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THANK YOU NAT HENTOFF AND SENATOR COLGAN
Pro-life leaders remembered
 
Nat Hentoff 
Nat Hentoff was a friend and supporter of Democrats For Life of America and served on our Advisory Board for several years. A writer for the Village Voice for more than 50 years, he held a liberal orthodoxy. His passion was jazz and he frequently wrote about his love of music, including several books. He was a fierce advocate for free speech,  and strongly opposed abortion. The intersection of these two principles coincided in the early 1990’s.
 
In 1992, after Governor Robert Casey of Pennsylvania was prevented from speaking at the Democratic National Convention about abortion, Hentoff hosted the governor at the historic Cooper Union so he would have an opportunity to share his views on abortion. However, the governor was once again silenced by a group of “hooligans” who “made all speech except their own inaudible.”
 
In addition to opposing abortion, Hentoff defended the rights of peoplel with disablities and the elderly. His consistently well-thought writings and advocacy for human rights will be missed.
 
Farewell Nat Nentoff by Jonathan Turley
 
Senator Colgan
Senator Chuck Colgan retired from the Virginia state senate in 2015, at the young age of 89. Part of me wonders if he stayed there because he was the lone pro-life Democrat in the Virginia senate.
 
He was the longest-serving member of the Virginia state senate. First elected in 1975, he served in the leadership as the president pro tempore and budget conferee.
 
He was quiet but effective, not only willing but also encouraging of working across party lines for the good of the state. We hope we can find a pro-life Democrat to fill Senator Chuck Colgan's very big shoes and the hole left in our state legislature.
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2016 Elections: The tortoise and the hare

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DFLA Newsletter
January, 2017
 
The Pro-Life Voice Within the Democratic Party
POST-ELECTION ANALYSIS 
The tortoise and the hare
 
Watching the post-election analysis reminds me of Aesop's fable The Tortoise and the Hare. The hare thought he was in such good shape he did not have to put in a lot of effort to win the race. All indications were that the hare was clearly faster and there was no question he could beat the tortoise. However, the hare was over- confident, took a nap, and lost. 
 
Just as with the 2016 election, the Clinton team was over confident and did not visit nor bother appealing to necessary constituencies within the Democratic Party. The campaign, like the hare, thought they could walk away with a victory.
 
Sure, on paper, no one thought Donald Trump could win. Hillary Clinton clearly had more experience from serving as a U.S. senator and  secretary of state. However, Democrats ignored the fact that they were already losing before the presidential race even began. No post-race excuses can excuse away the pre-race reality. All the pre-race indicators, which Democrats For Life released in its 2016 report, were ignored in favor of a pre-conceived narrative that Democrats could win because they thought they were better than the alternative.
 
It is a hard lesson to learn.
 
But it could also be the necessary fall before the rise.
 
Recent articles are beginning to acknowledge that the Democratic Party is stronger when we are inclusive, and particularly when we include pro-life voices (see column to the right).
 
Electing pro-life Democrats in 2018 will be critically important. Of the 25 Democratic senators who are up for re-election, three have pro-life voting records:  Senator Joe Donnelly (IN), Senator Joe Manchin (WV) and Senator Bob Casey (PA). We hope more pro-life Democrats will make a run for U.S. House seats this year, and we will be let you know when they do.
 
Our state chapters will be letting us know what state house seats have pro-life candidates.
 
Our work is making a difference, and we need your help to continue this effort. Please consider making a contribution today to help implement our 2017 plans (see attachment).
 
Thank you for your continued support.
 
With warmest regards and wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year,
 
Kristen Day
Executive Director
 
Table of Contents
Join us at the March for Life 
 
Click here to learn more about our March for Life Breakfast.
Post-election articles show our message is being heard! 
 
 
Democrats Have a Religion Problem. This is an interview with Michael Wear, former director of President Obama's Faith-Based office. TheAtlantic.com, Dec. 25, 2016.
 
In Order to Compete Nationally, Democrats Must Embrace Pro-Life Candidates.   A pro-choice writer candidly argues the importance of the pro-life movement.  PasteMagazine.com, Dec. 6, 2016.
 
Leaving Pro-lifers behind: An end-of-year look at Hillary Clinton's loss. This article talks about Democrats' abortion problem. LiveActionNews.org, Dec. 31, 2016.
 
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Help Us With Visisbility!

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DFLA Newsletter
January, 2017
 
The Pro-Life Voice Within the Democratic Party
Help Us with Visibility! 
 
We need to place this order by tomorrow
 
The March for Life is a few weeks away and we have an opportunity to purchase signs to increase our visibility at the March.
 
If we order by January 8, 2017 (which is tomorrow), we will receive a 17 percent discount which means we can purchase 50 signs for just $200.00.
 
Will you consider a contribution today so we can place this order? Click here now!
 
Table of Contents
Join us at the March for Life 
 
If you have not signed up for the March for Life Breakfast, it is not too late.
 
Our Guest Speaker is Alex Schadenberg. Alex is the foremost expert on euthanasia and is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition International. 
 
Click here to learn more about our March for Life Breakfast.
 

“Abortion & Social Justice: ‘Prolife Progressive’ is not an Oxymoron”

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I am excited to share with you an essay just published in Commonweal magazine by one of members on the challenges of being a pro-life progressive.   He challenges the hesitancy of many progressives to accept a pro-life position.  Professor Gerald Schlabach of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota writes,
 
"It should be easy to be a prolife progressive. If we could somehow start from scratch and map out political alliances and coalitions according to the logic of people’s stated values, social-justice advocacy would coalesce with the defense of the unborn at any number of points: a preference for working at the causes, not just the symptoms, of social ills; a commitment to pursuing nonviolent alternatives, even where many see violence as justifiable; a principled suspicion of any rhetorical move that defines human creatures as outside our circle of regard or rights; above all, an insistence on testing all policies according to how they affect the most vulnerable. 
 
In reality, of course, it is quite hard to be a prolife progressive. The current political cycle offers no shortage of fresh reminders as to why."  
From Professor Gerald Schlabach's essay, "Abortion & Social Justice:  'Prolife Progressive is not an Oxymoron".
 
Perhaps, like me, you often get frustrated with the hesitancy of our dear friends to commit to being pro-life.  They say, "I am opposed to abortion, but...."  Or they say, "I am not as strongly pro-life as you." 
 
Professor Schlabach cuts through those hesitancies to articulate why all progressives should embrace pro-life policies.
 
Please read the article and share it with friends.  It is online now and is in the print edition of Commonweal magazine.
 
We often hear heated arguments by our Democratic friends about how we shouldn't impose our values on others by telling a woman she shouldn't have a choice, but how often do we hear our friends insist that gun control is critically important?
 
In this essay, Professor Schlabach explains the inconsistency in a way that I found very helpful and am eager to share.
 
As you gather with family and friends for the Holidays, I don't suggest you get into an argument over these issues, but you might want to reflect on Professor Schlabach's musings and eventually share his essay with your friends and family. 
 
It is so important for this type of critical thinking on the sanctity of life and progressive values to become part of the mainstream dialogue.  So I encourage you to please share his analysis in a letter or op ed piece to your local media.
 
As we see the political scene evolve to one in which more pro-life politicians have won elections over pro-choice candidates, my friends think I should be happy; and in a way, I am hopeful, but as a progressive I am worried about the future of our women, children and men.  
 
I hope we all resolve in the New Year to fight for a progressive politics that, as Professor Schlabach suggests, "rests on a bedrock moral conviction that we do not solve our social problems by killing the weakest and most vulnerable among us...."
 
Please join us in changing the political discourse. 
 
And don't forget to help Democrats like yourself get active.  Speak out through the support of Democrats for Life of America.   Please click here to make a contribution today!
 
In life,
 
Janet Robert
President, Democrats for Life of America
 
 
 

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Big Plans in 2017!

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YEAR END APPEAL
December, 2016
 

 
   
Dear DFLA member:
 
As we enter the closing days of the year, I wanted to share a recent post from one of our DFLA board members:
 
…   Tonight I was on an excellent panel at St. Catherine's parish in Riverside, CT, on faith and the common good after the election. As part of my remarks … I made it clear how important it is that we find more and better ways to protect prenatal children and their mothers. 
 
 
After the panel, a number of people stayed to talk ….   At a certain point, a man, probably in his 70's, and his son, probably in his 30's, came over. The older man had tears in his eyes as he explained how much it meant to him to have a professor stand up for life and, particularly, the life of his son, who very clearly has Down syndrome. He explained that his wife had died and this was his only son.
 
About 30 seconds into this father gushing about his boy's accomplishments, the younger man simply grabbed me and hugged me as hard as I've been hugged by anyone. It was a hug that, yes, demonstrated affection and gratitude, but I got the very strong sense that it also came from fear and the need for protection/security.
 
…  It was one of the most moving moments of my life, and it reminded me why--despite all the challenges and frustrations that come with it--I will never, ever stop fighting for the protection of the most vulnerable from the horrific, barbaric practice of abortion in the United States….
 
 -Charles Carmosy, Ph.D.    DFLA
 
His experience reminded me that we must stay and fight within our Party to reach our ultimate goal – the respect and protection of all life. 
 
As we prepare our budget and plans for next year, we ask that you please consider an end-of-year gift to Democrats for Life of America.  
 
I’ve included a summary of our “Big ticket”/ important focus areas – National Legislative Initiatives, Pro-Life Democratic Candidacies, Ongoing Party Influence, Integrated Communication Strategies, and more….  
 
Please consider both the sweeping national initiatives and the quiet human vulnerability on which our efforts are focused.  Thank you in advance for anything you can spare for a year-end gift to Democrats for Life of America. Please click here to make a contribution today!
 
In life,
 
Janet Robert
 
 
 
PROJECTS & PROJECTIONS
Democrats For Life of America - 2016/2017
 
 
Initiative
2016 Accomplishments
2017 Plans
CREATING A MORE VISIBLE PRESENCE
Conferences:
Actively sponsoring conferences (and manning a table on-site ensures that we are reaching like-minded folks. It is a great membership driver.
Media Presence:
Our members have had greater visibility through commentaries and interviews. When the public hears more voices speak on the sanctity of life, it gives them courage to publicly take a stand.
Conferences where DFLA had a presence:
  1. Life/Peace/Justice Conference, Villanova, PA
  2. Pro-Life Women’s Conference, Dallas, TX
  3. Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, PA
Noteworthy Media:
  1. Billboard at DNC Convention.
  2. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Op/Ed “Pro-life Democrats need to be more vocal about their beliefs.”
  3. LA Times Op/Ed “How the Democratic platform betrays millions of the party faithful.”
  4. USA Today Op/Ed “Texas law makes women safer: Opposing View”.
Conferences where DFLA would like to have a presence:
  1. March for Life, Washington, DC ($750 - Funded)
  2. Walk for Life West Coast ($75 – Funded) 
  3. Life/Peace/Justice Conference, Fairfax, VA ($500)
  4. Pro-life Women’s Conference, Orlando, FL ($1800) 
  5. National Right to Life Conference , Milwaukee, WI ($1500).
  6. Students for Life, Washington, DC 2018 ($2000).
Total needed: $5800.00  
LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES TO BETTER SUPPORT PREGNANT WOMEN:
We made very good headway moving the focus from ending funding for family planning to shifting it away from Planned Parenthood abortion clinics and to facilities, like Community Health Centers, that provide comprehensive healthcare for families. With Republicans in full control, we need to ensure that we preserve and advance support for pregnant women and new mothers.
 Legislative Accomplishments:
  1. Advocated for fully funding Community Health Centers over Planned Parenthood abortion clinics.
  2. Meetings with key legislators to help them understand how perinatal hospice options give families the courage to choose life.
  3. Meetings with legislators to educate them on paid maternity leave.
 Legislative Goals:
  1. Perinatal Hospice.
  2. Increase funding for Pregnancy Assistance Fund (Pregnant Women Support Act).
  3. Paid Maternity Leave
  4. Preserving important life-saving provisions in Obamacare, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Total needed : $10,000.00
SUPPORTING OUR MEMBERS:
Annual Democrats For Life events are critical to uniting pro-life Democrats from around the country. The face-to-face contact and the opportunity to share ideas are invaluable.
We have some wonderful volunteers, but we desperately need to hire additional staff to help with our growing pains. Our numbers continue to grow, and we need more help to do a better job promoting our united message. Every day we receive e-mails and calls from people wanting to build or help with activities in their state.
  1. In the spring of 2016, in New Orleans, we held our annual conference to unite pro-life Democrats. It was wonderful to bring people from all over the country together to share ideas and learn about building an organization in their area.
  1. We also created a volunteer database and now have an exceptional group of volunteers to help with website updates, graphic design, editing, and writing. Out database also allows us to communicate more easily with members and provide updated information more easily to state volunteer coordinators.
  1. Our State Chapter Conference will bring us back to Philadelphia the weekend of April 1, We need to raise seed money to reserve space and for other pre-conference expenses. ($3,000)
  1. Our goal in 2017 is to hire a State Chapter Coordinator to build our grassroots movement. Every week, we receive queries about activities across the country. ($40,000)
Total needed: $43,000.00

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...