DFLA General

DFLA Board of Directors

Posted in DFLA General

Janet Robert, President 

Janet is an attorney and counsel to a variety of non-profit organizations. She co-founded Hope House of St. Croix Valley and the St. Croix Valley Christians in Action, and has volunteered her services to the St. Croix Valley Life Care Center, The Tubman Family Alliance, and the United Way. In 1994, Janet was elected to the Oak Park Heights City Council and later appointed to the Washington County Corrections Advisory Committee and the Workforce Center Board. Janet founded AM950 The Progressive Voice of Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame and St. Louis University Law School.

Jeannie French, Treasurer

A founding member of the Professional Women’s Network, Jeannie French has used her health care background to address the effect of abortion on women’s health.  She appeared on the MacNeil - Lehrer report on the abortion drug RU-486, and on Sonya LIVE and Chicago Tonight with the message that the response to a crisis pregnancy is to "Eliminate the Crisis Not the Child."  The founder of the National Women's Coalition for Life, Jeannie spearheaded a 6 city effort to listen to women who regret their abortions in an attempt to offer help. Real Choices (Multnomah Press) edited by Frederica Mathewes-Green conveys the findings.  A lifelong Democrat, Jeannie partnered with her home state governor, the late Bob Casey and others in developing a Democratic pro-life statement Caring for Women-- Caring for the Unborn, A New American Compact. In addition to her health care work,  Jeannie served as the Director of the Pro-Life Office for the Archdiocese of Chicago under the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin.  Jeannie's personal experience of carrying a fatally impaired baby to term led to her testimony before the US Senate Judiciary and other state assemblies in support of a ban on partial birth abortion.  Jeannie, a single mother for 20 years, has opened her home to other single mothers on multiple occasions.   A consultant to nonprofit organizations, she remains actively involved in senior health care and environmental issues.   French holds a Masters in Health Administration from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Tom Berg, Secretary

Tom is the James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minnesota, where he teaches and writes on constitutional law, religious liberty,  law and religion, and intellectual property.  He is the author of four books, dozens of scholarly and popular articles, and numerous briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts.  He has served as the law school’s associate dean for academic affairs and director of its Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy.  He has degrees from the University of Chicago, in both law and religious studies; from Oxford University, in philosophy and politics (as a Rhodes Scholar); and from Northwestern University, in journalism.  He is married to Maureen Kane Berg, and they have two sons, ages 16 and 13.

Charlie Camosy

Charlie Camosy is Associate Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University. Among other places, his articles have appeared in the American Journal of BioethicsJournal of Medicine and PhilosophyJournal of the Catholic Health AssociationUSA Today, Washington PostLos Angeles Times, and Commonweal. He is the author of four books, including Beyond the Abortion Wars: a Way Forward for a New Generation. In addition to serving as an adviser for the Humane Society of the United States and the Children's Hospital of New York, Camosy received the 2012-13 Robert Bryne award from the Fordham Respect Life Club. He is also a member of the international working group "Contending Modernities" which attempts to bring secular liberalism, Catholicism, and Islam into dialogue about bioethics. Camosy has facilitated several projects which attempt to deal with polarized issues, including a major international conference at Princeton (2010) designed to find new ways to think and speak about abortion. He is a registered Independent--but strongly supports the mission of DFL, especially its comprehensive, bipartisan approach which refuses to choose between women and prenatal children.

Steve Schneck

Stephen Schneck served as chair of the Department of Politics at The Catholic University of America for nine years and as Associate Professor in that department for fourteen years.  He also served as Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies.

Schneck’s research is in the field of political philosophy, with special emphases on 18th century American political thought and on contemporary continental political theory; recent work has focused on the role of religion in democracy. Publications include works on American political thought (on the Constitution, or on figures such as Alexis de Tocqueville) as well as on contemporary continental authors. Among his published works are two book length studies on Max Scheler, an edited work on Fred Dallmayr, and articles and chapters ranging from studies of French post-structuralism, to the examination of the critical theory of Jürgen Habermas.

