More than 100 Democratic Politicians Urge DNC To Reform Abortion Platform
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 14th, 2020
Contact: D.J. Jordan
Current and Former Democratic Officials led by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards Urge Joe Biden To Make Platform More Welcoming To Pro-Life and Moderate Voters
WASHINGTON, DC, August 14th, 2020 - Over 100 Democratic politicians are calling for the Democratic National Committee to moderate its official position on abortion, ahead of a crucial vote at the DNC on the Party Platform. Click here to read the letter. The letter’s signatories, some of whom are former politicians, include:
- Four governors and lieutenant governors , including the current governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards
- Nine members of Congress, including Collin Peterson, who won his primary this week
- 56 state legislators, including Deborah Fellela, Deputy Majority Leader in Rhode Island
- 32 local officials
- Six Democratic nominees
Dozens more told DFLA they supported the letter, but could not do so because they fear the influence of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America in the party.
82 of the politicians are current Democratic Party officials, while 23 are retired. 21% of the signatories are women, roughly on par with the participation of women in American politics. Polling from Gallup in 2019 shows that a majority (51%) of American women is pro-life. Most signatories come from the South and Midwest.
The letter argues that “extreme” policies on abortion are alienating voters, especially in purple and red districts. These extreme policies include taxpayer-funded abortion and codifying Roe v. Wade, which a draft version of the Party Platform promises to do.
The Democratic National Convention will begin this coming Monday, August 17, where members of the DNC will formally approve the 2020 Democratic Party Platform.
“Never before in history have so many Democratic politicians challenged their own party on abortion,” said Democrats for Life of America Executive Director Kristen Day. “The Democratic Party is at breaking point. State legislators realize that taxpayer-funded abortion on demand is a losing issue. If we really care about defeating Trump in November, we have to bring our position in line with mainstream America.”
“As Democrats, we are anti-Trump and enthusiastic supporters of Black Lives Matter. Why is dismembering children the hill we want to die on when so much is at stake?”
The letter comes just days after Day published an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal decrying Vice President’s Biden lack of outreach to pro-life Democrats. It comes two weeks after 100 moderate and left-leaning religious leaders published a similar letter denouncing the Democratic Party’s position on abortion.
Notable signatories include:
- Governor John Bel Edwards (LA): As the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, Governor Edwards has been a vocal advocate for human rights. He led the expansion of Medicaid in Louisiana and signed into law the Heartbeat Bill in 2019. In 2016, he received the Governor Casey Whole Life Leadership Award from DFLA.
- Senator Katrina Jackson (LA): Senator Jackson authored the admitting privileges law that was struck down in June by the Supreme Court. She is a former chair of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus.
- Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper (PA): A former board member of DFLA, Dahlkemper is current Erie County Executive in Pennsylvania.
- Representative Deborah Fellela (RI): As Deputy Majority Leader, Rep. Fellela is among the most powerful women in Rhode Island politics.
Congressman Bart Stupak (MI): Also a former board member of DFLA, Stupak led the fight to exclude abortion funding from Obamacare.
- Senator Mike Gabbard (HI): Senator Gabbard was the first Samoan American to serve in Hawaii’s legislature. His daughter ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. She advocated for a more mainstream position on abortion, arguing for regulating third-trimester abortions.
- Congressman Collin Peterson (MN): Congressman Peterson won his primary this week with 79% of the vote.
- Representative John DeBerry (TN): Disendorsed for his pro-life votes after attacks by Planned Parenthood, Rep. DeBerry recently spoke in a townhall to members of DFLA.
DFLA was not able to get confirmations from Senator Bob Casey and Senator Joe Manchin, both of whom have campaigned and been elected as pro-life Democrats
About Democrats for Life of America
DFLA is the leading voice for the one in three Democrats who identify as pro-life. DFLA promotes a Pro-Life for the Whole Life philosophy and works to end violence against human life in all its forms without discrimination. Its Executive Director, Kristen Day, previously served as Chief of Staff to pro-life Michigan Democrat Jim Barcia.