Brown says no to pro-choice lit­mus test

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — Va­lerie Richard­son

Cal­i­for­nia Gov. Jerry Brown said Sun­day that the Demo­cratic Party should be open to abor­tion foes, deal­ing an­other blow to the pro-choice move­ment as it struggles to hold the line against pro-life can­di­dates.

“I’d say, look, even on the abor­tion is­sue, it wasn’t very long ago that a num­ber of Catholic Democrats were op­posed to abor­tion,” Mr. Brown, a for­mer Je­suit novice, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “So the fact that some­body be­lieves today what most peo­ple be­lieved 50 years ago should not be the ba­sis for their ex­clu­sion.”

Mr. Brown said that the Demo­cratic base is “shift­ing” and in­cludes en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists, gun own­ers, “pro-choice peo­ple,” and re­li­gious fun­da­men­tal­ists — “not very many, but they’re there.”

“In Amer­ica, we’re not ide­o­log­i­cal. We’re not like a Marx­ist party in 1910,” Mr. Brown said. “We are big tent by the very def­i­ni­tion.”

Demo­cratic lead­ers have since been lin­ing up for months on whether abor­tion is a party lit­mus test, with Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee chair­men Tom Perez and one of his most-prom­i­nent pre­de­ces­sors (Howard Dean) say it must be, with its two cur­rent top leg­is­la­tors (Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi) among those say­ing it need not.

Pro-choice lead­ers and other pro­gres­sive or­ga­ni­za­tions have char­ac­ter­ized any move to­ward open­ing the tent to pro-life can­di­dates as a be­trayal of woman.

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