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Democrat campaign chief says there will be no abortion 'litmus test' for candidates

(YouTube/Democratic National Convention)New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján appears in a screen capture of a video from the Democratic National Convention.

The chairman of the Democratic party's campaign arm has stated that the party will no longer withhold financial support from candidates who are pro-life.

In an interview with The Hill on Monday, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said that there will be "no litmus test" on abortion for Democratic candidates seeking to win a seat in the House in the 2018 mid-term elections.

"There is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates," Luján said. "As we look at candidates across the country, you need to make sure you have candidates that fit the district, that can win in these districts across America," he continued.

Mitchell Stille, who oversees campaigns for NARAL Pro-Choice America, expressed her disapproval of supporting pro-life candidates in the Democratic Party.

"Throwing weight behind anti-choice candidates is bad politics that will lead to worse policy," Stille said.

"The idea that jettisoning this issue wins elections for Democrats is folly contradicted by all available data," he added.

In April, Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez said that the party would not support any Democratic candidates who were pro-life.

"Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman's right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state," he said.

His remark drew criticism from some Democrats, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California. Pelosi, who is pro-choice, warned against alienating pro-life Democrats, noting that many of her family fit that classification.

In June, representatives for Democrats for Life met with Perez at the DNC headquarters to discuss the party's stance on abortion. The pro-life group urged the DNC to issue a statement on its website, explaining that the party does not support an abortion "litmus test" and pressuring people to change their stance on the issue.

Luján said that the party needs a "broad coalition" to win 24 seats and win back the House. On his office wall, he put up a map highlighting the districts held by Republicans that he hopes to oust in the 2018 midterm elections.

According to The Hill, the last time the Democrats gained control of the House was in the 2006 midterm elections, when the party supported a significant number of Democrats who were not entirely pro-choice.

A Marist poll conducted in January showed that almost six in 10 Americans, and four in 10 Democrats, believe that abortion is morally wrong.

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