Press Releases

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS FREE SPEECH FOR CENTERS THAT SUPPORT PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN

Posted in Press Releases

Centers will not have to advertise how to get abortions

Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) commends the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the California law that required centers that oppose abortion and provide support to pregnant and parenting women to tell women how to obtain state-funded abortions. The law – the “Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency Act” – would require pro-life pregnancy centers to “provide a government-drafted script about the availability of state-sponsored services, as well as contact information for how to obtain them.”

“Under the law, the pro-life centers would have been forced to promote abortion, the very service they were set up to oppose,” said Kristen Day, the executive director of Democrats for Life of America. “Many women in crisis pregnancy don’t want abortion – even abortion-rights supporters will agree with that.  The pro-life centers provide a viable option for women who don’t want abortion.”

 The law violated the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause by compelling pregnancy centers to advertise a message—how to get abortions—that they deeply oppose and that, indeed, conflicts with their very reason for existing. The law also discriminated against the state’s disfavored viewpoint—by singling out centers with a pro-life viewpoint, opposed to abortion, while doing nothing to ensure that abortion providers give information to their clients about alternatives to abortion.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra argued that “information is power, and all women should have access to information they need when making personal health care decisions.”

 “If the attorney general really believed that, he would have also required abortion clinics to provide women with referrals to one of the 135 pregnancy centers that offer women the right to parent,” said Day. “The law was singularly focused on sending women to abortion clinics instead of empowering women to make true decisions about their pregnancy and their future.”

Pro-life pregnancy centers offer women job training, clothing for both the mothers and babies, and other resources both during and after pregnancy.

“Pregnancy care centers give compassionate support to tens of thousands of women across the nation,” said Day. “They do not mislead women, as pro-abortion groups falsely claim. The court correctly ruled on this case.”

#

Congressman Lipinski’s Victory is a Big Win for the Big Tent

Posted in Press Releases

Washington, DC: Democrats For Life of America congratulates Congressman Dan Lipinski on his well-deserved Primary win.

Steve Schneck, former Director of Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies summed up the victory in an early morning tweet, “Wrongheaded Democrat elites in DC targeted incumbent Democrat Dan Lipinski for defeat by a primary opponent. Pro-life Lipinski does not bow to DC activists on abortion. But tonight, with the help of Chicago’s working-class Latinos & African-Americans Lipinski defeated the DC insider.”

“This was a win for the Big Tent Democratic Party,” said Kristen Day, executive director, Democrats For Life of America.

A recent poll before the election by NARAL Pro-choice America showed that women favored Lipinski by 43% to 40% and Hispanic voters by 44% to 33%.  African Americans supported Lipinski by a more considerable margin, 54% to 26%.

The pro-abortion lobby flooded the district with money and volunteers painting Representative Lipinski as a conservative who was out of touch with his district. They pointed to his vote against the Affordable Care Act (ACA), although he has been a vocal proponent of affordable healthcare and has opposed every attempt to overturn it. They also painted Dan as anti-immigrant telling voters he supports a border wall, which he clearly stated he did not. The groups used a 2006 vote, supported by a majority of Democrats, including then-Senator Obama to fund a fence along 700 miles of the Mexican border.

“The outside messaging called Dan conservative and not a real Democrat,” said Day. “His record says otherwise with an 88 percent Party loyalty rating and solid lifetime records with labor, education and environmental groups. The race was not about Dan’s record on traditional Democratic values. It was, plain and simple, about abortion and an effort to purify the Democratic Party of pro-life voices.”

The abortion lobby and Super PACs heavily financed Marie Newman's campaign.  The Citizens for a Better Illinois Super PAC controlled by NARAL leadership out of Washington, D.C. raised and spent over a $1 million against Lipinski.  Groups from outside the district also heavily attacked Lipinski. Postcards to Voters targeted Lipinski’s district providing people all over the country with names and address of voters in the 3rd Congressional district, urging voters to support Marie Newman. Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) also called for Lipinski’s defeat and provided his opponent with a contribution from her Super PAC.

"The amount of Democratic resources wasted on this campaign is quite frankly a failure of leadership by the DNC,” said Day. “This would have been the perfect opportunity to step in and say, ‘Congressman Lipinski is a moderate Democrat, who has been with us on many key issues, so our resources would be better used to protect Senate incumbents and fight for victories in purple House seats to give Democrats the House majority.’”

“Democrats have an opportunity to take back the House in November,” said Day,” but the key to winning is a Big Tent approach of inclusion and support for candidates who represent the views of their districts.”

Democratic Senators Use Religion to Discredit Pro-Life Judicial Nominee

Posted in Press Releases

September 8, 2017

STATEMENT OF KRISTEN DAY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

OF DEMOCRATS FOR LIFE OF AMERICA

Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) expresses its disappointment with Democratic senators and interest groups who are attacking federal court of appeals nominee Amy Barrett for her personal religious views on the dignity of human life at all stages.

