Democratic Leadership Supports Pro-Life Candidate While Bemoaning End Of Roe

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Despite blasting a Supreme Court ruling likely overturning Roe v. Wade, top House Democrats are continuing to support the only member of their caucus who opposes an expansive legal abortion regime.

Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar was the only House Democrat to vote against the Women’s Health Protection Act in September 2021. The bill would legalize abortion at any point in a woman’s pregnancy, and would weaken conscience protections for healthcare providers who refuse to perform the procedure. Cuellar is currently facing attorney Jessica Cisneros in a primary run-off, and has the support of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Majority Whip James Clyburn.

“As a Catholic, I do not support abortion, however, we cannot have an outright ban,” Cuellar said of a leaked Supreme Court majority opinion draft overturning Roe v. Wade. “There must be exceptions in the case of rape, incest, and danger to the life of the mother.”

“My faith is clear: abortion must be rare and safe.”

Cisneros, who is endorsed by Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, has repeatedly assailed Cuellar’s position. She called on all three senior Democrats to withdraw their support from Cuellar on Wednesday.

“With the House majority on the line, he could very much be the deciding vote on the future of our reproductive rights and we cannot afford to take that risk,” she told NBC News.

All three senior Democrats have couched the Supreme Court’s potential ruling as an attack on women’s rights. (RELATED: Dems Seize On Roe V. Wade Reports To Call For Court Packing, Federal Abortion Laws)

Clyburn claimed that opposition to abortion is about “controlling those decisions” about women’s bodies, while Pelosi claimed that the prospective ruling would “obliterate even more of our freedoms.”

Nevertheless, Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn continue to support Cuellar’s campaign. None of the three responded to the Daily Caller’s request for comment about their endorsements.

Pelosi and Hoyer emphasized Cuellar’s long career in Congress when discussing their support for him. Cuellar held multiple elected offices in Texas before entering the House in 2005.

“I support my incumbents,” Pelosi said in March. “I support every one of them, from right to left. That is what I do.”

His efforts have helped South Texas families build back better from the pandemic, and his work passing middle-class tax cuts, affordable health care, and access to education for working families has helped contribute to the gain of almost half a million jobs in Texas last year alone,” Hoyer said in January when announcing his support.

Clyburn is scheduled to campaign with Cuellar on Wednesday in San Antonio.