Michael Wear, former director of President Barack Obama's faith outreach in 2012, has said that there used to be pro-life supporters within the Democratic Party, but it is now too "in love" with abortion that it cannot appeal to Christian voters.
"The Democratic Party used to welcome people who didn't support abortion into the party. We are now so far from that, it's insane," Wear said in an interview with the Atlantic.
Wear, who is a pro-life evangelical Christian, has helped with faith outreach strategies for Obama's 2008 campaign, but his efforts have been ignored by some state-level officials.
While he was working for Obama, he struggled with some of the administration's policies such as abortion funding and contraception requirements in the Affordable Care Act. He thought that the administration was unnecessarily antagonistic toward religious conservatives when it was defending the said policies.
Wear almost stepped down when a pastor was pressured to withdraw from delivering the 2012 inaugural benediction due to his stance on homosexuality.
He said that Democrats made very little effort to reach out to religious voters during the 2016 presidential campaign.
"Reaching out to evangelicals doesn't mean you have to become pro-life. It just means you have to not be so in love with how pro-choice you are, and so opposed to how pro-life we are," Wear remarked.
He said that many pro-life Democrats have left the party because of its extreme position on abortion.
"A lot of pro-life Democrats were formerly saying, 'My presence here doesn't mean I agree with everything—I'm going to be an internal force that acts as a constraint or a voice of opposition on abortion.' Those people have mostly left the party," he said.
Author Stephen Markley, who describes himself as a supporter of legal abortion, made the same observations as Wear. In an op-ed for Paste Magazine, he urged the Democratic Party to support and elect pro-life candidates in order for it to compete on the national stage.
A post-election poll suggested that abortion played a major role in the election, especially among pro-life voters. According to Life News, the results revealed that 49 percent of the respondents said that abortion affected their vote. Thirty-one percent said they voted for candidates who opposed abortion while 18 percent said they voted for politicians who supported abortion.