Press Releases

How the Democratic platform betrays millions of the party faithful

Posted in Press Releases

(As appeared in the Los Angeles Times on 07/25/16)

The abortion plank in the 2016 Democratic platform effectively marginalizes the voices of 21 million pro-life Democrats. It means the party that is supposedly on the side of justice for the vulnerable no longer welcomes those of us who #ChooseBoth; that is, those of us who want the government to protect and support prenatal children and their mothers.

Most significantly, the platform calls for the repeal of the Hyde and Helms amendments, which prevent taxpayer funds from being used to pay for abortions. This would force those who object to abortion to contribute to what we believe would be government-funded killing, and it would eradicate policies that have already saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

U.S. abortion law ... makes many progressive countries in Europe (which set their threshold for abortion at 12 to 13 weeks) look like pro-life radicals.

Platforms are sometimes ignored, but they are hard-fought outlines of each party's character and often signal a party’s future trajectory. The 2016 Democratic platform is a flat-out betrayal of millions of Democrats, undoing policies that have kept us in the party working toward common progressive goals on a host of other issues.

Here are three other ways the 2016 platform betrays Democrats like us:

 
  • It calls for repeal of all “federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion.” Support for abortion rights in this platform is deemed “unequivocal.”
  • The platform asserts that “reproductive health” — which includes access to “safe and legal abortion” — is “core to women’s, men’s, and young people’s health and wellbeing.”
  • A commitment to religious liberty in the context of abortion, which was included in the 2012 platform, has been removed.

U.S. abortion law (which permits abortion for any reason until viability, about 22 to 23 weeks) already makes many progressive countries in Europe (which set their threshold for abortion at 12 to 13 weeks) look like pro-life radicals. Now the Democratic platform pushes the party to roll back even the very modest abortion regulations currently on the books.

And removing even a nod toward “religious liberty” from the platform puts Democrats at fundamental odds with the many religious organizations whose mission is nonviolence and protection of the most vulnerable.

In the 2008 presidential primary campaign, candidate Hillary Clinton said abortion should be safe, legal and rare. “And by rare,” Clinton emphasized, “I mean rare.” Yet her 2016 platform team has approved provisions that make access to abortion crucial to the well-being of every single person on the planet.

The Democratic Party's abortion stances have already caused many to leave the party, and many more will drop out because of the platform wording. The percentage of extreme abortion rights advocates is increasing in the party, but only because the total number of Democrats has shrunk to its lowest level since the Hoover administration.

Abortion is also among the reasons Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives. In the key states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, for example, Democrats held the majority of seats until Republicans were able to associate the Affordable Care Act with “the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.” (In some states, Obamacare covers abortion; no states can use federal subsidies or tax credits to pay for the procedure.) 

Former Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) filed a lawsuit against the Susan B. Anthony List, which, working with the Republican Party, had falsely accused him of supporting taxpayer funding of abortion because he supported Obamacare. Driehaus charged that being associated with abortion in this way led directly to his defeat.

He wasn't alone: Sixty-four Democrats voted for the antiabortion Stupak amendment to the Affordable Care Act; 88% of those seats went to Republicans after Democrats were tied to the assertion that Obamacare funded abortion. Former Democratic Rep. Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, who lost his bid for reelection, noted that antiabortion voters didn’t stop sending people to Congress: “They just stopped sending Democrats.”

To beat Donald Trump, the Democratic Party needs to carry swing states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, where radical support for abortion rights has been proven to drive away voters. The party also has been working hard to turn traditionally red states like Texas blue or at least purple, and abortion-rights extremism won't help that cause either.

Finally, Democrats depend on the votes of young people and women, and both groups (especially young women) are far more antiabortion than is generally known. For instance, clear majorities of women — and of young people — favor a 20-week limit on abortion.

“As a feminist and a mother, I find it troubling that the Democrats have such extreme views in support of abortion,” said Jeanne-Nicole Saint-Laurent, an assistant professor at Marquette University. “I'd never support Trump, but if the Democrats had a more moderate position on abortion it would be easier to support Clinton. I just can't support the violence of abortion.”

The future of the Democratic Party depends on its diversity, its ability to remain inclusive. The 2016 platform language on abortion torpedoes those goals. When Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia heard about the platform's call to repeal the Hyde amendment he had a succinct response: “That’s crazy.” We couldn’t say it any better.

Kristen Day is executive director of Democrats for Life and Charles Camosy is an associate professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University.

