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Pro-Life Democrats Oppose the Death Penalty

Posted in Commentary

As pro-life Democrats, we believe that every person has worth and dignity and that every life has value.  This is true not just of the innocent child in the womb, but even of those who have committed unspeakable crimes.  The sanctity of human life is something that cannot be forfeited.

Democrats for Life of America is shaped by this consistent commitment to life—an approach we like to call whole life—and we believe that this consistency is vital to ending the culture of violence that permeates our society and to building a culture of life.

Of course, there is no consensus among pro-life Democrats when it comes to the death penalty and how we, as a society, should respond to brutal crimes and assaults on human dignity and life. For those who are pro-life, defending the life of an unborn child is quite obviously necessary, as the child is innocent and defenseless.  But what about those who are not innocent and whose acts of violence have violated the sanctity of life?

Most of us who are whole life have come to believe that the death penalty is not the right response.  Taking a human life to show the value of human life seems unlikely to work, and the reality is that we know that it does not work:  The death penalty is no more effective as a deterrent than life in prison without the possibility of parole.  To take a life needlessly cannot be reconciled with our consistent commitment to life.

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Pro-Life Democrats Urge Inclusion of Paid Family Leave with 20-Week Ban

Posted in Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced the Senate companion bill to the House-passed Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on June 11, 2015.  The bill would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks.  Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) supports the legislation but urges inclusion of a comprehensive package to assist women.

“For any chance of becoming law, we believe that any 20-week ban must be paired with comprehensive support for women, including referrals to perinatal hospice when advisable, paid family leave, and increased funding for programs that will help pregnant women carry their children to term,” said Kristen Day, executive director of DFLA. “The Senate needs to recognize that late-term abortions are never necessary, and providing more support for pregnant women will make late-term abortions obsolete.”

Writing for the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Dr. Mary Davenport dispelled the fabrication that late-term abortions are necessary.  Dr. Davenport wrote, “There is always a life-affirming way to care for mother and baby, no matter how bleak the prognosis.  The elimination of late-term abortion would not create a void in medical care, but would instead result in a more humane world in which vulnerable humans would be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.”  

Most late-term abortions are performed on healthy babies and healthy mothers.  Most of the mothers are poor and either did not have the money for an earlier abortion or did not know they were pregnant.  A very small percentage choose abortion for fetal anomaly.  Furthermore, women who receive support – in the form of parenting classes, job training, diapers, and a lifeline – are more likely to choose life.

"The abortion rate is on the decline because more women now can receive prenatal care, because of the passage of the Pregnant Women Support Act, and because of more awareness about the reality of life in the womb through ultrasound and education," said Day.  "If we want this trend to continue, more support must be paired with more restrictions."

The abortion rate has decreased in almost every state since 2010, following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibited the classification of pregnancy as a pre-existing condition.  The Act also contained DFLA’s Pregnant Women Support Act, including the Pregnancy Assistance Fund, introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA).  The Fund provided grants to 17 states to help women in crisis pregnancies fulfill the option to carry their babies to term instead of ending their pregnancies in abortion.  Passage of legislation to ban late-term abortions, increased contraception use, and requiring ultrasounds prior to abortion have also worked toward lowering the abortion rate.

“We must ensure that women and families are given every opportunity to support this new life,” said Day.  “We propose the addition of several amendments to provide help to families, whether they receive a prenatal diagnosis or they are feeling financial pressure to abortion.”
 

Democrats For Life of America is proposing that the following amendments be added to the 20-week ban legislation:

·         Perinatal Hospice referral to help parents with a prenatal diagnosis;
·         Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act; and the
·         Pregnancy Assistance Fund Expansion Act.

Democrats Urge Presidential Candidate Clinton to Open Big Tent to Those Who Oppose Abortion

Posted in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             

MEDIA CONTACT: Kristen Day
(202) 220-3066 

May 7, 2015

 

WASHINGTON, DC – – Democrats For Life of Americais urging presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to open the Big Tent of the Democratic Party to pro-life voters and to support neutrality on the issue of abortion in the Democratic Party Platform. The current platform not only supports abortion, but also supports taxpayer funding of abortion.

“Secretary Clinton once recognized that people ‘have deeply held differences of opinion about the issue of abortion, and she said she respected ‘those who believe that there are no circumstances under which any abortion should ever be available.’  We are asking candidate Clinton to open that door and issue in a new era of respect and inclusion for Democrats who hold these views,” said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America.  “For the good of the party, we must re-open the big tent to include Democrats who support life from conception to natural death.”

In 1978, the Democratic Party held a 292-seat majority in the U.S. House, which included 125 pro-life Democrats.  Increased partisanship over the pro-life issue—including the rejection of pro-life candidates within the Democratic Party—caused many of the pro-life Democratic districts to elect Republican candidates.  In fact, the number of pro-choice Democrats in the House has essentially remained around 167.  It is the number of pro-life Democrats that decreased from 125 to only a handful, leaving Democrats overall with only 188 members.

