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Dem Convention: Democrats for Life Caucus

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UPDATE:

Just got an email from White spokesperson Katy Bacon. “Our staffer at the pro-life caucus made a mistake,” she wrote. “Bill does NOT support an ultrasound bill.”

That’s probably a relief for the NARAL and Planned Parenthood folks but where does it leave the pro-life Democrats? “Bill’s reaching out to Texans who have different views on issues,” Bacon said. Based on the meeting, I’m not sure that will be a relief. Kerschen, the president of Democrats for Life Texas said White ignored the pro-life movement as mayor.

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Life isn’t easy for pro-life Democrats, but Bill White may ease the burden a bit. At this morning’s Democrats for Life caucus meeting, a White campaign rep assured the approximately 30 folks in the room that White “is going to leave the status quo as is” when it comes to abortion law in Texas.

Oh yeah, and he’ll sign an ultrasound bill should it come up.

The assurances were surprising. White attended the national Planned Parenthood banquet last year in Houston and is known for being pro-choice. But they weren’t enough to relax Lois Kerschen, the president for Democrats for Life Texas.

“We’re really gonna have to talk,” she told the campaign. “You cannot get elected in this state if you don’t get the pro-life vote … You cannot win without us.”

The dilemma is one her group faces frequently—support the Democrat or the pro-life candidate? It’s rare that they’re one in the same. “Once they’re born there are other life issues,” Kerschen told the assembly. “Our party’s the one that carries the banner for the weak and the helpless.”

The meeting went relatively smoothly until a debate about abstinence only education got some folks riled up. After one attendee argued that abstinence only education led to abortions, another told her she was unequivocally incorrect.

“I do say no and more importantly my daughter says no,” he told the crowd indignantly. When it turned out his daughter was only 15 years old, some started laughing.

One sweet-sounding old lady spoke up. “We’re Church of Christ,” she explained, and even that moniker didn’t keep her daughters on the straight and narrow. “And they were dating Church of Christ boys!”

Well then.

The first half of the meeting focused on the pro-life victories in health care. (The executive order “covers everything” Kerschen assured everyone.) Attacks against Planned Parenthood were fairly non-partisan.

“Planned Parenthood is a billion dollar business, 367 million is what they got in federal, state and local funds,” Kerschen continued. “Definitely they make a profit.”

I’m hoping the Alliance for Life booth will be sitting next to NARAL in the exhibition hall. Because really, there hasn’t been not enough drama so far.