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Lucas Kunce now says he's pro-abortion

Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri flip-flops on abortion

The list of pro-life Democrat politicians continues to shrink. Lucas Kunce, who has announced his candidacy to replace Roy Blunt in the U.S. Senate, now calls himself pro-choice.

Kunce unsuccessfully challenged Republican Mark Bruns for a state House seat when he was 24 years old. According to news reports and surveys at the time, Kunce ran as a “pretty conservative Democrat” who was anti-abortion and opposed to taxpayer funds being used to promote or subsidize organizations that provided abortion services. But in recent social media posts, he said “reproductive freedom is an important aspect that will be included” in his campaign’s platform.

“I support Roe v. Wade,” he said. “Their body, their choice.”

The change of heart regarding one of the most polarizing political issues did not go unnoticed by Democratic voters and activists as the field of potential candidates to replace Blunt expands. Dan Green, communications director for the national Democrats for Life group, said there is “definitely an appetite” for a pro-life Democratic candidate in Missouri. But, he noted, his group has not endorsed any Missouri candidates in current races.

“We’re in a situation now where things are so polarized that it’s not only a question of whether there’s room for pro-life candidates in the Democratic Party — and that’s been a live question for a long time — but now the parallel question is: Are there pro-life voters, is there a constituency of pro-life voters who are willing to back pro-life Democrats?”

A 2019 Pew Research study found that 50 percent of Missourians opposed abortion, which was higher than the national average of 39 percent. Missouri is one of seven states that enacted strong pro-life laws that year, and in four of them, a majority of adults said they opposed abortion.

A more recent poll finds overwhelming pro-life support in Missouri.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice