News

DFLA Endorsements for 2014

Posted in 2014 Elections

2014 DFLA ENDORSED FEDERAL CANDIDATES

U.S. Senate

We are proud to endorse Travis Childers for U.S. Senate.

Rep. Travis Childers– Rep. Travis Childers is running for U.S. Senate in Mississippi. Childers faced 3 opponents in the Democratic primary on June 3, 2014, and won. He scored 100 percent pro-life while serving in the U.S. House. Incumbent Republican Senator Thad Cochran is facing a run-off against a Tea Party candidate.

U.S. House of Representatives

We are proud to endorse the following incumbents who have strong and proven pro-life voting records:

  • Rep. Dan Lipinski– Rep. Lipinski represents the 3rd Congressional District of Illinois.
  • Rep. Nick Rahall– Rep. Rahall represents the 3rd Congressional District of West Virginia.
  • Rep. Collin Peterson– Rep. Peterson represents the 7th Congressional District of Minnesota.

We are proud to endorse the following candidates who are running in either open seats or challenging incumbents:

  • Jennifer Garrison– Former State Rep. Garrison is running in the 6th Congressional District of Ohio. Garrison won the democratic primary on May 6, 2014 and is hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Rep. Bill Johnson.
  • Jerry Cannon– Jerry Cannon is running in the 1st Congressional District of Michigan facing Republican incumbent Rep. Dan Benishek. The enormous district covers 32 counties in Northern Michigan.
  • Joseph Bock– Joe Bock is running in the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana against Republican incumbent Jackie Walorski. Joe won the Democratic primary on May 6, 2014.
  • Joe Perske - Joe is running in the 6th Congressional District of Minnesota. This is an open seat due to the retirement of Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Au Revoir Congressman Oberstar

Posted in News

by Kristen Day

The first time I met Congressman Oberstar was on the House floor in the mid-1990s during debate on an amendment to prevent federal funding of abortion. As Congressman Oberstar was waiting for his opportunity to speak in support of the amendment, he sat down next to me, and we started talking. I was a nervous, young hill staffer who could not believe this Member of Congress would take the time to talk to me. But, like Congressman Oberstar, I was a pro-life Democrat. I knew who he was because my boss, Congressman Jim Barcia, also a pro-life Democrat, served on the transportation committee with him.

On the floor that day, Congressman Oberstar shared with me a history of abortion in the Democratic party and how much it had changed. He also explained the origin of the Hyde Amendment and that one’s position on abortion was not always an indicator of party affiliation.

The Amendment that bears Hyde’s name was a bipartisan effort handwritten on a scrap of paper on the House floor in 1976. This amendment that prohibited the use of federal funds for abortion was crafted because the collaborators thought it had the best chance of withstanding any points of order, such as legislating on an appropriations bill. Since the President, Gerald Ford, was a Republican and Henry Hyde served on the Judiciary Committee, they decided to have Congressman Henry Hyde (R-IL) introduced the amendment. It was more important to pass pro-life legislation than to be concerned about whose name was on the top of the document.

While strongly opposed to abortion, Congressman Oberstar equally advocated for prental and postnatal care, affordable childcare, and fair wages for families.

Since that first meeting, Congressman Oberstar was a constant source of encouragement, strength, and support to Democrats For Life and to me personally. He encouraged me to stick to my consistent-life position and to never compromise moral or ethical beliefs His longstanding career proved he followed those words of advice he gave to me so many times.

Pro-life Democrats have lost a great leader. Tu vas me manquer mais je continuerai à travailler en ton honneur.

 

Letter to Governor Tomblin

Posted in General

April 3, 2014

The Honorable Earl Ray Tomblin

Office of the Governor
State Capitol
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, West Virginia 25305

Dear Governor,

We are writing to ask you to bring the legislature back to Charleston to address your concerns with HB 4588.

We understand your concern about violating constitutional rights. Although this law challenges some common understandings of Roe v. Wade, there is room for argument on it, and pro-lifers should be pushing the courts to allow greater protection of the unborn. 

As pro-lifers, we believe that all life is sacred and worthy of protection – including unborn children. As Democrats, it is unconscionable to simply ban abortion without providing necessary safeguards and to provide options and support for the pregnant woman and her unborn child. Both lives must be considered and both lives must be supported.

However, being a pro-life Democrat cannot mean accepting the broad readings of Roe that the lawyers tell us and not pushing against them, but instead proposing social supports.  No, being pro-life means pushing for greater protection where possible. It doesn’t require pushing to overturn Roe altogether, but it does mean pushing to narrow it, together with enacting strong social supports.

Fetuses with abnormalities, which are sometimes subject to later-term abortions, are still human persons, and Democrats should value them fully.  We should recognize how difficult these situations are for the family; that is where the social supports are crucial, but it is not a progressive act to devalue those unborn children because of abnormalities. A special session to discuss the merits of HB 4588 will also allow us to promote available social supports.

Women and families concerned with post-viability abortions should be:

  • informed about and referred to perinatal-hospice, which provides a caring and supportive environment for both mother and child;
  • Provided accurate information regarding genetic testing; and
  • Provided adoption counseling and adoption referral information.

As pro-life Democrats, we do not fit into the agenda set forth by the conservative pro-life movement. In order to revisit HB 4588 and include these important protections for women, which come from both our Democratic ideals and our pro-life principles, we urge you to call the legislature into session immediately.

Respectfully,

Kristen Day

Executive Director

Democrats For Life of America

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...