 

Pro-Life Dems Honor Gov. Edwards in Philadelphia

Posted in Press Releases

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Democrats For Life of America July, 2016
   
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         

July 23, 2016

Contact: Kristen Day (703-424-6663)

 

Pro-Life Democrats Going to Philadelphia to Honor

Pro-Life Governor

Releasing Report on Making Room for Pro-Life Democrats

Washington, D.C. – Democrats For Life of America is inviting pro-life Democrats to join in the call for a Big Tent Party at the DNC Convention and releasing its report, “Make Room for Pro-Life Democrats and the Party Wins.” Governor John Bel Edwards is receiving the Governor Casey Whole Life Leadership Award during a special reception at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, July 27.

 

“The future of the Democratic Party is at stake,” said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of American.  “And, John Bel Edwards shows that Democrats can gain victories in Red States like Louisiana, if the party is willing to reverse course, listen to the voters, and support pro-life candidates.”

 

One in three Democrats are already Pro-Life, and most Americans in the middle support Pro-Life policies, like the halting of federal funding for abortion. But the Democratic Party keeps rejecting its Pro-Life base in favor of extremist positions, further alienating Americans, and risking the future of the country.

Since it abandoned the 50 State Strategy that would have supported Pro-Life candidates, the Democratic Party has lost 912 state legislative seats and the control of 30 state legislative chambers, 69 US House seats, 13 US Senate seats, and 13 governorships.

 

“We can turn this around by promoting a Whole Life platform that respects people on all side of the abortion questions, and gives room for Pro-Life voters to engage with the party,” said Day. “The current platform elevates abortion to a core value and demands taxpayer funding of abortion both at home and abroad.”

 

Edwards won in Louisiana in large part because he is Pro-Life. Democrats can take victories from Republicans by embracing whole life ideals, and the voters who support that vision.

 

Democrats have made this mistake before, when they tried to shut out Gov. Robert Casey, the staunch Pro-Life leader who wasn’t afraid to buck his party in order to stand for his principles. 

 

“The presidential election race is already beginning to tighten, and the GOP is losing support,” said Day. “Now is the time to reach out and become the party of which all Americans can be proud, not shut the door of a third of its supporters.”

 

The reception starts at 11 a.m. on July 27 in the Symphony Ballroom at the Double Tree by Hilton at the Philadelphia Center City, 237 S. Broad Street. The program will being at 11:30.

 

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Please visit our website at www.democratsforlife.org.

Excited! Rep. Katrina Jackson to attend DNC event!

Posted in Press Releases

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Democrats For Life of America
July, 2016
   
 
Dear friend,
 
Thank you to everyone who contributed to help us print more copies of our report,“Make Room for Pro-Life Democrats and Achieve our Party Goals Nationwide.” As you know, it lays out exactly how excluding pro-life Democrats has hurt the Party and how opening the Big Tent makes us stronger. 
 
I am overwhelmed with gratitude!
 
We will be able to give one copy to every Democrat in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.
 
If you would still like to support our work in Philadelphia, we need 4 more $100 sponsors to help underwrite the cost of the event. Please consider this or help by sponsoring a student who would like to attend. Click here to support the event.
 
We are also excited to announce that State Representative Katrina Jackson will be attending our reception in Philadelphia and helping us present the award to Governor John Bel Edwards. She is a pro-life leader in Louisiana who shares the Governors whole life views.
 
I cannot beleive I will be leaving in only 3 days! I will be live tweeting (@prolifdem) from the Convention and also posting on Facebook. So make sure you are following me!
 
Thank you for all your support and kind words.
 
Kristen
Kristen Day
Executive Director
Democrats For Life of America
Thank you for your suppport!
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Due to your generosity, each of your Senators and Representatives will receive a copy of “Make Room for Pro-Life Democrats and Achieve our Party Goals Nationwide”?
 
 
 
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Please visit our website at www.democratsforlife.org.
Donate to our Open the Big Tent Initiative here.

DFLA Report Lays Out Key to Win Back the Majority

Posted in Press Releases

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Democrats For Life of America
July, 2016
   
 
Dear friend,
 
I am excited! In just one week, we will be at the National Democratic Convention in Philadelphia!
 
We are almost ready to print our report, “Make Room for Pro-Life Democrats and Achieve our Party Goals Nationwide.”It lays out exactly how excluding pro-life Democrats has hurt the Party and how opening the Big Tent makes us stronger.
 
We are taking this message to Philadelphia!
 
