Democrats for Life of America
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT: Kristen Day
September 3, 2012
Over 25,000 Democrats Sign Big Tent Petition
Pro-life Democrats Call for Inclusive Language in Platform
Charlotte, NC – Today, a panel of pro-life Democrats announced growing support for broader platform language on abortion. Citing moral and political reasons, the panel explained that a Democratic Party that embraces a whole life agenda would be more successful in drastically reducing abortion in America and supporting the vulnerable in society. Citing the fact that 21 million Democrats identify as pro-life, the panel explained that Democrats must make room for these voters if they hope to regain governing majorities and represent the American people.
“Most Americans support protecting life after birth as well as some common-sense restrictions and limitations on abortion. A broader acceptance for those who support life from womb to tomb will make our Party stronger,” said Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life of America.
With a life-affirming message, which includes advocating access to economic and social justice from conception to natural death, the Democratic Party would achieve a strong majority. Conversely, history has told us that the focus on an exclusively “pro-choice” message will not achieve a Democratic majority. Since 1978, the number of pro-choice members has hovered around 167 – far less than the 218 needed for a Democratic majority (see attached chart).
“The only way that the Democratic Party is going to win the seats back that we lost in 2010 is to run people that fit the districts,” said former Congressman Bart Stupak. “A pro-choice member could not win my old seat, or Kathy Dahlkemper’s or the Driehaus seat. A Democratic Party that once again embraces its pro-life members and allows people to vote their conscience on abortion will allow its members to focus on the economy and other important issues that we all agree on. The focus on abortion only serves to divide our party and jeopardizes our ability to protect the vulnerable.”
In fact, without pro-life Democrats, several key recent pieces of legislation, including the Affordable Care Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the Dodd-Frank Act, would not have been signed into law.
“The Democratic Platform does not support my point of view,” said former Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper. “Yet, I was able to unseat a 14-year Republican incumbent because of my pro-life position. We cannot regain the majority, make a serious effort to reduce abortion, address poverty, or provide a prosperous future unless we expand our mission and our tent to include those who oppose abortion.”
Studies have shown that the main reasons women choose abortion are financial concerns or lack of support. Pro-life Democrats oppose abortion and oppose the cuts to the programs that will address the root causes of abortion.
“We cannot ask a woman to carry a child to term and then cut the SNAP program that provides nutrition to children and the WIC program which provides nutrition to pregnant and nursing women,” said legal scholar Tom Berg. “Addressing the poverty in our nation will have the effect of also decreasing the abortion rate.”
“We pro-life Democrats are often asked why we don’t just become Republicans,” political science scholar Steve Schneck noted. “The Democratic Party used to have more pro-life members than the GOP. The Democratic Party should still be the home for pro-life citizens. This made sense before and still makes sense today. We believe that the future of the pro-life movement lies with the Democratic Party. Sadly, the Republican Party will never support the programs for social and economic justice that are the foundation for pro-life America.”