Vigorous questioning of President Trump's judicial nominees is needed to ensure that if confirmed to the court, they will follow the law and protect civil rights and liberties.  But Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) stepped over a crucial line when she told Barrett in Wednesday's confirmation hearing: "The dogma lives loudly within you. And that's of concern when it comes to big issues." 

Feinstein really means one issue, of course: abortion.  And what she denigrates as "dogma" is the Catholic teaching that a human being is a person with dignity from the moment of conception--a belief held by millions of Americans, including believers of all faiths and nonbelievers alike. 

But Senator Feinstein has no basis for holding this "dogma" against Professor Barrett.  The nominee repeatedly made it clear that as a judge on a lower federal court, she would follow her oath to decide cases not by her personal views, but according to the law as set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Sen. Feinstein had no evidence with which to question those assurances.  So instead she suggested that Barrett's statements could not be trusted because "the dogma lives loudly within [her]."

Feinstein's statement is blatantly inconsistent with Article VI of the Constitution, which says that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office ... under the United States."

Unbelievably, senators and interest groups have attacked Barrett with a 20-year-old article she co-wrote--not about abortion, but about Catholic judges conscientiously opposed to the death penalty!

That article noted the strong Catholic teaching against capital punishment, and it said that a Catholic judge who opposed issuing a death sentence might have to remove ("recuse") herself from the case, which is a well-established practice. The article made it clear that recusal would be the proper step: The judge may not stay on the case and rule according to personal beliefs instead of the law. 

Yet Democratic senators and supposedly "progressive" interest groups are claiming that Barrett said she would impose her beliefs upon the law—when, in fact, she said the exact opposite.

In other words: Barrett said that a judge should never contradict the law but should remove himself from a case if he, in conscience, believes that ordering the execution of a human being would be immoral.  And Democratic senators are expressing "concern" about that.  When did our party--which once stood up for the conscientious claims of civil-rights marchers--become so fearful and dismissive of personal moral conscience?

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), following Feinstein's lead, asked Professor Barrett whether she considers herself an "orthodox Catholic." Since when did it become a practice of Democratic officeholders to inquire, with a critical eye, how a nominee characterizes her personal faith?

What causes our party's leaders to lose their compass and stray from basic Democratic principles?  The answer is plain: abortion.

Democratic leaders remain so committed to protecting abortion from even minimal threats that they'll trample on other principles to do so.  A nominee repeatedly makes it clear that she won't impose her personal beliefs as a judge--that she'll remove herself from a case if she faces a conflict of conscience.  But Democrats still reject her because they think that she has strong personal religious beliefs ("dogma").

It's another example of how the Democratic Party loses its way when it focuses on protecting rigid abortion-rights ideology to the exclusion of all other principles.  That same misguided focus has caused the party to lose all branches of the federal government and, in the last eight years, 1000 legislative seats around the country.

Question Amy Barrett and other Trump nominees vigorously.  But be accurate in characterizing what they say.  And don't violate constitutional values by concluding that their religious beliefs make them untrustworthy to follow the law.

#

  

AN ABORTION LITMUS TEST OR NOT?

Posted in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CONTACT: Kristen Day

August 12, 2017                                                                    (703) 424-6663

 

AN ABORTION LITMUS TEST OR NOT?

NEED FOR A CLEAR MESSAGE FROM THE DCCC

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Did a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) really contradict DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Lujan’s recent insistence that there would be no “abortion litmus test” for candidates seeking the committee’s support for 2018 U.S. House races?  What else to make of this message to The Atlantic“The DCCC has no interest in working with Democrats for Life of America, despite their attempts”? Well, which is it? A litmus test or not?

“We need clarification of what ‘opening the big tent’ really means,” said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America. “Saying we welcome pro-life candidates and then not supporting those candidates gets us nowhere in winning back the House. We may not agree on abortion, but if saving the Affordable Care Act, addressing climate change, advancing social justice, and promoting economic policies for the 99% matter, then supporting pro-life Democratic candidates can make all the difference.”

 

Pro-life Democrats have been crucial for advancing progressive policies in legislatures across the country – on issues such as the environment, workers’ rights, racial justice, health care, and a fair and moral economy. Democrats For Life of America was the ONLY pro-life group that supported passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), legislation that would not have passed without the support of pro-life Democrats in Congress.

