Party should be open to anti-abortion candidates
The Democratic Party's "big tent" should be big enough to include Democrats who oppose abortion rights, argued California Gov. Jerry Brown on "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
By Linda Mack
Contributor
Jan 12, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — The Democratic Party's "big tent" should be big enough to include Democrats who oppose abortion rights, argued California Gov. Jerry Brown on "Meet the Press" on Sunday. Brown said that Democratic candidates who are anti-abortion but progressive on most other issues deserve a place in the party, especially as it tries to regain lost ground in "red state" parts of the country.
"In America, we're not ideological. We're not like a Marxist party in 1910," Brown said. "We are big tent by the very definition." He noted that the party's base is "shifting" and includes not only environmentalists and "pro-choice people," but also gun owners and evangelical churchgoers"not very many, but they're there."
With these words, Brown waded into a simmering debate that is engulfing much of the party's establishment. Rep. Ben Lujan, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said last week that there is no "litmus test" on abortion that Democratic candidates must pass. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi backed him up, both agreeing that Democrats are "strongly pro-choice" but also inclusive.

For other Democratic leaders, however, support for abortion rights is non-negotiable. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), tweeted a few days later: "We do not have to make compromises on protecting women's health to win back the House and Senate." Thirteen progressive groups, including NARAL, Daily Kos, and the American Federation of Teachers, signed a supporting statement firmly rejecting any place in the party for candidates who would "impose" their opposition to abortion on other Americans through legislation.