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.”