Judicial

Building a New Party in the Heart of Dixie

Posted in DFLA General

by Matthew Tyson

Beginning in the 1960’s, the Southern Strategy brought about a war between the Republican and Democratic parties in Alabama. That war dragged on for decades. Then, in the early part of the 21st century, the GOP took down Democratic Governor Don Siegelman and clinched a Republican-controlled state house and senate for the first time in over a century.

The effects of that victory are still very prevalent today. The Democratic Party in Alabama isn’t waning. It’s dead. Outside of a few districts in the Black Belt, Alabama is as red as the day is long. The war is over, and the Democrats lost.

Being a Democrat in Alabama is rough. I should know. As both a proud Alabamian and dedicated Democrat, I’ve dealt firsthand with the frustration of living in such a divided house. Thanks to the burning rhetoric and idealism of the right, Democrats in the Heart of Dixie might as well be card-carrying communists. The GOP has so successfully predicated us as socialist, big government, America-haters that we can’t even have a constructive conversation without the dark cloud of presumption hanging over our heads.

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Democrats For Life Endorses Massachusetts Pro-Life Democrats

Posted in DFLA General

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             
MEDIA CONTACT: Kristen Day

(202) 220-3066 
September 16, 2014

 

WASHINGTON, DC –Democrats For Life is proud to announce its endorsement of the following Democrats running for re-election, citing their consistent effort to defend and protect life at all stages:

Senate

Michael Rush (Norfolk and Suffolk), Thomas Kennedy (2nd Plymouth and Bristol) and Richard Moore (Worcester and Norfolk)

House of Representatives

Alan Silvia (7th Bristol), Marcos Devers (16th Essex), Brian Michael Ashe (2nd Hampden), John Velis (4th Hampden), Thomas Petrolati (7th Hampden), Angelo Puppolo (12th Hampden), James Arciero (2nd Middlesex), Thomas A. Golden (16th Middlesex), David Nangle  (17th Middlesex), James R. Miceli (19th Middlesex),Timothy Toomey (26th Middlesex), James Dwyer (30th Middlesex), Paul Donato (35th Middlesex), Collen Garry (36th Middlesex), Bruce Ayers (1st Norfolk), Walter F. Timilty (7th Norfolk), John H. Rogers (12th Norfolk), Thomas J. Calter (12th Plymouth), Nick Collins (4th Suffolk), Russell E. Holmes (6th Suffolk), Edward Coppinger (10th Suffolk), Angelo Scaccia (14th Suffolk), Stephen Dinatale (3rd Worcester), Dennis Rosa (4th Worcester), and Mark Dowgiewicz (18 Worcester)

Secretary of the Commonwealth

William F. Galvin

Governor’s Council

Marilyn Pettio Devaney

  “We support the listed pro-life candidates,” said Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life, “with a reminder to the Democratic Party that it is stronger with diversity in its ranks. These members strengthen our big tent and the ability to pass critical legislation to assist the hard-working families in Massachusetts.”

 

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.

 

 “As a pro-life Democratic resident of Massachusetts, it is exciting to see these candidates receive this important endorsement” said Jack Cahalan, spokesman for the DFL chapter in Massachusetts. “I am proud of them for their advocacy for the whole life position. We know we can count on them to stand up for the unborn and all those who need assistance in our great state.”

 

The Massachusetts chapter of Democrats for Life has been recently reorganized. It is committed to building a strong pro-life advocacy group within the state and supporting pro-life Democratic elected officials.

 

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Letter to Senators on S. 2578, Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act

Posted in DFLA General

July 21, 2014
 
The Honorable Bob Casey
393 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
 
The Honorable Joe Donnelly
720 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
 
The Honorable Joe Manchin
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
 
Dear Senators Casey, Donnelly and Manchin,

Thank you for your commitment to protect and support life at all stages. Our Party is stronger with diverse voices and Members, like you, who are willing to stand up for their convictions.As you know, the Senate recently failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to begin debate on S. 2578, Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act. We wanted to share our concerns with you should this issue come before the Senate again.

First and most important, this bill is unnecessary. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) already adopted a measure for religious non-profits that object to contraception coverage, whereby the insurer provides coverage directly to the employee, without co-pays, with no employer involvement. That regulation can easily accommodate for-profit close corporations, like Hobby Lobby, whose owners have a conflict of religious conscience in paying for drugs or devices that could cause abortion. As Justice Kennedy put it in his crucial opinion in the case, “[this] accommodation equally furthers the Government’s interest [in ensuring employees free contraception coverage] but does not impinge on the plaintiffs’ religious beliefs.” Pro-life Democrats should vigorously support this accommodation, which is both reasonable and sensible for women and for conscience rights. Under it, women receive full and free coverage and employers’ consciences are protected—a win-win solution that pro-life Democrats should support.

