Catholic theologian Charles Camosy has resigned from the board of Democrats for Life of America (DFLA), writing in an op-ed on Thursday that the Democratic Party’s extreme support of abortion left him “no choice” but to leave his party.
“Anything even hinting that abortion is less than good now violates party orthodoxy,” Camosy wrote in a Feb. 6 column in the NY Post.
Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s refusal to limit abortion at any point in pregnancy was, for Camosy, “[t]he straw that broke this camel’s back.”
“If the [Democratic] party was willing to go all-in on the most volatile issue of our time with a position held by only 13 percent of the population, it was time to take no for an answer,” Camosy wrote.
According to a 2018 Gallup poll, only 13% of Americans believe abortion should “generally be legal” in the last three months of pregnancy.
Camosy is an ethics professor at Fordham University, and had served on the board of Democrats for Life of America since 2014.
At a 2018 DFLA conference, Camosy warned against an inconsistent application of Pope Francis’ condemnation of the “throwaway culture,” saying that no one could possibly use Francis’ “consistent life ethic” to justify support for abortion.
In a November interview with CNA, Camosy called the Democratic party’s platform on abortion “about as extreme as it could possibly get.”
He said he knows of “a ton of religiously-minded Democrats” who joined the party for its economic or other family policies.
These voters, “who would identify as pro-life or at least identify as abortion skeptical,” are also “in fact are totally turned off by what is in the Democratic Party’s platform,” he said.
Camosy wrote on Thursday that he supports many of the Democratic Party’s policies such as paid family leave, child care assistance, labor union rights, the Affordable Care Act, fighting climate change, and accepting refugees and immigrants.
Yet “the party gave me no choice” but to leave, he said, because of its support of abortion. He cited a 2017 meeting between DNC chair Tom Perez and pro-life Democrats, where the party’s leadership “didn’t take us seriously.”
“When we showed them that pro-life Democrats would beat Republicans in certain districts, it didn’t matter,” he wrote.
“Even when we called for more reproductive choices for women with difficult pregnancies through services like perinatal hospice care, party leaders ignored us.”
Camosy clarified that he would not be voting Republican because of his “broader values,” and would instead join the American Solidarity Party which “refuses to compromise on support for women, protection for prenatal children and solidarity for working people and the poor and vulnerable.”
The Democratic Party has lurched toward more extreme positions on abortion in recent years. The 2016 DNC platform stated an “unequivocal” belief in “safe and legal abortion” for all women, and also supported taxpayer funding of abortion.
2020 Democratic presidential candidates have all called for taxpayer-funded abortion. Some candidates, such as Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), have said abortion at any point in a pregnancy should be up to the mother and that the government should not limit that choice.