I am a Pope Francis Democrat

In September, Pope Francis spoke to all Americans, Catholic and non-Catholic. At the White House, Pope Francis told us to take care of our “common home,” the Earth. He asks “all men and women of good will in this great nation… to protect the vulnerable in our world and to stimulate integral and inclusive models of development.” Addressing Congress, he said “the fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly,” and he challenged us to “help others to grow.” At St. Patrick’s, he said that “there is no social or moral justification, no justification whatsoever, for lack of housing.”

These sound like Democratic Party ideals to me—helping those that are less fortunate in society, accepting and respecting individuals despite our differences, and protecting our environment. Pope Francis also says to protect the vulnerable—and surely we Democrats support this, standing up for children without health insurance, new immigrants seeking a better life, and social programs that provide a safety net to the elderly and those in poverty.

But we must no longer remain blind to the most vulnerable in our society: the 1.2 million people who are absolutely defenseless against the suction machine or the abortion pill each year. We can show compassion for the unborn child while still championing the cause of women. There really is a war against women—in the form of discrimination, lack of maternity leave, and a culture that still tolerates domestic and sexual violence. We need to support women, and we need to support children—not just until their birth but throughout their lives.

Democrats for Life of America invites you to support their “whole life” agenda that supports women and children throughout their lives. We Democrats should be a “big tent” party that welcomes those whose conscience differs on abortion. All Democrats can work together on initiatives that support women, support children, and protect future generations from further environmental degradation.

The theme of Pope Francis’ visit to America was: “Love is our Mission.” What is the mission of the Democratic Party? To win? Well, I think it is actually to help people, to achieve progress for everyday Americans, and to protect the vulnerable in our society. These are the ideals that make me a Democrat and that also make me a pro-life Democrat. I am a Pope Francis Democrat, and I’m not the only one.

Vibha Sazawal has been a member of Democrats For Life of America since 2007.


*The following was published in The Hill: CongressBlog.

After yet another wave of GOP victories in the recent elections, it is time for the Democratic Party to face the fact.

We are losing.

Yet, some scoff at the idea, especially with the 2016 presidential election favoring a Democratic win. However, across the country, the Democratic message is being drowned in a red sea of Republican-controlled states.

Democrats have done well in the past two presidential races, but when it comes to the federal, state and local levels in the midterm elections, we are getting crushed.

Shockingly, we Democrats are at our lowest numbers since Herbert Hoover was elected president in 1928, almost 90 years ago. Since 2010, we have lost 69 U.S. House seats, 13 U.S. Senate seats, 912 state legislative seats, 30 state legislative chambers, and 12 governorships. Republicans now hold 33 vs. 16 Democratic state house chambers, 35 vs. 14 Democratic state senate chambers, 32 vs. 18 Democratic governorships, and the majority in both the U.S. House (246 vs. 188) and the U.S. Senate (54 vs. 44).

So why is the Democratic Party having such a hard time reaching the heartland of America? The recent Kentucky gubernatorial race offers a good narrative. The Democratic candidate thought he had an easy path to the governor’s office. He was ahead in the polls against a novice Tea Party Republican who even the Republican establishment thought would lose. Yet the Republican won by standing against Planned Parenthood and gay marriage. The Democratic Governors Association blamed the loss on “Trumpmania,” but it was more about moral values, such as abortion, an issue that has left the Kentucky State House as the only legislative chamber in the South under Democratic control. A change of just five seats in the Kentucky State House could end the last vestige of Democratic control in the South.

Continue reading

California’s right-to-die law betrays the state’s progressive principles

*** The following ran in the LA Times on October 7, 2015

by Charles C. Camosy

What’s the calling card value of the National Rifle Assn. and other conservative organizations? Skepticism of government infringing on the autonomy and freedom of individuals, of course. But in yet another example of America’s incoherent politics, assisted suicide has been legalized in liberal California by appealing to precisely these conservative values.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that the best arguments against assisted suicide — especially advanced by such liberal icons as E.J. Dionne and Victoria Kennedy — are progressive. Liberals are generally happy for government to restrict individual freedoms to prevent violence and killing. They are also generally skeptical of the idea that choice leads to genuine freedom, especially for those without power on the margins of our culture.

Indeed, liberal states such as Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and, until this week, California had all recently rejected such legislation. Britain’s attempt to pass an assisted-suicide bill also went down to overwhelming defeat.

To get a victory in California, its supporters were forced to bypass the regular legislative process (which defeated the bill) and instead consider the bill in a healthcare special session, and under unusual rules. This context is as telling as it is disturbing.


Democrats miss opportunity to support women

***The following was printed in The Hill – Congress Blog

A few weeks ago, I was teaching a class on the legislative process to some high school students. The kids were playing the role of House and Senate members in a conference committee, and I charged them with working out the differences between their two bills. The frustrated students came to a stalemateand looked to me for answers. They inquired if this is what really happens during the legislative process. Sadly, there has been very little compromising in this Congress. The students, however, were able to do what our own Congress is not doing. They negotiated, and each legislative chamber gave up something important to them in order to reach the broader goal for the common good.

The U.S. Senate had an opportunity to put this practice to use on Tuesday, when they considered H.36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban terminations of unborn babies at 20 weeks and later.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York wrote on his blog, “The late-term ban is a particularly interesting case. There are efforts to link it with other measures, such as an expansion of paid family leave after a woman gives birth, or an increase in assistance to teen parents. This strategy gives real substance to the inherent connection between the pro-life and pro-woman messages, and it reaches out to form coalitions across party and ideological lines.”


The Pro-Lifer’s Survival Guide: Debating Objectively

by Matt Tyson

It isn’t often we get an opening like this.

Despite attempts by the mainstream media to twist the story around, reverse blame, or play dumb, the recent undercover videos of Planned Parenthood reps discussing price and procedure for the retrieval of organs from aborted children are damning enough to play in our favor.

No, technically there no crime was committed (that we know of), and yes, Planned Parenthood has been doing this for quite some time.

But in the end, none of that is really here nor there, because the best thing these videos did is rip the carpet right out from under the “it’s not a human, it’s a fetus/product of conception/blob of cells” talking point that so many supporters use to side step the God-awful truth about abortion.

And this is very, very, very good.


Continue reading


by Mary Ann Chimera, president of DFL-OH

This is the beginning of a list of ways in which you can let it be known that you are a Democrat who stands up for life. The list is incomplete. I invite anyone who cares to step in to suggest still other ways.

  1. Become a member of Democrats for Life of America (DFLA). Politics is a game of numbers, of how many votes can be delivered. The more of us who are standing together in an organized way, the more effective is our clout and the more our views will gain attention.
  2. Encourage every pro-life Democrat you know to become part of our movement by joining DFLA or your state chapter. Membership in one is membership in the other.
  3. Distribute our brochures. This can be done at Party meetings and functions, county fairs, festivals and anywhere else you can think of. Brochures can be obtained through your state chapter and there is also one you can duplicate at democratsforlife.org.
  4. Organize a local or campus group affiliated with DFLA. Hold meetings to discuss effective strategies for spreading the pro-life/DFLA message, especially among Democrats. Then, act on those strategies.
  5. Write letters to the editor discussing pro-life issues from a Democratic perspective. (We’re usually gentler and more concerned with the Mom than is the GOP.)
  6. Contact your state and national officeholders to encourage them to vote pro-life. Inform them of your stand. Keep in touch with them to let them know your thinking. If it seems to you that groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood are doing their thinking for them, gently point out your different perspective. Suggest how you think they should vote on upcoming legislation,

Continue reading