• picture of baby and laughing boy with caption Pro-life for the whole life.
  • New York whole life Democrats billboard that reads Protect the weakest in society, especially the unborn.
  • DFLA marchers at Women's March
  • 1 in 3 Democrats are pro-life
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DFLA General

OPPORTUNITIES TO INCLUDE PRO-LIFE DEMOCRATS AND REINVIGORATE THE PARTY: STEPS THE DNC CAN TAKE TO INCLUDE PRO-LIFE DEMOCRATS

Clear Statement from the Party Chair with Inclusive Language for Pro-Life Democrats

We request a clear statement from our party chair that eliminates the current litmus test on abortion. Saying we are a big tent party that includes pro-life Democrats does not do enough to ensure that this practice will be followed. Pro-life Democratic candidates should be free to advocate and vote their conscience without pressure from party leadership.  Therefore, we request a public statement on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) website and a letter from the national chair to all state and local party chairs explaining that the party does not support an abortion litmus test and pressuring people to change their position on life.

Return to the 50-State Strategy

When Democrats followed the 50-state strategy, as recently as 2006 and 2008, we won. It means seeking out and supporting competitive Democratic candidates throughout the country, at all levels of government. As documented in our “Open The Big Tent” report, the losses for Democrats since the beginning of the Obama administration have been staggering. Our party is in its weakest state since 1928. Currently, one-third of all Democratic members of Congress are located in THREE states: California, Massachusetts, and New York. We cannot simply be the party of the West Coast and the Northeast. We need to open up and support Democratic Party candidates who represent all of America.

Allow a Pro-Life Democratic Community 

The DNC brings many communities together so that like-minded individuals have an opportunity to work toward common goals. A listing for the pro-life Democratic community on the website would portray that we are an inclusive and diverse party. Consultants need to be told by the party that they serve the candidate, not the party.

Identify Pro-Life Democratic Voters and Pro-Life-Leaning Districts

Establish a process to identify pro-life Democrats in the DNC database for appropriate messaging and fundraising. Current Democratic polling gives an inaccurate picture of the community’s values on abortion. Polling usually asks only if you support overturning Roe v. Wade, to which many pro-life people would answer, “No.”  Pollsters need to ask specific questions that provide a clear understanding of the values of the district and that allow the Democratic candidate to create a position and message that resonates in that district. Such questions include support for reasonable regulations of abortion, for barring taxpayer funding of non-therapeutic abortions, for abortion-reducing safety-net measures to support women and children, and for restrictions on abortion after 20 weeks of gestation.

Enable Consulting for Pro-Life Democrats

Pro-life Democrats often have trouble finding political consultants who understand pro-life districts. Currently, consultants frequently caution candidates to either minimize or change their position even in districts that are consistently won by pro-life candidates.

Enable Financial Support for Pro-Life Democrats

We request the establishment of a Democratic Pro-Life Political Action Committee to be used specifically to support pro-life Democratic candidates.

Discuss Inclusive Abortion Language in the 2020 Democratic Party Platform

The 2020 party platform language on abortion must be inclusive of Democrats who oppose abortion; at the very least, it must remove the language opposing the Hyde Amendment. As a party, we should prioritize decreasing abortion and making it rare, as Bill Clinton expressed in his campaign. This is something on which everyone can agree. 

Thank You Nat Hentoff and Senator Colgan

THANK YOU NAT HENTOFF AND SENATOR COLGAN
Pro-life leaders remembered
 
Nat Hentoff 
Nat Hentoff was a friend and supporter of Democrats For Life of America and served on our Advisory Board for several years. A writer for the Village Voice for more than 50 years, he held a liberal orthodoxy. His passion was jazz and he frequently wrote about his love of music, including several books. He was a fierce advocate for free speech,  and strongly opposed abortion. The intersection of these two principles coincided in the early 1990’s.
 
In 1992, after Governor Robert Casey of Pennsylvania was prevented from speaking at the Democratic National Convention about abortion, Hentoff hosted the governor at the historic Cooper Union so he would have an opportunity to share his views on abortion. However, the governor was once again silenced by a group of “hooligans” who “made all speech except their own inaudible.”
 
In addition to opposing abortion, Hentoff defended the rights of peoplel with disablities and the elderly. His consistently well-thought writings and advocacy for human rights will be missed.
 
Farewell Nat Nentoff by Jonathan Turley
 
Senator Colgan
Senator Chuck Colgan retired from the Virginia state senate in 2015, at the young age of 89. Part of me wonders if he stayed there because he was the lone pro-life Democrat in the Virginia senate.
 
He was the longest-serving member of the Virginia state senate. First elected in 1975, he served in the leadership as the president pro tempore and budget conferee.
 
He was quiet but effective, not only willing but also encouraging of working across party lines for the good of the state. We hope we can find a pro-life Democrat to fill Senator Chuck Colgan's very big shoes and the hole left in our state legislature.
 

DEMOCRATS FOR LIFE of AMERICA

In representing pro-life Democrats within the true "big tent" party, DFLA works across a broad spectrum of life ethics. We recognize that people of good faith have different approaches to these issues; therefore, we refuse to use a single issue as a "litmus test" to exclude those who would otherwise seek common ground with us on the expansion of human rights.

We encourage all people committed to the common good to work together to protect human life at all of its stages.

The goal of this site is to be a resource for pro-life Democrats across the United States.  How can we help you, and how can you help DFLA?  A great place to start is to sign up for our newsletter and to check out the information below: