Press Releases

Democrat Bel Edwards Follows Through on Whole Life Promises

Posted in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2016
CONTACT: Kristen Day (202) 220-3066

Louisiana’s John Bel Edwards is showing the nation what a Whole Life Democrat looks like, signing laws to extend Medicaid and to protect the health of women.

“Governor Edwards represents the future of the Democratic Party,” said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America.  “We cannot ignore any person who needs assistance, whether it be access to health care or the protection of the right to life.”

Bel Edwards made being a Pro-Life (Whole Life) Democrat part of his campaign for governor, and he followed through on his promises once he took office in January.  The day after being sworn in, Bel Edwards signed an executive order expanding Medicaid to cover an additional 300,000 Louisiana residents.

On May 19th, he signed into law two new protections for women.  The first requires that all doctors who perform abortions be board-certified either in obstetrics and gynecology or in family medicine, or that the doctors be certifiable in these fields.  The law is intended to protect women from dangerous abortion mills run by unqualified staff.

The other protection extends the waiting period for women seeking abortions from 24 hours to 72 hours.  This additional time affords women the opportunity to reflect and make a real choice, without being pressured into an abortion.

“Many women are coerced into abortion because they believe it is their only choice,” said Day. “As Democrats, we should be seeking more ways to provide support and opportunity for women to carry their children to term, not advocating for unsafe abortion.”

By protecting the poor and the vulnerable, Bel Edwards shows what a Whole Life Democrat administration can do, and why this type of leadership is so needed in the Democratic Party right now.

“Americans are tired of having two parties that don’t represent their beliefs.  There are more than 20 million Pro-Life (Whole Life) Democrats ready to fight for a candidate who shares their commitment to freedom and justice, security and prosperity, equality and community, and hope and progress,” said. Day.

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DFLA to Trump: Support, Don't Punish, Women

Posted in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2016
CONTACT: Kristen Day (202) 220-3066

During another incoherent media appearance – incoherent and contradictory media appearances seem to be hallmarks of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign – the former reality TV star and leading contender for the GOP nomination said that women who get abortions should be punished.

“There has to be some form of punishment,” Trump told Chris Matthews during the taping of an MSNBC town hall event.

It’s well established that Trump is a misogynist, and his clueless comments about abortion show that he is not really pro-life. Only a fraud pretending to be pro-life would say something like this comment because he thinks that’s what his followers want to hear. Sadly, his comments reflect his empty posturing on abortion.

The GOP for decades has been the party that opposes abortion, while at the same time ignoring or opposing policy changes to support pregnant women that would ultimately reduce the number of abortions.

Women don’t need to be punished. They need jobs. Their families need jobs paying family living wages. They need greater access to affordable healthcare. They need paid family leave. They need affordable childcare. A woman needs to know that she doesn’t have to choose between her baby and her education or career.

Trump’s ugly statement calling simply for punishment, while never mentioning support for women and children, is a more extreme version of the GOP’s position that wants to end abortion without providing a social safety net.

The mainstream Democratic Party needs to pay attention. Pro-lifers are waking up to the fact that they no longer have a home in the GOP. Democrats need to embrace the Whole Life philosophy that provides protection from conception to natural death, which would give millions of voters a voice – and a real choice.

Women deserve better: DFLA joins Texas in Supreme Court case

Posted in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

February 12, 2016
CONTACT: Kristen Day (202) 220-3066

Women deserve clean, safe, and effective health care.  That’s why Democrats For Life of America is filing an amicus brief siding with the state of Texas in the fight to protect women.

"I am a Democrat because I believe that the government has a responsibility to put people first, to protect their interests, and to promote safe working environments, a livable wage, and safety in medical facilities,” said Kristen Day, executive director of DFLA.  “The Texas law is a model of Democratic values, putting the protection and safety of women over corporate interests.”

The United States Supreme Court soon will hear arguments in the case brought by Whole Women’s Health against Texas officials after the state passed a law setting minimum safety requirements for abortion clinics.  Rather than make sure that women could see doctors with hospital admitting privileges and that abortion clinics would have the same standards as any other surgical clinic, Texas abortion providers shut their businesses and filed suit.

 “The opponents of the law are more interested in limiting government oversight and in preventing adequate regulation of a business that is built around persuading women to end the lives of their unborn children,” said Day.  “If they cared about women, they would invest in meeting the safety standards set by the law and ensuring that no clinic of any kind will operate like Gosnell’s ‘house of horrors.’”

The legislation was introduced in response to the discovery of an unregulated abortion clinic in Pennsylvania operated by Kermit Gosnell.  He was convicted of 3 counts of murder, 21 felony counts of performing illegal abortions, and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law.  The Whole Women’s Health argument claims that Texas is harming women by setting safety standards.  Sadly, this is the view of too many in the Democratic Party.

“That’s right, an attempt to protect women is being spun by abortion extremists as somehow harming women,” said Day.  “The Democratic Party is too focused on catering to the abortion industry to see that helping women and their families is the right call.” 

 DFLA has been at the forefront of helping women, pushing for measures that protect unborn life and that support women’s and children's health.  DFLA was able to help get the Pregnancy Assistance Fund included in the Affordable Care Act, making sure that expectant and parenting mothers have a network of support to help them gain access to health care, child care, family housing, and other critical services.  DFLA also supports paid family leave, affordable child care, and other programs to help pregnant mothers and parenting families.

DFLA is joined by the National Legal Foundation on the amicus brief, written by Foundation attorney Steven W. Fitschen.  The National Legal Foundation is a pro-life, pro-women public interest law firm that believes the health of women is critically important.

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To read the Amicus Brief, please click here.

DEMOCRATS FOR LIFE STAND UP FOR FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE

Posted in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

February 5, 2016
CONTACT: Kristen Day (202) 220-3066

Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) is proud to join the legal battle against religious discrimination and in favor of conscience, filing an amicus brief this week in an important U.S. Supreme Court case.  DFLA’s brief supports the request of pro-life pharmacists in Washington state that the U.S. Supreme Court protect their right to decline to dispense emergency contraceptives that they reasonably believe may cause the abortion of new embryos.

The state of Washington passed regulations that allowed pharmacies to decline to stock or dispense these and other drugs for business or convenience reasons, but not for reasons of moral or religious conscience.  The state singled out conscience-based reasons even though pharmacies were more than 10 times more likely to have business or convenience reasons for not stocking the drugs.

“In addition, as DFLA emphasized, the evidence indicated that there was no issue of access for those who wanted these medicines, and the state itself stipulated that ‘facilitated referrals [to other pharmacies] pose no threat to timely access,’” said Kristen Day, the executive director of DFLA.  “Yet the Court of Appeals disregarded the fact and allowed the state to punish pharmacies solely because their reason for referring customers elsewhere would be a matter of religious conscience.  This kind of discrimination is repugnant and unconstitutional.” 

In Stormans v. Wiesman, the Stormans family, owners of the Ralph’s Thriftway in Olympia, and two individual pharmacists employed elsewhere in Washington state are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case and the justices to uphold their right not to be forced into giving out abortion-inducing drugs.  The case has dragged on for nine years, ever since the state of Washington first imposed a Planned Parenthood-approved rule against the family and pharmacists.

The state rule forces pharmacies to give out so-called “morning after” contraception (Plan B) and “five-day after” pills (ella), despite the fact that FDA labeling indicates that these drugs may have the effect of preventing a newly fertilized embryo from implanting in the womb.  Giving out the drugs is a violation of the conscience of the Stormans family and the pharmacists because they, like millions of other Americans, believe that a distinct human life begins at the moment of fertilization.

Thomas C. Berg, the James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, wrote the brief on behalf of the Democrats For Life of America, the Christian Legal Society, and other groups.  In his brief, Berg notes that the state rule flies in the face of America’s tradition of respect for religious freedom, especially in cases involving the taking of human life.  Our laws protect religious objectors from forced participation in war, in capital punishment, in assisted suicide, and in abortion. 
           
“Forcing the petitioners to stock and dispense these drugs, over their religiously grounded conscientious objection, would impose a severe burden entirely out of step with this nation’s tradition of protecting those who, in good conscience, believe they would be wrongly taking a life,” Berg writes.

Despite the fact that a federal court found the state of Washington’s contraception rule unconstitutional in 2012 after a 12-day trial, the state took the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last year, and those judges ruled against the pharmacists.  The Ninth Circuit opinion refused to follow Supreme Court precedent and the decisions of other courts prohibiting the state from singling out religious conscience for prohibition.

The Stormans family and the pharmacists believe that these drugs take a human life, and they have a right to their beliefs.

“Our nation—as any nation committed to civil liberty would—protects those who believe that their action would immorally contribute to the taking of a human life,” Berg writes in the brief.

Threats to religious liberty and freedom of conscience are threats to all of our rights.  DFLA calls on all Democrats – and all Americans – to stand for freedom of conscience and against religious discrimination.

To read the brief click here.

More information about the Democrats For Life of America can be found at www.democratsforlife.org.


For interviews:
Kristen Day 202-220-3066
Executive Director, Democrats For Life of America
601 Pennsyvlania Avenue, NW

Words Matter – No human being is illegal

Posted in Press Releases

DEMOCRATS FOR LIFE OF AMERICA PROTECTING. STRENGTHENING. RE-BUILDING.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
November 12, 2015
CONTACT: Kristen Day (202) 220-3066
 

Washington, D.C.-- Major candidates in the Democratic Party’s nomination race for the White House keep missing the point when it comes to abortion, and they ​continue to risk losing the support of pro-life Democrats.

​While former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is trying to score political points against former​ Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s support for a border wall, his campaign team ignores the truth in favor of rhetoric.
​ ​
An O’Malley staffer recently sent off ​an email to Kristen Day, Democrats​For Life of America’s executive director, ​going after Clinton.​
 
“Words matter, and no human being is illegal,” the staffer wrote. “This intolerant rhetoric has no place in our party.  We need to stand up and lead with the compassionate message and actions that make us who we are.”
 
Words do matter.  The O’Malley team is right about that.  And no human being is illegal.  Right again.  So what about a human being in the womb?
 
“Governor O'Malley is challenging the ‘intolerant rhetoric’ that protects human beings only on the basis of their location,” Day said.  “We agree that location, even if the location is in the womb, should not determine the right to life.”
 
It might make good politics to challenge Clinton on the border, but what about challenging her on the right to life? What about opening up the Big Tent to let in the millions of pro-life Democrats who have been left behind by the party?
 
Since the Democratic Party stopped pushing for a 50-state strategy, the party started losing pro-life support, and started losing key elections.  According to the recent Democratic Victory Strategy report, since 2010, the party has lost 69 House seats, 13 Senate seats, 912 state legislative seats, 30 state legislative chambers, and 12 governorships.   
 
Can O’Malley challenge the outdated thinking that drives the party, and be a real voice for the people?  Even the unborn people?  Democrats For Life of America hopes he can see the truth and stand up for all rights, beginning with the right to life.
 
And it’s not just a matter of winning elections.  The Democratic Party must acknowledge the truth of these new lives, no matter how small.  Day said that a friend recently gave birth to a premature baby.
 
“She made a plea for prayers for her child as she went into preterm labor.  Words matter,” Day said.  “No one said that it is just a bunch of cells so it does not matter.  Pro-choice and pro-life friends all prayed for this tiny human being.  The precious little boy was born at 1 pound 4 ounces.  Words matter.”
 
Democrats For Life of America calls on O’Malley to stand for truth.  No human beings are illegal.  Words matter.

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...