Having learned nothing Missouri Democrats re-embrace “unwavering commitment” to abortion

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. My family and I will be on our vacation through September 7. I will occasionally add new items but for the most part we will repost “the best of the best” — the stories our readers have told us they especially liked.

Well, that didn’t last long.

Josh Hawley

Back in early July, the Missouri Democratic Party amended its platform so as to welcome “a diversity of views on abortion.”

Specifically it read, “We respect the conscience of each Missourian and recognize that members of our party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, such as abortion. We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength, and welcome into our ranks all Missourians who may hold differing positions on this issue.”

That lasted all the way up until last Saturday, writes Jason Hancock of the Kansas City Star, when the party’s central committee replaced that language with “A woman’s right to choose and the right of every person to their own bodily autonomy and to be free from government intrusion in medical decisions, including a decision to carry a pregnancy to term, and oppose any efforts to limit access to reproductive health care.”

Stephen Webber, chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, said, “Missouri Democrats are strongest when we fight together.”

[W]e saw that at our State Committee meeting today when our members stood united to pass a platform that clearly demonstrates our Party’s unwavering commitment to defend the right of all Missourians to access reproductive health care without interference from the government.

Democrats will continue to fight [to] defend the full spectrum of women’s reproductive rights ensured in Roe v. Wade, including the right to safely end a pregnancy, to safely carry a pregnancy to term, and the right to raise your family in a safe and healthy environment.

Why the turnabout? “We made a mistake,” said Annie Rice, an alderwoman in St. Louis. Alison Dreith, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, chimed in with her two cents worth.


Sen. Claire McCaskill

“Democrats needs to step up and fight for women, the base of the party, and their quick reversal on the disappointing vote to include anti-choice language in the party platform shows they’re ready to do that,” she said. Dreith added, “The Democratic Party’s overwhelming vote to re-prioritize reproductive freedom has put the party back on track just in time to pick up wins in November. This vote just goes to show that when women organize, women win.”

Of course, that “winning” formula has cost Democrats all over the state and state-wide in Missouri. Republicans control both houses of the state legislature, one U.S. Senate seat, and the governor’s office.

Incumbent pro-abortion Senator Claire McCaskill is in a closely fought battle against pro-life Republic Attorney General Josh Hawley.

If Democrats continue (in Dreith’s words) to “overwhelmingly vote to re-prioritize reproductive freedom,” they will indeed be “back on track” again– to electoral oblivion.