Democrat Bel Edwards Follows Through on Whole Life Promises

Posted in Press Releases

May 24, 2016
CONTACT: Kristen Day (202) 220-3066

Louisiana’s John Bel Edwards is showing the nation what a Whole Life Democrat looks like, signing laws to extend Medicaid and to protect the health of women.

“Governor Edwards represents the future of the Democratic Party,” said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America.  “We cannot ignore any person who needs assistance, whether it be access to health care or the protection of the right to life.”

Bel Edwards made being a Pro-Life (Whole Life) Democrat part of his campaign for governor, and he followed through on his promises once he took office in January.  The day after being sworn in, Bel Edwards signed an executive order expanding Medicaid to cover an additional 300,000 Louisiana residents.

On May 19th, he signed into law two new protections for women.  The first requires that all doctors who perform abortions be board-certified either in obstetrics and gynecology or in family medicine, or that the doctors be certifiable in these fields.  The law is intended to protect women from dangerous abortion mills run by unqualified staff.

The other protection extends the waiting period for women seeking abortions from 24 hours to 72 hours.  This additional time affords women the opportunity to reflect and make a real choice, without being pressured into an abortion.

“Many women are coerced into abortion because they believe it is their only choice,” said Day. “As Democrats, we should be seeking more ways to provide support and opportunity for women to carry their children to term, not advocating for unsafe abortion.”

By protecting the poor and the vulnerable, Bel Edwards shows what a Whole Life Democrat administration can do, and why this type of leadership is so needed in the Democratic Party right now.

“Americans are tired of having two parties that don’t represent their beliefs.  There are more than 20 million Pro-Life (Whole Life) Democrats ready to fight for a candidate who shares their commitment to freedom and justice, security and prosperity, equality and community, and hope and progress,” said. Day.


Democrats could destroy the GOP — if only they would welcome antiabortion liberals

Posted in DFLA in the News


By: Charles Camosy (As Featured in Washington Post on March 21st)


The GOP was in serious trouble well before the great crackup of 2016. The Tea Party insurgency exposed serious fault lines on everything from immigration to military spending. The antiabortion wing continues to demand that the party defy its central emphasis on limited government by passing legislation that overrides the autonomy of the individual. Today, only 26 percent of Americans identify as Republicans, and with their inability to reach Latinos and Millennials, things don’t look good for the GOP’s future. If Democrats are paying attention, they could easily capitalize on the dissolution of longstanding coalitions to fatten their own.

But they’d have to change the way they think about abortion.

The composition of the GOP is ripe for such a shift, as several prominent conservatives have noted. Peggy Noonan, for example, points out the “top and bottom of the party have split.” If Donald Trump doesn’t become the Republican presidential nominee, his supporters — a plurality of Republican voters — will be even more disgruntled than they are now.

But that’s hardly an automatic benefit for Democrats. Only 30 percent of Americans identify with the party. (A record 43 percent identify as independent, and that number is 50 percent among young people.) Both parties are dangerously unstable, with dwindling numbers. Many Democrats are willing to bolt the party for Trump, and the party has been hemorrhaging legislative seats and governorships, which are at their lowest numbers since the Hoover administration. As Steve Schneck points out, the liberal coalition put together by Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s is also in its final stages of collapse. Three-quarters of state legislatures are now in GOP hands, as are two-thirds of governorships. The Democratic party, Schneck argues, is now dominated by special interests of big donors of the Northeast and West Coast. The predictable results have been the central focus of Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Yet if Democrats act strategically, they can pick up some of the crumbling pieces of the GOP’s coalition, starting with antiabortion citizens. These voters began joining the Republican coalition after the 1979 formation of the “Moral Majority” groupand as of 2012 made up two-thirds of the Republican base. If Trump does wind up storming the party, his shaky record and flippancy on abortion will leave these longtime GOP voters in a precarious position. (In 1999, Trump was by his own account “very pro-choice”; nowadays he’s antiabortion, on the grounds that one almost-aborted child he knew grew up to be a “total superstar.”)

Many pro-lifers were already frustrated with a party that merely goes through the motions and lacks a coherent plan when it comes to protecting prenatal children from violence. After last year’s conservative-led effort to defund Planned Parenthood failed, Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the pro-life Christian Defense Coalition, charged Republican congressional leadership with the “betrayal” of “the pro-life community that helped elect them”; and when Republicans yet again failed to pass antiabortion legislation last year, conservative commentator Erik Erickson declared that “the pro-life movement must stop being whores of the Republican party.”