“Since the 1992 shunning of pro-life Democratic Governor Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, the Democratic Party has alienated its pro-life base.  Polls consistently show that about one-third of Democrats—that’s 21 million Democrats—oppose abortion,” said Day.  “If we are going to increase our base to win back the majority and keep the White House, our Democratic nominee must recognize the contributions of pro-life Democrats within our party and the diverse position of Democrats on the issue of abortion.”

That diversity of opinion is as follows:

  • 61% of Democrats support parental consent for minors seeking abortion (Gallup, 2011);
  • 60% of Democrats support a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortion (Gallup, 2011);
  • 84% of Democrats support informed consent (Gallup, 2011);
  • 49% of Democrats support an ultrasound requirement (Gallup, 2011);
  • 59% of Democrats support a ban on partial-birth abortions (Gallup, 2011).

“We are asking Secretary Clinton and any other Democratic presidential hopeful to embrace a platform that fully represents all Democrats, not just those who support abortion,” said Day.  “In the 2008 election, about one-quarter of Obama’s supporters self-identified as pro-life.  These numbers are not trivial; they exceed many prominent and well-represented constituencies in the party.  Electoral success for the party nationwide will depend on the enthusiasm of all Democrats, including pro-life Democrats.”

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REVISED LANGUAGE GIVES SEX TRAFFICKING BILL NEW LIFE

Posted in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             
MEDIA CONTACT: Kristen Day
(202) 220-3066 

April 16, 2015

Senate Democrats Should Vote Unanimously for S. 178 Today

WASHINGTON, DC – Democrats For Life urges Senate Democrats to release their hold on the Senate bill 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. Sources say that the revised bill will contain similar language that was approved as part of H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. The legislation passed Tuesday night by a vote of 92 to 8. Every Senate Democrat voted for it.

Democrats For Life of believes in justice for victims of sex trafficking. It is essential for overturning the culture of sexual coercion that is pervasive in America and supported by the abortion industry,” said Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats For Life of America. “Senate Democrats must recognize the language is and never was the issue. It is simply an attempt by the abortion industry to show their political clout and protect their corporate interests at the expense of providing justice to victims of human trafficking.“

Trafficking is a multimillion dollar industry. Over 2.4 million people suffer at the hands of predators who sell innocent people for slavery. Eighty percent of the trafficking victims are sold into sexual slavery. The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act would create a fund to support the victims from fees assessed to the predators involved with human trafficking.  Four Democrats, Senators Casey, Donnelly Heitcamp and Manchin supported the bill. The new language will alleviate any concerns about the inclusion of the Hyde language.

The abortion industry will do everything they can, including denying support for victims of human trafficking, to  increase their bottom line,” said Kristen Day, Executive Director of DFLA.. “Four Senate Democrats have sense enough to see beyond the façade and represent true democratic values to support victims.  We strongly encourage Senate Democrats to take a look at this new reasonable language and withdraw their hold on the human trafficking legislation. This legislation may not repair the horrors the victims have faced, but it will help them with a fresh start.”

Democrats For Life of America was founded in 1999 to mobilize Democrats at the local, state, and national levels. DFLA’s primary mission has been to elect pro-life Democrats, support pro-life elected officials, promote a pro-life plank in the Democratic Party platform, and achieve legislation that fosters respect for human life.

Democrats for Life of America is one of over 200 member organizations of Consistent Life, an international network for peace, justice, and life.

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DEMOCRATS FOR LIFE URGES SENATE DEMOCRATS TO SUPPORT HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIMS

Posted in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             
MEDIA CONTACT: Kristen Day
(202) 220-3066 

March 19, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – Democrats For Life urges Senate Democrat to release their hold on the Senate bill 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. All but four Senate Democrats oppose the bi-partisan bill to help victims of human trafficking because of language to prohibit the use of funds for abortion. The language to prevent abortion funding is consistent with the Hyde language that allows abortion funding for rape, incest and life of the mother.

History tells us that when language to exclude abortion is not included, the strong arm of the abortion industry flexes its muscle and acquires a big piece of the pie ,” said Kristen Day, Executive Director of DFLA.. “The Victims Fund should be used to help the victim, not line the pockets of the abortion industry.”

Human Trafficking is a multimillion  dollar industry. Over 2.4 million people suffer at the hands of predators who sell innocent people for slavery. Eighty percent of the trafficking victims are sold into sexual slavery. The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, would have created a fund to support the victims from fees assessed to the predators involved with human trafficking.  Four Democrats, Senators Casey, Donnelly, Heitcamp, and Manchin supported the bill.

“That this critically important legislation has been compromised is testament to the narrow, self-interest politics of the abortion industry,” said Day. “Four Senate Democrats have sense enough to see beyond the facade and represent true democratic values to support victims.  We strongly encourage Senate Democrats to take a second look at this reasonable language and support the legislation so the funds can be used to help victims.”

Democrats For Life of America was founded in 1999 to mobilize Democrats at the local, state, and national levels. DFLA’s primary mission has been to elect pro-life Democrats, support pro-life elected officials, promote a pro-life plank in the Democratic Party platform, and achieve legislation that fosters respect for human life.

Democrats for Life of America is one of over 200 member organizations of Consistent Life, an international network for peace, justice, and life.

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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...