Dem rep: You can't be a Democrat if you don't support abortion, LGBTQ rights

Dem rep: You can't be a Democrat if you don't support abortion, LGBTQ rights
© Greg Nash

A Democratic lawmaker argued Friday that her party needed to take a strong stance against efforts to restrict abortion rights, telling reporters that it was impossible to be a Democrat and not support the right to an abortion.

At a press conference Friday, Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalCentrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage push Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage push Overnight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses MORE (D-Wash.) told reporters that the party should only support members who agree to a core set of party principles including support for LGBTQ Americans and immigrants.

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"I think the party's response will be strong, and hopefully you've seen [that] it's been strong across the board," Jayapal said to a reporter who asked how the party should respond to recent efforts in Georgia and Alabama to restrict abortion rights.

"Personally, I do think there should be a core set of Democratic ideals that we all agree to," she added. "That you can't say you're a Democrat if you're against immigrants, if you're against abortion, if you're against gay marriage, LGBTQ rights."

"I'm not sure what it means to be a Democrat if all of those things are true," Jayapal added.

Her remarks come as a clear shot aimed at her party's House campaign wing, which has offered continued public support for Rep. Daniel LipinskiDaniel William LipinskiOvernight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses Overnight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses House Democrats vote to overturn Trump ban on fetal tissue research MORE (D-Ill.), an incumbent lawmaker who won a close battle for reelection against a progressive, pro-abortion rights challenger endorsed by EMILY's List and other groups last year.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), led by Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosDCCC chair: Brooks retirement signals challenge for GOP women DCCC chair: Brooks retirement signals challenge for GOP women Democrats set to use McConnell's legislative graveyard against him MORE (D-Ill.), has so far refused to bow to progressive demands to end its policy of blacklisting vendors who work for primary challengers, a move that has earned the ire of many who took office after winning primaries against Democratic incumbents.

Bustos herself is set to fundraise for Lipinski in the coming days even amid pressure from her party to support candidates that do not oppose the right to an abortion.

Jayapal's comments were echoed by fellow Progressive Caucus member Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaDems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Congress must use upcoming defense bills to guard against a confrontation with Iran MORE (D-Calif.), who tweeted Friday that the DCCC's support for Lipinksi was "demeaning to women across this nation."

"At a time when Roe v Wade is under threat with the Alabama law, the last person the DCCC should be supporting is Lipinski who does not believe in constitutional reproductive rights," Khanna tweeted.