 

“An extreme ‘abortion or bust’ strategy may work in California and New York,” Day said. “It may appeal to militant activists inside the Beltway, but it’s mostly a bust between the coasts. If our party continues to send mixed messages about inclusion for pro-life Democrats or takes a hard line against them, what should current sitting pro-life Democrats – such as Senators Donnelly, Casey, and Manchin and Representatives Lipinski, Cuellar, and Peterson, who have legitimate, thoughtful reasons to oppose abortion and have been elected by the people to represent them in Congress – expect?” asked Day. “Not to mention Governor John Bel Edwards – the only Democratic governor in the South, who was elected recently and is pro-life. Is someone on the DCCC staff suggesting that prominent, influential, current Democrats, representing the millions of Democrats who elected them as Democrats, change their position or leave their own longstanding Democratic Party?”

 

Here are the facts – and we have no choice but to face them. The Democratic Party has been bleeding out. The number of Democrats holding office nationwide is at its lowest point since the 1920s. Alienating its pro-life voters, supporters, candidates, and officeholders is one reason why. In 1978, Democrats held a 292-seat majority in the U.S. House with 125 pro-life Democrats. Notice: As pro-life Democrats disappeared from Congress, so, too, did the Democratic Party’s majority.

“The reality is that Democrats need pro-life support to win, something that party leaders understand, even if someone on the DCCC staff cannot understand it,” said Day. “Democratic Party leaders, including Senators Schumer, Sanders, Warren, and Harris and Representatives Pelosi, Hoyer, and Ryan and, most recently, Governor Brown of California, all have insisted that opening the Democratic Party’s big tent to pro-life Democratic candidates and voters opens an opportunity to win back not only the House but the Senate and the White House, too.”

For the sake of our party and our country, let’s have a clear, unambiguous, and loud message, with no two ways about it: No abortion litmus test – the Democratic Party welcomes its pro-life supporters and candidates.

AN ABORTION LITMUS TEST OR NOT? NEED FOR A CLEAR MESSAGE FROM THE DCCC

Posted in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CONTACT: Kristen Day

August 12, 2017                                                               (703) 424-6663

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Did a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) really contradict DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Lujan’s recent insistence that there would be no “abortion litmus test” for candidates seeking the committee’s support for 2018 U.S. House races?  What else to make of this message to The Atlantic“The DCCC has no interest in working with Democrats for Life of America, despite their attempts”? Well, which is it? A litmus test or not?

“We need clarification of what ‘opening the big tent’ really means,” said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America. “Saying we welcome pro-life candidates and then not supporting those candidates gets us nowhere in winning back the House. We may not agree on abortion, but if saving the Affordable Care Act, addressing climate change, advancing social justice, and promoting economic policies for the 99% matter, then supporting pro-life Democratic candidates can make all the difference.”

 Pro-life Democrats have been crucial for advancing progressive policies in legislatures across the country – on issues such as the environment, workers’ rights, racial justice, health care, and a fair and moral economy. Democrats For Life of America was the ONLY pro-life group that supported passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), legislation that would not have passed without the support of pro-life Democrats in Congress.

“An extreme ‘abortion or bust’ strategy may work in California and New York,” Day said. “It may appeal to militant activists inside the Beltway, but it’s mostly a bust between the coasts. If our party continues to send mixed messages about inclusion for pro-life Democrats or takes a hard line against them, what should current sitting pro-life Democrats – such as Senators Donnelly, Casey, and Manchin and Representatives Lipinski, Cuellar, and Peterson, who have legitimate, thoughtful reasons to oppose abortion and have been elected by the people to represent them in Congress – expect?” asked Day. “Not to mention Governor John Bel Edwards – the only Democratic governor in the South, who was elected recently and is pro-life. Is someone on the DCCC staff suggesting that prominent, influential, current Democrats, representing the millions of Democrats who elected them as Democrats, change their position or leave their own longstanding Democratic Party?”

Here are the facts – and we have no choice but to face them. The Democratic Party has been bleeding out. The number of Democrats holding office nationwide is at its lowest point since the 1920s. Alienating its pro-life voters, supporters, candidates, and officeholders is one reason why. In 1978, Democrats held a 292-seat majority in the U.S. House with 125 pro-life Democrats. Notice: As pro-life Democrats disappeared from Congress, so, too, did the Democratic Party’s majority.

“The reality is that Democrats need pro-life support to win, something that party leaders understand, even if someone on the DCCC staff cannot understand it,” said Day. “Democratic Party leaders, including Senators Schumer, Sanders, Warren, and Harris and Representatives Pelosi, Hoyer, and Ryan and, most recently, Governor Brown of California, all have insisted that opening the Democratic Party’s big tent to pro-life Democratic candidates and voters opens an opportunity to win back not only the House but the Senate and the White House, too.”

For the sake of our party and our country, let’s have a clear, unambiguous, and loud message, with no two ways about it: No abortion litmus test – the Democratic Party welcomes its pro-life supporters and candidates.

-30-

 

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...