We would like to provide a copy of our report to every Democrat in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate but each copy costs $8 to print. Would you consider a contribution to help us make sure each elected official receives a copy? We have enough right now to print 150 copies. If you send as little as $24, we can send  a copy to your U.S. Representative and both U.S. Senators.
 
With your help, we printed new brochures and I am lookingforward to passing those out at the Convention. With your help, we put up a billboard in Philadelphia letting everyone know that one in three Democrats are pro-life. With your help, we have this beautiful new banner. With your help, we can distribute our report to thousands of elected officials.  
 
While the platform language looks dour, we are going to make a big impact next week. With 60,000 Democrats converging on Philadelphia, there is no better place to share our mission!
 
Thank you for all your support and kind words.
 
Kristen
Kristen Day
Executive Director
Democrats For Life of America
Help Us Share This Important Report With Your Represenatives!
 
Do youArticle Image want to make sure your representative receives a copy of the DFLA report “Make Room for Pro-Life Democrats and Achieve our Party Goals Nationwide”?
 
 
   ;  
 
Please visit our website at www.democratsforlife.org.
Donate to our Open the Big Tent Initiative here.

Dem Platform on Abortion #That'sCrazy #OpentheBigTent

Posted in Press Releases

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Democrats For Life of America
July, 2016
   
 
Dear Friend,
 
Last Friday, the Democratic Platform Committee took a radical pro-abortion position in the draft platform, despite pleas from both pro-life and pro-choice advocates to include language in the platform that recognizes the existence of pro-life members in the party and pledges to find common ground. If the convention approves it, our party will go on record as advocating for:
 
  1. Abortion as a “core value” of Americans.
  2. The repeal of the Hyde and Helms amendments prohibiting the use of taxpayer funds for abortions.
  3. The repeal of reasonable safety regulations for the abortion industry.
Thus, the party has moved from a position of “safe, legal, and rare” to “unlimited and state-supported." 
 
DFLA is asking you to express your outrage in as many social media outlets as possible. Use the reasons listed below to emphasize the stupidity of this move, or quote the eloquence of US Senator Joe Manchin (WV) when he responded: “That’s crazy!” 
 
Unless you speak out, the media will not take notice! So send out your personal message on Twitter, Facebook, or elsewhere: "Have you seen the Democratic Platform on abortion? Radically out of the mainstream! Are they crazy? Are they trying to run off voters?" Use the hashtags #thatscrazy #openthebigtent.
 
Ask all the other pro-life friends you know to join the clamor in social media, spreading the word as far as we can about this affront to American values that is destroying the Democratic Party.
 
These facts should be causing the Democratic leadership to scramble for a way to turn around election results. Yet, as Matt Iglesias wrote for Vox.com: “[T]he truly striking thing is how close to bottom the party is already and how blind it seems to be to that fact.” Many other political columnists have pointed out the demise of the party, its insane rigidity on abortion support, and its sell-out to the abortion lobby. Nothing could help Donald Trump more than this extreme Democratic abortion stance!
 
We will make our case in Philadelphia at the Democratic National Convention, so join us if you can.. After you post on social media, send us your ideas and participate!
 
Kristen Day
Executive Director
Democrats For Life of America
 
Here are key reasons why the party must include the pro-life position in its considerations and platform—
  1.  One-third of the party membership is pro-life—a number too large to disregard.
  2.   Our party, which champions social justice and the vulnerable in so many other areas, should care about the weakest and most defenseless humans—those in the womb who have no voice.
  3.  For many Democrats, and taxpayers, opposition to abortion is a matter of deep personal conscience, which should be protected under our party's commitment to no discrimination against any creed. 
  4. Polls show Americans are increasingly leaning pro-life:
  • 47% of Americans identify as pro-choice, 46% as pro-life. (Gallup.com, May 2016)
  • 69% of Americans think abortion should be illegal in certain or all cases. (Gallup.com, May 2016)
  • 32% of Democrats and 50% of Independents identify as pro-life. (Gallup.com, May 2015)
  •        56% of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, and only 39% favor it (CNN Poll 2014), while a 2016 Marist Poll shows 68% opposition.
  1.   Since 2009, when the party ended its "50 State Strategy" of acknowledging pro-life positions, Democrats have seen catastrophic losses:
  • 912 state legislative seats and the control of 30 state legislative chambers,
  • 69 US House seats,
  • 13 US Senate seats, and
  • 13 governorships.
 
 
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Please visit our website at www.democratsforlife.org.
Donate to our Open the Big Tent Initiative here.
 


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...