Democrats can make a home for these stranded voters. Opening a big tent to pro-lifers would not only offer a hospitable climate for Democrats who value a “whole life” ethic, which weaves together common Democratic concerns like care for the impoverished and elderly with an equal interest in the unborn; it would also put them in a good position to win the next generation. Millennials and Latinos, after all, are trending more antiabortion than any other young generation in recent U.S. history. Only 37 percent of young people think that abortion is morally acceptable — while 54 percent of Latinos think abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

Recent historical research on the progressive roots of the pro-life movement in the United States suggests a Democratic coalition with space for pro-lifers wouldn’t be a novel phenomenon. As Kristen Day, president of Democrats for Life, reminds us: In 1976 there were an astonishing 125 antiabortion Democrats in Congress. Today there are three. Jim Oberstar, who was a Minnesota congressman, used to say that pro-lifers didn’t stop sending people to Congress, but rather “they just stopped sending Democrats.”

And, because roughly 20 million Democrats identify as antiabortion, it’s possible that inviting antiabortion Dems back into the fold could also reinforce the party’s numbers by heralding the return of the so-called missing pro-life Democrats, along with current Republican voters who might cross party lines.

It’s difficult to predict just how many disaffected pro-lifers currently attached to the Republican party might cast their votes for Democrats given the opportunity. But there is good reason to believe that, especially among Millennial voters, such a strategy could have meaningful returns for Democrats. In 2010, research conducted by NARAL found that there is a significant “intensity gap” between pro-life and pro-choice Millennial voters: While 51 percent of pro-lifers under 30 considered abortion a “very important” voting issue, only 26 percent of pro-choice Millennials said the same. The fact that such a high percentage of young pro-lifers consider abortion a top priority suggests that, should Democrats shift their stalwart pro-choice stance, the next generation of antiabortion voters may well lend them much-needed support. Judging by the example of 2006, such a groundswell could bring about a real, lasting boost for local and congressional Democrats.

Special interests like NARAL and Planned Parenthood demand absolute loyalty to their abortion-rights orthodoxy, that there ought to be no limits on a woman’s right to choose. Democratic legislators can’t even think about voting even for a modest 20-week limit. To put the extremity of this position into perspective, most of Europe has a legal threshold of 12 to 13 weeks and 73 percent of Americans oppose abortion after 12 weeks.

This orthodoxy also surfaces with regard to presidential candidates. In her 2008 run for the presidency, Democrat Hillary Clinton insisted abortion should be rare. “And by rare, I mean rare,” she said, a nod to the classic Clintonian formulation of “safe, legal and rare.” Yet Clinton now seldom emphasizes the goal of rarity, perhaps due to the decidedly antiabortion connotations of that aim. She has even shifted her position on the Hyde Amendment, and now says antiabortion citizens should pay for publicly-funded abortion on demand with their tax dollars. Even her support for a term-limit ban with exceptions for the “health of the mother” seems primed to bait pro-lifers with a false sense of compromise: After all, everypregnancy affects a mother’s health, and thus every pregnancy could still qualify for late-term abortion under Clinton’s careful wording.

If Democrats break the stranglehold of this orthodoxy and re-welcome antiabortion Democrats back into the party, they stand a much better chance of addressing their very serious electoral problems and avoiding the kind of disintegration facing the GOP. Democratic leadership should look to their 2006 victories, in which the party picked up a significant number of seats by running antiabortion candidates in purple districts. “There’s no way you would have had the success they had if they hadn’t fielded (antiabortion and pro-family) candidates,” John DiIulio, a former director of the Office of Faith-Based Programs, observed in 2007. That year’s pro-life Democratic victors included “Heath Shuler in North Carolina, Charlie Wilson in Ohio, Jason Altmire and Chris Carney in Pennsylvania, and Joe Donnelly, Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill in Indiana,” in the House, and Bob Casey Jr. in the Senate. These pro-life Democrats, though crucial for passing important programs like Obamacare, are mostly gone now, victims of a litmus test. In 2009, 64 House Democrats voted against taxpayer funding for abortion; by 2015,only three did: In that time, Democrats lost 69 seats, leaving only 188 Dems to the 247 Republican majority.

Several new phenomena are unfolding in U.S. politics, and if Democrats hope to avoid further losses in uncertain times, they must return toHoward Dean’s 50 state strategy and run the best person to fit the district, which in many locales means antiabortion Democrats. Given the crumbling of the GOP coalition, the voters are there for the taking.