A well-known Washington-area public lecturer, with frequent media appearances, Dr. Schneck has also been honored for his teaching. He was named Teacher of the Year three times at The Catholic University of America and has received several other teaching awards.

As Institute Director, Dr. Schneck has sought to enlarge the breadth of the Institute's work, in order to address a wide array of contemporary public policies through rigorous academic research. Under his leadership, the Institute grew to more than fifty fellows.

Lisa Stiller

Lisa Stiller's background includes work in education and journalism and has an MA in Secondary Education and MA in Communication Studies. She has volunteered for many nonprofits, using her skills in media, training, writing and editing, lobbying, and event coordination. Lisa has been a board member of Consistent Life since 2012 and has been helping coordinate conferences, write resource material, and advocate anywhere she can for a consistent life ethic. She organizes tables/booths at many national conferences, including many where agendas are not always in line with a consistent life ethic.  Work experience includes teaching from elementary school to higher ed, working as a school counselor, and working in print and broadcast journalism. Pro-life (or rather whole life) her whole life, Lisa has stood up to friends, family, fellow Democrats, and the people she volunteers with to advocate for life Lisa currently lives near Portland, Oregon, and has recently become a state contact for Oregon.

Michael Wear

Michael Wear is the founder of Public Square Strategies LLC, and a leading expert and strategist at the intersection of faith, politics and American public life. As one of President Obama's "ambassadors to America's believers" (Buzzfeed), Michael directed faith outreach for President Obama’s historic 2012 re-election campaign. Michael was also one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history: he served in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama’s first term, where he led evangelical outreach and helped manage The White House’s engagement on religious and values issues, including adoption and anti-human trafficking efforts.

Today, Public Square Strategies LLC is a sought-after firm that helps religious organizations, political organizations, businesses and others effectively navigate the rapidly changing American religious and political landscape.

Michael is the author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America. He also writes for The Atlantic, Christianity Today, USA Today, Relevant Magazine and other publications on faith, politics, and culture. He serves on the national board of Bethany Christian Services, the nation's largest adoption agency, and holds an honorary position at the University of Birmingham’s Cadbury Center for the Public Understanding of Religion. Michael and his wife, Melissa, are both proud natives of Buffalo, New York. They now reside in Washington, D.C.

Davis bill supporters

Posted in DFLA General

Co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. John Barrow (D-GA)
Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU)
Rep. Marion Berry (D-AR)
Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL)
Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)
Rep. Jerry Costello (D-IL)
Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN)  Bill Sponsor
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN)
Rep. Tim Holden (D-PA)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
Rep. Mark Kennedy (D-MN)
Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI)
Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)
Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL)
Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA)
Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA)
Rep. Mike McIntrye (D-NC)
Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV)
Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)
Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN)*
Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX)
Rep. Colin Peterson (D-MN)
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)*
Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS)

* co-leader of the House pro-life caucus

Organizations who have sent statements in support of the bill

The National Association of Evangelicals
US Conference of Catholic Bishops
Americans United for Life
Democrats for Life of America
National Council on Adoption
Life Education and Resource Network
Redeem the Vote
CARENET
Tony Campolo, founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education
Joe Turnham, Chairman, Alabama Democratic Party
Bob Casey, Jr., U.S. Senate candidate
Martin Sheen, actor

DFLA Staff

Posted in DFLA General

Kristen Day, Executive Director

Robert Christian, DFLA Fellow

Matt Tuman, DFLA Fellow

Matthew Tyson, DFLA Fellow

Catlin Conroy, College Outreach

 

 

Meet Kristen, Executive Director of DFLA

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 where she was elected to serve as a Precinct Delegate during her sophomore year. 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.

