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Democrats and abortion: Attorneys general PAC adds litmus test, pro-life governor reelected

Democrats and abortion: Attorneys general PAC adds litmus test, pro-life governor reelected

Democratic incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards speaks to a crowd at the Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel on November 16, 2019 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by ) | Getty Images/Matt Sullivan

The Democrat Party’s challenges on abortion continued this weekend with the re-election of Louisiana’s pro-life Democratic governor while a prominent national Democratic political action committee instituted an abortion litmus test for its support. 

Days after Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards secured re-election in a highly conservative state, the Democratic Attorneys General Association announced that candidates for attorneys general nationwide must support expanded access to abortion if they want the group’s backing. 

“From here forward, the Democratic Attorneys General Association will only endorse candidates who stand with the majority of Americans who support protecting reproductive rights,” the organization announced in a video posted online. 

DAGA was formed in 2002 to support Democrats running for the office of attorneys general in U.S. states and territories. The office of the attorney general is usually the top legal office in a given state. 

According to The New York Times, DAGA became the first national party committee to explicitly state that it will refuse to support any candidate that does not support “reproductive rights” and access to abortion. 

DAGA’s video bashed bills designed to restrict abortion access and claimed that a majority of Americans believe in a “woman’s right to choose.” DAGA’s decision comes as several states this year passed legislation designed to ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected or earlier in gestation. One of those bills was signed by the Democrat, Edwards, in Lousiana. 

Although the move by DAGA will not effect Edwards as a governor, it could impact Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who is the only one of 27 Democrat attorney generals that consider himself to be a “pro-life Democrat.” 

“Attorney’s general are the frontlines in the fight for reproductive freedom,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in the DAGA video. “They have the power to protect your rights and we have the power to elect them. It’s your body, your family, your choice, your vote. If they stand with us, they stand with you.” 

The move by DAGA follows comments made by Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez in April 2017. In a statement at the time, Perez claimed that “every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health.”

He went on to say that support for abortion rights is “not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.” He added that the party “must…

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