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100 Faith Leaders Call for Democratic Party Platform Reforms Regarding Abortion
Christian Pastors and Professors Urge Joe Biden, Democrats To Make Platform
More Welcoming To Pro-Life and Moderate Voters
WASHINGTON, DC, July 24, 2020 - A diverse coalition of religious leaders, clergy, and theologians today sent a letter calling on the Democratic Party to moderate its platform’s position on abortion. Specifically, the religious leaders urge the Party Platform Committee to remove extreme abortion policies, which will make it more inclusive towards pro-life voters and moderate voters of faith. Click here to read the letter.
In particular, the group condemns the 2016 platform’s support for taxpayer-funded abortion, a policy opposed by 60% of voters. Also, the 2016 platform policy on the repeal of the Hyde Amendment made it the most radically pro-abortion platform in history. Unlike previous Democratic Party platforms, it included no language on diversity of conscience around abortion or language committing to making abortion rare.
The DNC’s Platform Drafting Committee will shortly release a proposed 2020 Platform, which will be formally approved at the DNC Convention in Milwaukee, held from August 17 to August 20. It may include, for the first time ever, a commitment to codifying Roe v. Wade, as recommended by the Biden-Sanders Unity Taskforce.
The Joe Biden campaign recently announced its outreach to religious voters, and the campaign hired a new leader to run its “Believers for Biden” outreach. Voters of faith, however, are overwhelmingly opposed to policies like late-term abortion, which Joe Biden has not explicitly denounced. 78% of voters who say religion is “very important” to them support a ban on abortion after 20 weeks. In addition, this letter from faith leaders comes just days after Planned Parenthood of Greater New York disavowed its founder Margaret Sanger over her racist legacy.
“This letter demonstrates the strength of opposition to Joe Biden’s beliefs about abortion, especially from Democratic voters of color and religious voters,” said Executive Director of DFLA, Kristen Day, said. “The Democratic Party should seek to include these voters, rather than pushing them into the arms of the Republican Party. An extreme approach to abortion is playing right into the hands of Donald Trump’s destructive agenda. We call on the Democratic Party to moderate its platform and show a real sign of openness to pro-life voters.”
The coalition includes more than 100 religious leaders, including major figures with distinguished records in social justice work and civil rights:
- Sr. Anita Louise Lowe, OSB: Sr. Lowe, as Prioress, leads one of the largest communities of Benedictine women in the US. The ministries of her community include working with immigrants, the addicted, and the homeless.
- Minister John DeBerry, Central Church of Christ: Mr. DeBerry serves in the Tennessee State Legislature, as a Democrat, and also pastors Central Church of Christ in Memphis, TN.
- Bishop Talbert W. Swan II: Bishop Swan is Assistant General Secretary at the Church of God in Christ, the nation’s largest African American denomination. He is President of the Greater Springfield NAACP and has been heavily involved in criminal justice reform efforts.
- Rev. Dr. Gabriel Salguero: Rev. Salguero is President of the National Latino Evangelical Association, and has fought President Trump on protecting DACA recipients. He was a member of Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
- Pastor Rich Nathan: Pastor Nathan leads Vineyard Columbus, an Ohio megachurch; in his ministry, he has been a forceful voice for immigration reform.
- Bishop John Stowe: As Episcopal President of Pax Christi USA, Bishop Stowe is one of the most prominent advocates of social justice and inclusivity in the American Catholic Church.
- Sr. Norma Pimentel: As Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, Sr. Pimentel has led the response to the border crisis. A Sister with the Missionaries of Jesus, she has been recognized by Pope Francis for her work.
- Shane Claiborne: A leading figure in the New Monasticism movement, Claiborne is one of America’s most prominent voices for progressive Christianity.
About Democrats for Life
DFLA is the leading voice for the one in three Democrats who identify as pro-life. DFLA promotes a Pro-Life for the Whole Life philosophy and works to end violence against human life in all its forms without discrimination. Its Executive Director, Kristen Day, previously served as Chief of Staff to pro-life Michigan Democrat Jim Barcia.
Read the letter by clicking here.
Minister Jovan Johnson
Minister Jovan Johnson was Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. Jovan fell in love with music at a very young age. He became a drummer at the tender age of 4 at Emmanuel baptist church where his best friend at that time was his grandfather the late great pastor Henry Johnson was his pastor. It was there when Jovan not only realized he could sing. At the age of 6, he was leading more songs than any adult in the choir. He started his music career at the age of 13.In this midst of all this talent, when he was a senior in high school, his then girlfriend had an abortion. He remembers looking at his daughter’s hand on the ultrasound realizing that he would never have an opportunity to hold her. This led to . Jovan making the transition from singing R & B music to gospel later on in his career. God has sent him around the world and back singing songs that Jovan feels God has downloaded in his spirit. He is also an actor with over 30 stage plays, 4 independent films and 2 tv shows on ABC and FOX. His favorite slogan is. I LIVE OUTSIDE OF THE BOX BECAUSE WHEN I DIE, I KNOW THEY WILL PUT ME IN ONE. Jovan has devoted his life to serving the Lord and uplifting others.
