Christian Matozzo is one of those Democrats.
Being a pro-life Democrat means supporting the “whole life,” Matozzo, a Philly-native, said. He cited Bob Casey Sr., the former Pennsylvania governor who wasn’t allowed to deliver a pro-life speech at a Democratic National Convention, as exemplifying this model.
Matozzo is head of the Pa. chapter of Democrats for Life of America, which supports full bans on abortion, overturning Roe v. Wade and defunding Planned Parenthood. He found the organization online and became a volunteer, including at last July’s DNC in Philly.
Conversations with Democrats at the convention were varied, he said: About a fifth of the people who approached the chapter’s booth agreed with their stance, while three-fifths didn’t.
“We’re fighting for our stake at the table,” he said. “We want our voice to be heard.”
At the moment, his group is trying to make that happen through membership building. Matozzo couldn’t provide specific membership numbers, but said about 30 people and 12 speakers attended an April conference. One of those speakers was state Rep. Michael J. Driscoll, who represents part of North Philly and voted in favor of the 20-week ban.
Matozzo is watching the debate happening on the national level and sees the 2018 elections as a referendum on whether pro-life Democrats like Sen. Bob Casey are part of the party’s future.
“I’m convinced that we have a space in this party,” he said. “We have a place here.”