As pro-life Democrats, we believe that every person has worth and dignity and that every life has value. This is true not just of the innocent child in the womb, but even of those who have committed unspeakable crimes. The sanctity of human life is something that cannot be forfeited.
Democrats for Life of America is shaped by this consistent commitment to life—an approach we like to call whole life—and we believe that this consistency is vital to ending the culture of violence that permeates our society and to building a culture of life.
Of course, there is no consensus among pro-life Democrats when it comes to the death penalty and how we, as a society, should respond to brutal crimes and assaults on human dignity and life. For those who are pro-life, defending the life of an unborn child is quite obviously necessary, as the child is innocent and defenseless. But what about those who are not innocent and whose acts of violence have violated the sanctity of life?
Most of us who are whole life have come to believe that the death penalty is not the right response. Taking a human life to show the value of human life seems unlikely to work, and the reality is that we know that it does not work: The death penalty is no more effective as a deterrent than life in prison without the possibility of parole. To take a life needlessly cannot be reconciled with our consistent commitment to life.
by J. P. Richardson
When the United States Senate on April 22 voted 99-0 to pass the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, the senators boldly broke through the stopped-traffic gridlock of senatorial intransigence, showing the country what our two-party system can accomplish when everyone aims for the common good above partisan interests. A long time had passed since Democrats and Republicans voted unanimously on a bill that includes language about abortion. Maybe this is a first, in fact. If not a first, the first was so long ago that we don’t remember it.
Every citizen ought to remember this one. Win-win-win-win. Victims of human trafficking win, first and foremost, because the bill would provide help, both immediate and long-term, that victims desperately need. Right-to-lifers win because the language of the Hyde Amendment, which has prevented federal funding of abortion for many years, is preserved in the bill. Democrats win because Republicans agreed to vote to confirm President Obama’s nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch. And, last but not least, babies not yet born who might have been aborted win their rightful opportunity to keep living their natural lives.
The debate over the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the lack of debate over the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act show how both parties are only half-way towards understanding the abortion crisis in America. We can and should protect both unborn children and their mothers.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions after 20 weeks, should be passed. A majority of countries in Europe prohibit abortion after 13 weeks. Given that information, a 20-week ban seems very reasonable.
It is not enough to simply ban abortion after 20 weeks. Congress should consider providing legal support for mothers by passing the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act. As John Oliver so wisely observed on Last Week Tonight, this is the best way to honor our mothers.
Abortion-rights groups have pushed the notion that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is some radical infringement to trample the rights of women. However, limiting abortion after 20 weeks is not a radical position, but very much mainstream. What is radical is the Democratic Party’s official position against the legislation and the party’s advocacy for abortion up through the ninth month of pregnancy. Polls consistently indicate overwhelming opposition to abortions after the first trimester. A majority of women, even Democratic women, millennials, and Hispanics support a 20-week ban over a 24-week ban.
by Mary Ann Chimera
Writing letters for publication is a dicey gamble, but also a great tool for educating the public. It’s dicey because before your letter is published it has to meet criteria set by the editorial page editor and staff. These vary from not only from publication to publication but from editor to editor.
Nevertheless, editors are aware that a diversity of opinion, especially by local readers, sells newspapers. Readers are very interested in what friends and neighbors have to say.
Especially with hot issue topics like ours, we often find ourselves in opposition to the beliefs of today’s media people. Our letters accordingly must be crafted to overcome antilife biases. Here are some of the criteria I impose on my own letters before submitting them.
Smart take on the culture of life and vulnerability from Kimberly Baker:
The pro-life perspective does not fear vulnerability in the human condition – it embraces it. A culture of life does not pressure people to live up to an artificial standard of health or physical perfection in order to feel a sense of self-worth and purpose. Rather, each person is regarded as special and unique, as a gift to the community in a profound way, no matter their state of health and mental or physical abilities. A society that reaches out to and accompanies its weaker members in their suffering and vulnerability is a truly strong and courageous one.
Our acceptance of our vulnerability, individually and as a society, is the measure of our humanity.
Read the full post here.
*** The following was published in The Hill. You can read the article in its entirety by clicking the link below.
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) recently publicly shared that he is no longer pro-life. Why tell us something we already know? His pronouncement is a symptom of a larger problem within the Democratic Party – the abortion litmus test.
Democrats once held a 292-seat majority in the U.S House with 110 pro-life Democrats. Today, we are in the minority and there are only a handful of pro-life Democrats. The number of pro-choice democrats has remained about the same over the last 30 years – around 180 give or take. It is the number of pro-life Democrats that can win in pro-life districts and states that propel us to the magic number for the majority.
The truth is you cannot get funding from national Democratic spigots unless you pass the pro-choice litmus test. Tim Ryan, former champion of pro-life and common ground initiatives, former Advisory Board member of Democrats for Life of America (DFLA), offers the latest evidence. That litmus test, more than anything else, continues to undermine the Democratic Party’s development of candidates who can contest red-leaning and purple states and districts. In so doing, it cedes control of Congress to the GOP.