The confirmation of
The court's landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade became vulnerable in the eyes of many observers wary of the increased conservatism of President
"They offer me no candidates I can vote for anymore," she said.
She cited change in the party's platform in 2016 as a reason she feels less like she belongs with the
Chimera said until that point, she and other anti-abortion
"It was the hope that we could have a voice in the party," Chimera said. "We were giving people a leg up. They actually helped people to change society. It used to stand for the working people. Now it stands for the fringe."
While many in the anti-abortion movement would call anything in the pro-abortion rights realm "fringe," Democratic voters do not seem to think so.
This is true in
"People respected my position," he said. "When a vote would come up, people knew where I stood. The problem came in with some of the more progressive wings of the Democratic Party saying that they didn't feel like I represented them. My response to that was, 'I represent my district.'"
This has not seemed to help
Wilson attributes this, in part, to the state party following the national party's stance on abortion and other cultural issues. "I think there was a place in the party for the pro-life voice," he said. "But as the party became more oriented to national issues, it became impossible to be a conservative Democrat."
Chimera disagrees with the notion of a "big-tent" party. "The big tent is shut tight," he said. "The platform needs to change to reflect our interest as well. It's about opening the big tent."
"They bow at the altar of just one set of views, and that's part of the reason they're in a deep, deep minority in the state legislature right now," he said.
The Republican electorate is in step with the party in this respect. According to another 2018 Pew survey, nearly 60% of
This is further reflected in attitudes about Roe v. Wade, the decision that established a constitutional right to abortion, which just more than one-third of
There is not one Republican in the state legislature that supports abortion rights. This marks a change from around the turn of the century when
Former Republican Gov.
The 2020 election is likely to continue the polarizing trend. Republican legislatures across the country have continued to limit abortion access and some Democratic candidates have talked about only nominating federal judges that will uphold Roe v. Wade.
Without at least some acknowledgement from the party, Chimera said, the
"We do exist," she said of anti-abortion
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