Press Releases

PRO-LIFE DEMOCRATS ASK PARTY CHAIR FOR INCLUSION, MEET TO DISCUSS

Posted in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CONTACT: Kristen Day

June 28, 2017                                                                         (703) 424-6663

 

Washington, D.C. – Pro-life Democratic leaders met with Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Tom Perez to request that the DNC set forth specific steps for inclusion of pro-life Democrats in the party. The meeting was requested by Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) after DNC Chair Perez made a strong statement that all Democrats should support abortion rights and that his stated position was not negotiable.

“Our Democratic Party is in deep trouble, losing more than 1000 legislative seats since 2008,” said Kristen Day, executive director of DFLA. “Telling one-third of Democrats that their support for life in the womb is inconsistent with Democratic values will not help rebuild our numbers. We asked for the meeting to explain to DNC Chair Tom Perez how embracing pro-life Democrats could help the party win again.”

National polls consistently show that one in three Democrats is pro-life. Polls also indicate that most Americans support a number of sensible pro-life policies, including a prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion, regulations to make abortion safer for women, and bans on abortion after 20 weeks or after fetal viability.

“Our goal in the meeting was to explain that pro-life Democrats oppose abortion but that we also support a strong social safety net for pregnant women and new parents,” said Day. “There is a misconception that pro-lifers don’t care about the baby once she or he is born. We like to call ourselves whole-life because we support life from womb to tomb. We are not your typical pro-life group.”

Democrats For Life of America was one of the few pro-life organizations that supported and continues to support the Affordable Care Act and health care for all. Pro-life Democratic legislators support virtually the entire Democratic Party legislative agenda, disagreeing only on issues of abortion and euthanasia. Pro-life Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards signed Medicaid expansion into law in Louisiana as one of his first acts after being sworn in.

“We need to recruit, consider, and support more candidates, like Governor Edwards, who are unapologetically whole-life,” said Day. “We need to be the party of Bill Clinton, who affirmed over and over again that abortion should be rare; the party of Barack Obama, who called abortion a “moral tragedy” and whose presidency brought our nation the lowest abortion rate since Roe v. Wade; and the party of Ted Kennedy, who consistently led efforts to uphold the conscience-clause protections. This is who we have been and what we should be today.”

Defund Planned Parenthood

Posted in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
March 9, 2017
CONTACT: Kristen Day (703) 424-6663
 
 
Yes, We Should Defund Planned Parenthood
STATEMENT OF KRISTEN DAY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
OF DEMOCRATS FOR LIFE OF AMERICA
 
 
For many years, many people have challenged the appropriateness of government funding of Planned Parenthood because the organization concurrently has received both funding to counsel pregnant women and to perform abortions. It is a basic principle of ethics that one cannot have any self-advantageous incentive, financial or otherwise, to counsel another person about a moral decision of such great magnitude. 
 
Elected by voters set on eliminating taxpayer-funded abortions, President Donald Trump recently has called on Planned Parenthood to separate its abortion business from its other services in order to qualify for continued government subsidies. 
 
 Democrats For Life of America supports this compromise because:
  • This accommodation satisfies the longstanding and bipartisan federal policy that prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion – a policy that is supported by most Americans.  Planned Parenthood’s current extensive provision of abortion procedures (they are the largest abortion provider in the S.) sets it outside the acceptable parameters for receipt of federal government monies. 
  • At Planned Parenthood, tax dollars currently subsidize “pregnancy counseling” services.  This “counseling” gets taxpayer-funded reimbursement despite the fact that the primary pregnancy “service” Planned Parenthood offers is abortion. This bias invalidates the “counseling” because the organization clearly has a material interest in encouraging every pregnant woman to schedule an abortion. According to Planned Parenthood’s 2014-2015 annual report, they served approximately 2.5 million people and performed 323,999 abortionsbut provided only 17,419 prenatal visits.  And how many of those prenatal visits entailed “counseling” a mother to choose abortion rather than to choose birth? 
  • If Planned Parenthood declines the compromise, the taxpayer funding should be allocated to the 9,800 Community Health Centers in rural and urban communities around the country that provide comprehensive medical care and other health care to more than 25 million people, far beyond the minimal reproductive services provided by Planned Parenthood to only one-tenth as many people.

Big Tent Party Closes its Doors

Posted in Press Releases

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CONTACT: Kristen Day

February 10, 2017                                                                             (703) 424-6663

 

Democratic Party Refuses Petition to Include Democrats

Who Want to Reduce Abortion

 

Washington, D.C. – Pro-life Democrats in Michigan asked a simple question of its leadership – include pro-life Democratsin the big tent of the party of diversity and inclusion. The answer was a stunning no. Pro-life Democrats focus on programs to support pregnant women, such as paid maternity leave, support for parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis, prenatal and postnatal care, affordable childcare, and other efforts to support pregnant women and new parents.

“Pro-life Democratsbelieve that our party has the best opportunity to reduce abortion in this country and ensure that no woman feels that abortion is her only choice,” said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America. “The language offered by our Michigan Democrats offers an opportunity to open the big tent and bring Democrats back to the party.”

The proposed language, approved by the Leelanau Democrats, states:

“We respect the conscience of each American and recognize that members of our party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, such as abortion and the death penalty.  We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength, and we welcome into our ranks all Americans who may hold differing positions on these and other issues.”

Former State Representative John O’Neill has been leading the effort, and he made the case before his local party. They recognized the importance of not alienating members of their own party. John then took the next step, taking the resolution to the Michigan Democratic Party. The Leelanau resolution was rejected by the Michigan Democratic Party’s Resolutions Committee, but O’Neill hopes to find a way to introduce it on the floor at the Michigan Democratic Party Spring State Convention at Cobo Hall in Detroit this Saturday, February 11, 2017.  

