The Democratic Party, on top of all of its other problems, has found itself plunged into a civil war over the issue of abortion. One of the truisms of American politics is that the Democrats are the pro-choice party, favoring a woman’s right to have an abortion under almost all circumstances and that the Republicans are the pro-life party, favoring a ban on abortion under almost all circumstances. But about 24 percent of Democrats consider themselves pro-life, and a number of Republicans hew toward the pro-choice position.

There is the rub. The latest dust-up over abortion, according to the Washington Free Beacon, started when Sen.

Bernie Sanders and Rep. Keith Ellison endorsed Heath Mello in his race to be mayor of Omaha, Nebraska. Since Mello is pro-life, these endorsements roused the wrath of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League and the Daily Kos.

Then the newly elected chair of the National Democratic Party tom perez issued a statement that, in effect, said that one cannot be a Democrat and not be for a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.

The statement caused a full-bore panic among some elected Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer who, while solidly pro-choice, know how to count. They declared that the Democrats comprise a big tent party and welcome both sides of the argument Sen.

Dick Durbin tried a creepy compromise by suggesting that a Democrat could be personally pro-life but had better toe the pro-choice line when voting for legislation or else.

Abortion is one of those issues that have an abundance of strong feelings on both sides of the question and a lack of legislative remedies, thanks to the Roe v.

Wade decision that made the procedure legal in every state of the Union. The pro-choice side is absolute that a woman must have absolute autonomy over her body. The pro-life side is just as firm in the belief since an embryo is a human being from the moment of conception, abortion is murder and ought not to be allowed. Never is the Twain likely to meet.

Perez’s doctrine, if followed, would certainly reduce the Democratic Party to permanent minority status. The Democrats can ill afford to lose 24 percent of its membership to either form a third party or to join the Republicans. Perez has forgotten the political truism that elections are won by addition, not subtraction. That means a tolerance of allies who might believe in things that one finds abhorrent, so long as widespread concurrence is present on most importance things. The demand for ideological purity is a certain prescription for defeat.