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 JayapalMedicare for all: fears and facts House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death 'KamalaCare' fails to address big problem: That we cannot trust insurance companies 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.


"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 LipinskiYoung Democrats look to replicate Ocasio-Cortez's primary path The Hill's Morning Report - 2020 jitters hit both parties in the Senate Justice Democrats issues 3 new endorsements for progressive candidates 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 is out of step with Democratic values Climate report makes agri-business a target Farmers have to be part of climate solutions 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) KhannaKing incites furor with abortion, rape and incest remarks San Jose mayor proposes mandatory liability insurance for gun owners Democrats give cold shoulder to Warren wealth tax 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.