“The Leelanau Democrats, most of whom are pro-choice, sent me to the state party with this inclusive language for Democratswho support the sanctity of life and 99 percent of the Democratic Party platform,” said O’Neill. “It’s disappointing, then, to witness the state Resolutions Committee reject out of hand this resolution that is entirely in keeping with the Democratic values of respect for personal conscience and diversity.  How can a party succeed when it abandons its core values?  We will not give up until we return the party to its roots.”

Pro-life Democrats are not asking the Michigan Democratic Party to change its stance on choice, but only to add language to welcome pro-life Democrats under the big tent. The Michigan Democratic Party has mirrored the national party’s downward trend.  Nationally, Democrats have lost more than 1,000 state legislative seats, and the party is at its lowest numbers since the beginning of the 19th century. Michigan is one of 27 states in which Republicans control all three branches of state government. 

Democrats have little hope of reclaiming their majority status if they continue to exclude one-third of their membership,” said Jason Duncan, state contact for Michigan Democrats For Life. “Polls consistently show that one-third of Democrats are pro-life, and this stamp of disapproval and exclusion by our state party sends the wrong message to pro-life Democratic voters. Michigan is missing an opportunity to show what the "big tent" strategy looks like and set an example for state parties across the country.

Millennials are more pro-life than any generation before them since Roe v. Wade, but they feel as if they are at a loss when it comes to finding a political party to support.

As much as my peers and I love the values of egalitarianism and justice which the Democrats uphold, I can't help but notice the inconsistency of neglecting the human rights of prenatal children,” said Chrissy Healy, medical student and pro-life Democrat. “I know I could never violate my conscience by voting for a candidate who supports extremist pro-choice legislation even if I support the vast majority of his or herother positions. If room were made within the Democratic Party for people like meand the other pro-life people in my generation, I wouldn't hesitate to give it my full support.”

One in three Democrats are already pro-life, and most Americans in the middle support pro-life policies, such as the halting of federal funding for abortion. But the Democratic Party keeps rejecting its pro-life base in favor of extremist positions, further alienating Americans and risking the future of both the party and the country. Since the national party abandoned the 50 State Strategy that would have supported pro-life candidates, the Democratic Party has lost 912 state legislative seats and the control of 30 state legislative chambers, 69 U.S. House seats, 13 U.S. Senate seats, and 13 governorships.

"The Democratic Party is in deep trouble," said former Michigan State Rep. Joel Sheltrown.  "We have one Democratic representative north of US 10, and if we continue to push away members of our own party, we will remain a minority party.  People who are pro-life make sure they get to the polls and vote. We need those votes to win. And, right now, those pro-life Democratic voters are not supporting our party."

We Have Signs

Posted in Press Releases

 
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.
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2016 Elections: The tortoise and the hare

Posted in Press Releases

DFLA Newsletter
January, 2017
 
The Pro-Life Voice Within the Democratic Party
POST-ELECTION ANALYSIS 
The tortoise and the hare
 
Watching the post-election analysis reminds me of Aesop's fable The Tortoise and the Hare. The hare thought he was in such good shape he did not have to put in a lot of effort to win the race. All indications were that the hare was clearly faster and there was no question he could beat the tortoise. However, the hare was over- confident, took a nap, and lost. 
 
Just as with the 2016 election, the Clinton team was over confident and did not visit nor bother appealing to necessary constituencies within the Democratic Party. The campaign, like the hare, thought they could walk away with a victory.
 
Sure, on paper, no one thought Donald Trump could win. Hillary Clinton clearly had more experience from serving as a U.S. senator and  secretary of state. However, Democrats ignored the fact that they were already losing before the presidential race even began. No post-race excuses can excuse away the pre-race reality. All the pre-race indicators, which Democrats For Life released in its 2016 report, were ignored in favor of a pre-conceived narrative that Democrats could win because they thought they were better than the alternative.
 
It is a hard lesson to learn.
 
But it could also be the necessary fall before the rise.
 
Recent articles are beginning to acknowledge that the Democratic Party is stronger when we are inclusive, and particularly when we include pro-life voices (see column to the right).
 
Electing pro-life Democrats in 2018 will be critically important. Of the 25 Democratic senators who are up for re-election, three have pro-life voting records:  Senator Joe Donnelly (IN), Senator Joe Manchin (WV) and Senator Bob Casey (PA). We hope more pro-life Democrats will make a run for U.S. House seats this year, and we will be let you know when they do.
 
Our state chapters will be letting us know what state house seats have pro-life candidates.
 
Our work is making a difference, and we need your help to continue this effort. Please consider making a contribution today to help implement our 2017 plans (see attachment).
 
Thank you for your continued support.
 
With warmest regards and wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year,
 
Kristen Day
Executive Director
 
Table of Contents
Join us at the March for Life 
 
Click here to learn more about our March for Life Breakfast.
Post-election articles show our message is being heard! 
 
 
Democrats Have a Religion Problem. This is an interview with Michael Wear, former director of President Obama's Faith-Based office. TheAtlantic.com, Dec. 25, 2016.
 
In Order to Compete Nationally, Democrats Must Embrace Pro-Life Candidates.   A pro-choice writer candidly argues the importance of the pro-life movement.  PasteMagazine.com, Dec. 6, 2016.
 
Leaving Pro-lifers behind: An end-of-year look at Hillary Clinton's loss. This article talks about Democrats' abortion problem. LiveActionNews.org, Dec. 31, 2016.
 
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DFLA Mission Statement

Democrats For Life of America advocates and supports programs and policies that respect and promote life from conception to natural death. This includes, but is not limited to, opposition to abortion, capital punishment, and euthanasia.  Learn more...