Charmaine Davis, Town Hall Facilitator
Charmaine Davis is an experienced policy strategist, facilitator and organizer. Charmaine began her career as a political organizer for the national organization Project Vote. While working for Project Vote she built the membership of their Flint, MI chapter to over 2,500 people. Project Vote named Charmaine Davis Political Organizer of the Year.
Charmaine went on to move to Atlanta, GA to become the State Director for the Georgia chapter of 9to5, The National Association of Working Women. As State Director, Charmaine led all chapter organizing, legislative work and membership-building activities. In her role with 9to5 she worked with Georgia state legislators to draft the Family Care Act, a bill to expand job protected leave to Georgia workers. She successfully led lobbying efforts that resulted in the Family Care Act being signed into law by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.
While serving as the State Director for 9to5 Charmaine launched Atlanta’s “Ban the Box” campaign. Ban the Box is a campaign to reduce employment discrimination against the formerly incarcerated by removing questions from employment applications inquiring about an individual’s criminal record. In response to Charmaine’s organizing efforts, the city of Atlanta made history by becoming the first city in Georgia to remove all questions regarding an applicant’s criminal background from city employment applications. This policy change has expanded employment opportunities to thousands of people across the state of Georgia.
Charmaine is a published author, her articles have been featured in Huffington Post, Pacific Standard, CNN and the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Charmaine has received various forms of recognition and awards for her advocacy, policy and organizing work including being inducted into the YWCA’s Women of Achievement Academy, being named one of Georgia’s 40 under 40 Rising Stars by Georgia Trend Magazine and being named one of Marquis Who's Who in America in 2019.
Charmaine Davis is a graduate of The Ohio State University and holds a BA in both Political Science and African and African American Studies.
Britanyi Anthony, a North Carolina Tar Heel native who moved to Atlanta in 2006 to attend Georgia State University. Becoming an Ob/Gyn was her dream since 8th grade, but by her 2nd year at GSU, Britanyi was set on working for Planned Parenthood after graduation. Praise God He had other plans! She has been doing pro-life sidewalk ministry since August 2012 and has a passion for the born as much as for the preborn With a degree in Sociology, she currently works as a career nanny with a heart for first time parents with infants. When I’m not spending time with family and friends, I enjoy studying God’s Word, writing, reading, working out, baking, and sharing the Gospel.
Dr Arthur A. Porter Sr.
Dr. Arthur A. Porter Sr., is the Senior Pastor of New Nation Church of God in Christ in Aurora, Colorado. He is married to Donna Porter. Together they have three children and five grandchildren. He has been the senior pastor of New Nation for Church 20 years. He is a published author and lecturer.
He an expert at categorically reducing failure rates in African American students through success coaching and creating environments for them to succeed. He has helped especially helped African American males who experience patterns of self-hatred.
He is the founder of One Accord Ministries International, an empowerment movement highlighting the intersection of family prosperity through business and home ownership. Dr. Porter has served as adjunct faculty at both Denver Seminary and Iliff School of Theology.
Kristen Day, Executive Director
Kristen Day is the Executive Director of Democrats For Life of America and oversees all operations of the Washington, D.C. office.
Kristen began her interest in politics at Michigan State University. She worked for State Representative Rick Sitz and went on to work for the Government Affairs Office at Michigan State University. After graduation, Kristen followed her lifelong dream to work on Capitol Hill where she eventually rose to serve in the highest position as the Chief of Staff for Congressman Jim Barcia. She has served as the executive director of Democrats For Life since she Capitol Hill.
Day’s articles have been published in the LA Times, Washington Post, Harvard Crimson, the National Review and other Publications. She is the author of Democrats For Life: Pro-Life Politics and the Silenced Majority published by New Leaf Press in July 2006. The book outlines the history of the pro-life Democrat movement. She was published in the 2006 Notre Dame Journal on Law and Public Policy with a piece entitled, "Politics and the Culture of Life-Why I am Still a Democrat."
Day speaks on behalf of women and pro-life Democrats. She has been a guest on radio talk shows like NPR's Talk of the Nation and has appeared on FOX News, MSNBC, EWTN and other major news outlets. She has been quoted in USA Today, The Washington Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle and other news outlets.
Rev. Harriet Bradley, Ga State and South Region Coordinator
Rev. Harriet Bradley is a minister that teaches and preaches the Word of God wherever the Lord opens a door for her. In addition to preaching and teaching in traditional church settings, Rev. Harriet has been advocating in the political arena where she encourages others to raise their voices for fair wages as well as fair work conditions. She has an intense desire to speak for the life of the unborn. Their life matters. Currently, she serves as the GA State Coordinator and South Region Coordinator for Democrats for Life of America (DFLA).
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