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When news broke last month that Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, the country’s most popular progressive lawmaker, and Deputy DNC Chair Keith Ellison would attend a rally with the self-described “personally pro-life” mayoral candidate, pro-choice organization NARAL Pro-Choice America went after the DNC, saying that its support of an “anti-choice candidate” was “disappointing” and “politically stupid.”Perez had previously suggested that the Democratic Party should not “demand fealty” on every issue, including abortion.After NARAL’s criticism, however, the DNC Chair put out a statement widely viewed inside and outside the Democratic Party as a demand for unequivocal support for the party’s pro-choice platform.“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” the chair said.“That’s what it looks like when Democrats, in Congress or at the DNC, indicate a willingness to support, or set aside time to meet with, anyone who doesn’t believe that women’s reproductive rights are fundamental human rights.” Matson added that the DNC should be transparent about the details of Perez’s outreach to pro-life Democrats, including who participates in any conversations with the chair, and what is discussed.NARAL and Planned Parenthood declined to comment for this story.This page explains the details of age of consent and the exceptions.Note: The information below is not intended to be legal advice.Kristen Day, the executive director of Democrats for Life of America, said her organization hopes to make the case during the meeting with Perez that “there needs to be a stronger message from the top of the party on down that we want to include pro-life Democrats in the party.” She added: “that means the party needs to help find pro-life Democratic candidates to run for office, help raise money for them, and help them win.”According to Day, Democrats for Life met with past DNC chairs, including Terry Mc Auliffe, Howard Dean, and Tim Kaine, adding that the group made attempts to meet with former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but was not granted a meeting.In an interview, Dean confirmed that he met with the group while serving as DNC Chair.

“The DNC chair shouldn’t be saying things that can be interpreted as a litmus test that will alienate people from the party.”Red-state and pro-life Democrats denounced Perez’s statement as a litmus test on the issue of abortion.“That is not negotiable.” He added: “We must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice.”A race against an incumbent Republican mayor in a state Trump won handily would not have been easy for any Democratic candidate, but a source close to the Mello campaign argued that backlash from pro-choice activists and Perez’s statement that the party should speak “with one voice” on the issue of abortion, hurt Mello by opening him up to attack from national progressive groups and Republicans in Nebraska all at the same time.Perez’s comments on the race were used against Mello by his Republican challenger Jean Stothert.” Pelosi and Schumer both have 100 percent ratings from Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s congressional scorecard.Appeals from prominent Democrats to the idea that the party is a “big tent,” however, and news that Perez is expected to meet with pro-life Democrats have frustrated some pro-choice activists who fear that Democratic leaders are signaling that support for access to abortion is negotiable, despite the party platform.“It’s incredibly discouraging to hear what sounds like equivocating on this issue,” said Erin Matson, a reproductive rights advocate based in Virginia.

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