Report: DNC chairman reaching out to anti-abortion Dems
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Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is expected to meet with a group of anti-abortion Democrats as the party faces a bitter divide over whether to expand its outreach to voters who oppose abortion, The Atlantic reported Tuesday.

The meeting, requested by the group Democrats for Life of America, is one of several that Perez is holding with both pro-abortion rights and anti-abortion Democrats, according to The Atlantic.

It comes as the Democratic Party faces an internal dilemma of whether to pursue the support of anti-abortion voters, despite a plank in the party's 2016 platform supporting "a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion."

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That debate emerged last month when Perez and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHere's why Biden, Bernie and Beto are peaking Senate gears up for Green New Deal vote Overnight Energy: Green New Deal vote set to test Dem unity | Renewables on track to phase out coal, study finds | EPA chief reportedly recuses himself from mine review MORE (I-Vt.), a progressive favorite with strong support among many Democrats, offered their support for Omaha, Neb., mayoral candidate Heath Mello, an anti-abortion Democrat.

Perez said at the time that the party should not "demand fealty" on every policy issue. But his support drew swift criticism from pro-abortion rights groups, like NARAL Pro-Choice America, who called the move "politically stupid."

Perez later walked back his praise for Mello, who had said that, while he personally opposes abortion, he would not work to restrict access to the procedure. Mello eventually lost the mayoral race.

"I fundamentally disagree with Heath Mello’s personal beliefs about women’s reproductive health,” Perez said. “It is a promising step that Mello now shares the Democratic Party’s position on women’s fundamental rights." 

Some prominent Democrats in recent months have called for a "big tent party" in order to win over voters who may not agree with some planks of the Democratic platform.