One of her passions was working to pass pro-life and pro-family legislation and also advocated for Democrats who oppose abortion. Working for the Democratic Co-Chair of the Bi-partisan House Pro-life Caucus, Kristen set up a whip operation to alert pro-life democrats when important pro-life votes were going to come on the Floor or in Committee. Also, in this capacity, she helped Democrats For Life connect with other pro-life Democratic elected officials and private citizens who were interested in helping the organization grow. Additionally, she worked with pro-life groups to remind them that pro-life Democrats are not only needed, but essential, for pro-life legislation to pass the House and Senate.

Day’s articles have been published in the 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 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 and Channel 7. She has been quoted in USA Today, The Washington Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle and other news outlets.

Pregnant Women Support Act (95-10)

Posted in DFLA General

The Pregnant Women Support Act - the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) is one of our proudest accomplishments.  Signed into law as part of the Affordable Care Act, 17 States received PAF grants and are now helping pregnant women.  It is not enough to simply oppose abortion; we must provide support and provide options for women facing unplanned or crisis pregnancies.

Senator Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation to expand the PAF.  Please contact your Senator and urge him or her to support S. 144, the Pregnancy Assistance Fund Expansion Act.

BACKGROUND:

DFLA proposed a comprehensive plan that will reduce the number of abortions by 95% in the next 10 years by promoting abstinence, personal responsibility, adoptions and support for women and families who are facing unplanned pregnancy. The 95-10 Initiative seeks to reduce the number of abortions in America through Federal, state and local efforts as well as support and encouragement to volunteers and dedicated people on the front lines helping pregnant women. Much attention has been given to ending abortion or keeping it legal.  We believe that we must do more to reduce the abortion rate by helping and supporting pregnant women.  

 

Preventing pregnancy is an important part of reducing the abortion rate in America.  There are several ways to address prevention, but there is no clear consensus because of ethical, religious or personal reasons.  There are several bills before Congress that address pregnancy prevention.  While we have not endorsed a particular bill, we support finding the most effective way to reduce unplanned pregnancies.  We cannot deny that abstinence is the only sure way to prevent pregnancy, but we also cannot turn our heads and pretend that our children are not engaging in risky behavior or the fact that contraception is not 100 percent effective.  The Federal government has made a commitment to support prevention efforts and allocated arecord $288.3 million in FY 2005 for family planning under title X.   The program provides access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them.  A priority is given to low-income persons.  

 

Supporting Pregnanat Women is critical to reducing abortions in America.  Pregnant women who wish to carry their children to term have not received that same commitment from the Federal government.  We support helping pregnant women who wish to carry their children to term but because of lack of resources believe abortion is their only option.  Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Congressman Lincoln Davis (D-TN) and Pro-life Democrats in Congress who share this same commitment introduced the Pregnant Women Support Act in the U.S Senate and U.S House.  The legislation is a comprehensive approach to provide support for pregnant women who want to carry their child to term. Most of the provisions were included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) under the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF).

  • establish a toll-free number to direct women to places that will provide support;
  • collect accurate data on why women choose abortion;
  • makes grant money available to states for pregnancy counseling and childcare on college campuses;
  • provide accurate information to patients receiving a positive result from prenatal testing;
  • provide counseling in maternity group homes;
  • increase the adoption tax credit and makes it permanent;
  • eliminate "pregnancy" as a pre-existing condition in health care insurance policies;
  • provide grants for ultrasound equipment;
  • support informed consent for Abortion Services;
  • increase awareness about violence against pregnant women;
  • require the State Child Health Insurance Program to cover pregnant women and their prenatal children;   
  • makes grant money availabe to states for free home visits by registered nurses to new mothers.  

 

Protecting Children is critical.  We must protect our children by passing the Child Custody Protection Act, continue to promote Safe Haven laws and support funding for programs such as the Abandoned Infants Assistance. 

 

Click here for more information on 95-10.

Democrats For Life of America, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, South Building, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004 202.220.3066

 

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...