“Frankly, I was disappointed in his behavior and in the fact that my own party has not denounced his behavior,” he said. According to Matozzo, there are many pro-life Democrats serving as elected officials in state and local politics in Pennsylvania.
“Not only do they win, they win in convincing fashion,” he said. “I think we need to tell members of our party that. Do we want to be purists on an issue that many people are extremely morally opposed to, and that scientifically doesn’t really back you up? Or are we going to advocate for everyone, including those of us in the womb?”
“As long as there is one Democrat in elected office who will vote their conscience and vote pro-life, we still have a place,” he added.
Matozzo pointed to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ May 14 passage of H.B. 321, which bans abortion in cases where the unborn baby is diagnosed with Down syndrome. The bill, still under consideration in the Senate, passed by a vote of 117 to 76.
“Thirteen Democrats voted in favor of that bill,” Matozzo said.
In Matozzo’s view, pro-life Democrats are best positioned to reach other Democrats and to counter many arguments against pro-life advocates, like claims about not caring about women, not caring about children after they are born, or not caring about social welfare programs.
“I’m in favor of universal health care, I’m in favor of food stamps, CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), crisis pregnancy centers,” he said. “These things the government can and does currently fund to support women in crisis pregnancies.”
Pro-life Democrats can argue against Planned Parenthood from the angle that it is “a multi-million-dollar business that is trying to monopolize their heinous industry.”
“They’re not in it for care, they’re in it to make money,” he charged.
“These are the kinds of arguments we can make as pro-life Democrats to other Democrats to show them [that] abortion is never the solution to a problem, it only creates another problem,” Matozzo told CNA. “When we come at it from those angles I think we have a winning message.”
As for practical politics, he said, pro-life Democrats must get elected in the same way as any other candidate: “It’s organization, it’s showing up, and it’s making sure that the pro-life issue is not a partisan one.”
(Story continues below)
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He suggested pro-lifers in general need to work on showing support “for everybody who votes pro-life,” regardless of their political party. Many pro-life Democrats are afraid and face pressure to change their views, he said, noting that Democrats for Life is “serving as their voice.”
“Pro-life organizations don’t step up for Democrats nearly as much. That’s why we need to exist,” he said.
On May 10, a “Pro-Life Rally Against Bullying” drew 1,000 people outside of the same Planned Parenthood where Sims had allegedly harassed people. Pro-life speakers at the event called for Sims’ resignation. Leaders from local and national pro-life groups attended the rally, including the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Family Council, 40 Days for Life, Students for Life, Sidewalk Advocates for Life, Sidewalk Servants, and the Susan B. Anthony List.
Matozzo, who attended the rally, praised the event as “a way for the pro-life community to come together in Philly at a critical time.”
He suggested that people who are not pro-life are “feeling the heat” in a changing climate.
“They’re reacting in a way that is not acceptable,” he said. “I think we need to keep doing what we’ve been doing. We can’t be intimidated, we can’t be harassed, we can’t be bullied into not witnessing in front of clinics in defense of life.