J. Pepper Bryars: Have pro-life Democrat candidates become an endangered species in Alabama?

(Christine Szeto/Flickr)

Pro-life candidates in the Alabama Democratic Party have long been on the political equivalent of the threatened species list.

Abortion rights extremists have hunted them mercilessly, their numbers have dropped precipitously, and their once vast territory has shrunk to a few measly electoral acres on the outskirts of their party.

But has the nomination of Doug Jones signaled that they’ve officially become an endangered species in Alabama?

“The National Democratic Party has made it difficult for pro-life people to feel welcome in the party,” said state Rep. Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, the former minority leader of the Alabama House, in a recent interview. “Most of the elected officials who have switched parties in Alabama over the last six or seven years have cited abortion as a key reason for leaving. It’s definitely a problem for Democrats in conservative states.”

How bad of a problem?

Their national office touched off a firestorm a few months ago when their chairman said the Democratic National Committee wouldn’t fund any candidates who were pro-life.

When other parts of their fund-raising apparatus countered and said they’d indeed fund some pro-life candidates, the base of the party went nuts.

Seems some folks in Alabama heard them.

The Alabama Democratic Party didn’t nominate a moderate on abortion rights, someone who’ll say it should be limited to the first three months of pregnancy.

Nope. They put up a full-on abortion rights extremist that would make Nancy Pelosi proud.

Jones appeared on MSNBC recently and was asked whether he’d support banning abortion after 20-weeks, the time at which an unborn child is known to feel the pain of the brutal procedure.

“You wouldn’t be in favor of legislation that said ban abortion after 20 weeks, or something like that?” asked Chuck Todd, the show’s host.

“No, I’m not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman’s right and her freedom to choose,” Jones said. “That’s just the position that I’ve had for many years, it’s the position I continue to have.”

Jones then tried to soften his ghastly view by adding that “once a baby is born, I’m going to be there for that child, that’s where I become a right-to-lifer.”

How generous of you, Doug.

If the Democrats cannot nominate a pro-life candidate in Alabama, does it mean they’re now truly an extinct species in the Deep South?

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