Second, the principles behind S. 2578 have extremely troubling implications—including laying the groundwork for requiring employers to cover and fund procedures that everyone agrees are abortions. The bill’s rationale is that requiring a for-profit business to cover a health procedure in insurance is too distant a connection to be a burden on its owners’ conscience, and that refusing coverage improperly "imposes" on employees. That same logic would allow a requirement that employers cover and fund second-trimester abortions. The issue is not hypothetical. Using the above logic, the Washington State House passed a bill, the Reproductive Parity Act, to require all insurers who cover maternity care to also cover abortion. The bill did not pass the Washington State Senate, but laying this groundwork is an important goal for those who support abortion and public funding of abortion.

Conscience rights have long been protected through legislative actions and judicial rulings. The Supreme Court’s narrow ruling would affect only a small number of corporations, who, like Hobby Lobby are “closely held “corporations – owned by five or fewer people – and hold “sincere religious beliefs.” Especially given the established accommodation bypassing the employer, S. 2578 is unnecessary to solve the problem, and it would create precedent that should greatly concern pro-life Democrats.

 

Like you, we support affordable and accessible health care for all. S. 2578 does not address affordability or accessibility for the over 40 million Americans who do not have and cannot afford health insurance.

 

We hope you will consider our concerns and oppose this legislation—and support using the existing accommodation—should the Senate decide to bring this issue up again.

 

Sincerely,

 

Kristen Day
 
Executive Director
 
Democrats For Life of America

 

 

Tomblin’s Veto: Bad for Democrats

Posted in DFLA General

Tomblin’s Veto: Bad for Democrats

Conservatives Salivating at Opportunity to Take the House

by Kristen Day

Pro-life Democrats are deeply disappointed with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HB 4588). The legislation will ban abortion after 20 weeks (or 22 weeks post fertilization).

Conservatives are salivating at this as opportunity to smear pro-life Democrats in the West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate with a “guilt by association” strategy and attempting to write a script to assist with a Republican takeover. Kristan Hawkins, President of the conservative Students for Life group theorized that,

“the democratic leadership thought of the perfect “House of Cards plan. They allowed the bill to quickly come up for a vote, foregoing the usual debates in committee and educational citizen hearings. Worried about losing the House to Republicans in 2013, this allowed their vulnerable members to be on record voting pro-life. The whole time, they knew the Governor would veto the bill.”

Let me be clear, Governor Tomblin was wrong to veto the bill, but in no way was there a conspiracy to provide protection for pro-life Democrats in 2014. In fact, the veto is having quite the opposite effect, as conservatives are jumping on this opportunity to challenge the pro-life credentials of these pro-life Democrats.

Secretary Sebelius: Protect Conscience Rights

Posted in DFLA General

Contact Secretary Sebelius Today!

Pro-life Democrats fought successfully for no abortion funding in healthcare. We stood our ground and fought to protect the right of conscience for millions of Americans who will be purchasing health insurance in exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

While the rollout has not been smooth, one thing is clear.

The law protects conscience rights and no individual should be forced to pay for abortion.

Unfortunately, there is grave and legitimate concern that the law is not being followed.

The law requires the segregation of funds and an option to purchase a plan without abortion coverage. There is no reason why this information should be hidden. Yet, there has been no real effort to ensure that those with conscience objections will be informed or given the option for a plan that excludes abortion.

A few days ago, we encouraged you all to join the tweetfest to tell Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that we expect transparency with respect to abortion funding in healthcare.

As pro-life Democrats, we need to insist that the law be followed. We encourage you to contact Secretary Sebelius today and tell her:

"The ACA should be followed, and individuals who have conscience objections to abortion should be alerted up front if plans include abortion and provided with an alternative. We urge transparency and that long-standing conscience rights be protected."

There are several ways to contact the Secretary.

Mail:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Phone:

1-877-696-6775

Online HHS Feedback Form

 

CONTACT SECRETARY SEBELIUS TODAY!
 

Pro-life Democrats fought successfully for no abortion funding in healthcare.  We stood our ground and fought to protect the right of conscience for millions of Americans who will be purchasing health insurance in exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

 

While the rollout has not been smooth, one thing is clear.

 

The law protects conscience rights and no individual should be forced to pay for abortion.

 

 

Unfortunately, there is grave and legitimate concern that the law is not being followed.

 

The law requires the segregation of funds and an option to purchase a plan without abortion coverage.  There is no reason why this information should be hidden. Yet, there has been no real effort to ensure that those with conscience objections will be informed or given the option for a plan that excludes abortion.

 

A few days ago, we encouraged you all to join the tweetfest to tell Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that we expect transparency with respect to abortion funding in healthcare.

 

As pro-life Democrats, we need to insist that the law be followed.  We encourage you to contact Secretary Sebelius today and tell her:

 

"The ACA should be followed, and individuals who have conscience objections to abortion should be alerted up front if plans include abortion and provided with an alternative.  We urge transparency and that long-standing conscience rights be protected."

 

There are several ways to contact the Secretary.

 

Mail:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

 

Phone:

1-877-696-6775

 

Online form

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...