DFLA to Trump: Support, Don't Punish, Women

Posted in Press Releases

March 31, 2016
CONTACT: Kristen Day (202) 220-3066

During another incoherent media appearance – incoherent and contradictory media appearances seem to be hallmarks of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign – the former reality TV star and leading contender for the GOP nomination said that women who get abortions should be punished.

“There has to be some form of punishment,” Trump told Chris Matthews during the taping of an MSNBC town hall event.

It’s well established that Trump is a misogynist, and his clueless comments about abortion show that he is not really pro-life. Only a fraud pretending to be pro-life would say something like this comment because he thinks that’s what his followers want to hear. Sadly, his comments reflect his empty posturing on abortion.

The GOP for decades has been the party that opposes abortion, while at the same time ignoring or opposing policy changes to support pregnant women that would ultimately reduce the number of abortions.

Women don’t need to be punished. They need jobs. Their families need jobs paying family living wages. They need greater access to affordable healthcare. They need paid family leave. They need affordable childcare. A woman needs to know that she doesn’t have to choose between her baby and her education or career.

Trump’s ugly statement calling simply for punishment, while never mentioning support for women and children, is a more extreme version of the GOP’s position that wants to end abortion without providing a social safety net.

The mainstream Democratic Party needs to pay attention. Pro-lifers are waking up to the fact that they no longer have a home in the GOP. Democrats need to embrace the Whole Life philosophy that provides protection from conception to natural death, which would give millions of voters a voice – and a real choice.

Videos are changing abortion debate

Posted in News

digoxinLive Action released online videos aimed at changing the abortion debate in America. For the first time ever, a former abortionist is using medical animations to clearly depict what actually happens to a baby and her mother during an abortion.
They have found that once people see the violent reality of what abortion does to a preborn child, it’s hard for them to justify it. Pro-Choice voters are changing their mind.
Don't worry, the video does not actually depict a pre-born child's murder. It is medical animation explained by a former abortion doctor. Please watch and share this link: 
Maybe you can help change one heart and one mind. We can end abortion on person at at time!

Women deserve better: DFLA joins Texas in Supreme Court case

Posted in Press Releases


February 12, 2016
CONTACT: Kristen Day (202) 220-3066

Women deserve clean, safe, and effective health care.  That’s why Democrats For Life of America is filing an amicus brief siding with the state of Texas in the fight to protect women.

"I am a Democrat because I believe that the government has a responsibility to put people first, to protect their interests, and to promote safe working environments, a livable wage, and safety in medical facilities,” said Kristen Day, executive director of DFLA.  “The Texas law is a model of Democratic values, putting the protection and safety of women over corporate interests.”

The United States Supreme Court soon will hear arguments in the case brought by Whole Women’s Health against Texas officials after the state passed a law setting minimum safety requirements for abortion clinics.  Rather than make sure that women could see doctors with hospital admitting privileges and that abortion clinics would have the same standards as any other surgical clinic, Texas abortion providers shut their businesses and filed suit.

 “The opponents of the law are more interested in limiting government oversight and in preventing adequate regulation of a business that is built around persuading women to end the lives of their unborn children,” said Day.  “If they cared about women, they would invest in meeting the safety standards set by the law and ensuring that no clinic of any kind will operate like Gosnell’s ‘house of horrors.’”

The legislation was introduced in response to the discovery of an unregulated abortion clinic in Pennsylvania operated by Kermit Gosnell.  He was convicted of 3 counts of murder, 21 felony counts of performing illegal abortions, and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law.  The Whole Women’s Health argument claims that Texas is harming women by setting safety standards.  Sadly, this is the view of too many in the Democratic Party.

“That’s right, an attempt to protect women is being spun by abortion extremists as somehow harming women,” said Day.  “The Democratic Party is too focused on catering to the abortion industry to see that helping women and their families is the right call.” 

 DFLA has been at the forefront of helping women, pushing for measures that protect unborn life and that support women’s and children's health.  DFLA was able to help get the Pregnancy Assistance Fund included in the Affordable Care Act, making sure that expectant and parenting mothers have a network of support to help them gain access to health care, child care, family housing, and other critical services.  DFLA also supports paid family leave, affordable child care, and other programs to help pregnant mothers and parenting families.

DFLA is joined by the National Legal Foundation on the amicus brief, written by Foundation attorney Steven W. Fitschen.  The National Legal Foundation is a pro-life, pro-women public interest law firm that believes the health of women is critically important.


To read the Amicus Brief, please click here.

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...