Press Releases

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.

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PRO-LIFE DEMOCRATS ASK PARTY CHAIR FOR INCLUSION, MEET TO DISCUSS

Posted in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CONTACT: Kristen Day

June 28, 2017                                                                         (703) 424-6663

 

Washington, D.C. – Pro-life Democratic leaders met with Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Tom Perez to request that the DNC set forth specific steps for inclusion of pro-life Democrats in the party. The meeting was requested by Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) after DNC Chair Perez made a strong statement that all Democrats should support abortion rights and that his stated position was not negotiable.

“Our Democratic Party is in deep trouble, losing more than 1000 legislative seats since 2008,” said Kristen Day, executive director of DFLA. “Telling one-third of Democrats that their support for life in the womb is inconsistent with Democratic values will not help rebuild our numbers. We asked for the meeting to explain to DNC Chair Tom Perez how embracing pro-life Democrats could help the party win again.”

National polls consistently show that one in three Democrats is pro-life. Polls also indicate that most Americans support a number of sensible pro-life policies, including a prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion, regulations to make abortion safer for women, and bans on abortion after 20 weeks or after fetal viability.

“Our goal in the meeting was to explain that pro-life Democrats oppose abortion but that we also support a strong social safety net for pregnant women and new parents,” said Day. “There is a misconception that pro-lifers don’t care about the baby once she or he is born. We like to call ourselves whole-life because we support life from womb to tomb. We are not your typical pro-life group.”

Democrats For Life of America was one of the few pro-life organizations that supported and continues to support the Affordable Care Act and health care for all. Pro-life Democratic legislators support virtually the entire Democratic Party legislative agenda, disagreeing only on issues of abortion and euthanasia. Pro-life Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards signed Medicaid expansion into law in Louisiana as one of his first acts after being sworn in.

“We need to recruit, consider, and support more candidates, like Governor Edwards, who are unapologetically whole-life,” said Day. “We need to be the party of Bill Clinton, who affirmed over and over again that abortion should be rare; the party of Barack Obama, who called abortion a “moral tragedy” and whose presidency brought our nation the lowest abortion rate since Roe v. Wade; and the party of Ted Kennedy, who consistently led efforts to uphold the conscience-clause protections. This is who we have been and what we should be today.”

Defund Planned Parenthood

Posted in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
March 9, 2017
CONTACT: Kristen Day (703) 424-6663
 
 
Yes, We Should Defund Planned Parenthood
STATEMENT OF KRISTEN DAY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
OF DEMOCRATS FOR LIFE OF AMERICA
 
 
For many years, many people have challenged the appropriateness of government funding of Planned Parenthood because the organization concurrently has received both funding to counsel pregnant women and to perform abortions. It is a basic principle of ethics that one cannot have any self-advantageous incentive, financial or otherwise, to counsel another person about a moral decision of such great magnitude. 
 
Elected by voters set on eliminating taxpayer-funded abortions, President Donald Trump recently has called on Planned Parenthood to separate its abortion business from its other services in order to qualify for continued government subsidies. 
 
 Democrats For Life of America supports this compromise because:
  • This accommodation satisfies the longstanding and bipartisan federal policy that prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion – a policy that is supported by most Americans.  Planned Parenthood’s current extensive provision of abortion procedures (they are the largest abortion provider in the S.) sets it outside the acceptable parameters for receipt of federal government monies. 
  • At Planned Parenthood, tax dollars currently subsidize “pregnancy counseling” services.  This “counseling” gets taxpayer-funded reimbursement despite the fact that the primary pregnancy “service” Planned Parenthood offers is abortion. This bias invalidates the “counseling” because the organization clearly has a material interest in encouraging every pregnant woman to schedule an abortion. According to Planned Parenthood’s 2014-2015 annual report, they served approximately 2.5 million people and performed 323,999 abortionsbut provided only 17,419 prenatal visits.  And how many of those prenatal visits entailed “counseling” a mother to choose abortion rather than to choose birth? 
  • If Planned Parenthood declines the compromise, the taxpayer funding should be allocated to the 9,800 Community Health Centers in rural and urban communities around the country that provide comprehensive medical care and other health care to more than 25 million people, far beyond the minimal reproductive services provided by Planned Parenthood to only one-tenth as many people.

Big Tent Party Closes its Doors

Posted in Press Releases

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CONTACT: Kristen Day

February 10, 2017                                                                             (703) 424-6663

 

Democratic Party Refuses Petition to Include Democrats

Who Want to Reduce Abortion

 

Washington, D.C. – Pro-life Democrats in Michigan asked a simple question of its leadership – include pro-life Democratsin the big tent of the party of diversity and inclusion. The answer was a stunning no. Pro-life Democrats focus on programs to support pregnant women, such as paid maternity leave, support for parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis, prenatal and postnatal care, affordable childcare, and other efforts to support pregnant women and new parents.

“Pro-life Democratsbelieve that our party has the best opportunity to reduce abortion in this country and ensure that no woman feels that abortion is her only choice,” said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America. “The language offered by our Michigan Democrats offers an opportunity to open the big tent and bring Democrats back to the party.”

The proposed language, approved by the Leelanau Democrats, states:

“We respect the conscience of each American and recognize that members of our party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, such as abortion and the death penalty.  We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength, and we welcome into our ranks all Americans who may hold differing positions on these and other issues.”

Former State Representative John O’Neill has been leading the effort, and he made the case before his local party. They recognized the importance of not alienating members of their own party. John then took the next step, taking the resolution to the Michigan Democratic Party. The Leelanau resolution was rejected by the Michigan Democratic Party’s Resolutions Committee, but O’Neill hopes to find a way to introduce it on the floor at the Michigan Democratic Party Spring State Convention at Cobo Hall in Detroit this Saturday, February 11, 2017.  

“The Leelanau Democrats, most of whom are pro-choice, sent me to the state party with this inclusive language for Democratswho support the sanctity of life and 99 percent of the Democratic Party platform,” said O’Neill. “It’s disappointing, then, to witness the state Resolutions Committee reject out of hand this resolution that is entirely in keeping with the Democratic values of respect for personal conscience and diversity.  How can a party succeed when it abandons its core values?  We will not give up until we return the party to its roots.”

Pro-life Democrats are not asking the Michigan Democratic Party to change its stance on choice, but only to add language to welcome pro-life Democrats under the big tent. The Michigan Democratic Party has mirrored the national party’s downward trend.  Nationally, Democrats have lost more than 1,000 state legislative seats, and the party is at its lowest numbers since the beginning of the 19th century. Michigan is one of 27 states in which Republicans control all three branches of state government. 

Democrats have little hope of reclaiming their majority status if they continue to exclude one-third of their membership,” said Jason Duncan, state contact for Michigan Democrats For Life. “Polls consistently show that one-third of Democrats are pro-life, and this stamp of disapproval and exclusion by our state party sends the wrong message to pro-life Democratic voters. Michigan is missing an opportunity to show what the "big tent" strategy looks like and set an example for state parties across the country.

Millennials are more pro-life than any generation before them since Roe v. Wade, but they feel as if they are at a loss when it comes to finding a political party to support.

As much as my peers and I love the values of egalitarianism and justice which the Democrats uphold, I can't help but notice the inconsistency of neglecting the human rights of prenatal children,” said Chrissy Healy, medical student and pro-life Democrat. “I know I could never violate my conscience by voting for a candidate who supports extremist pro-choice legislation even if I support the vast majority of his or herother positions. If room were made within the Democratic Party for people like meand the other pro-life people in my generation, I wouldn't hesitate to give it my full support.”

One in three Democrats are already pro-life, and most Americans in the middle support pro-life policies, such as 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 both the party and the country. Since the national party 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 U.S. House seats, 13 U.S. Senate seats, and 13 governorships.

"The Democratic Party is in deep trouble," said former Michigan State Rep. Joel Sheltrown.  "We have one Democratic representative north of US 10, and if we continue to push away members of our own party, we will remain a minority party.  People who are pro-life make sure they get to the polls and vote. We need those votes to win. And, right now, those pro-life Democratic voters are not supporting our party."

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...