Pro-Choice Extremism Is Holding the Democratic Party Back

By Robert Hay

In the past month, two high-profile incidents have shown how powerful a hold the pro-choice movement has on the Democratic Party, and its hope to “expand the playing field” and win more elective victories is imperiled as a result.

The first incident involved DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, an unabashed pro-choice politician and one of the architects of the “war on women” campaign strategy.  In a Q&A with The New York Times, the Chair when asked about abortion rights said, “Here’s what I see: a complacency among the generation of young women whose entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided.”  The quote could have been a moment to examine within the Democratic Party its unwavering opposition to any abortion opposition, or at least a soul-searching about whether she was right, and the reason record numbers of abortion restrictions were being passed was because younger Americans didn’t know what life was like without unrestricted abortion.

Instead, the pro-choice machine went into full court press, going to the media declaring that Wasserman Schultz was wrong and that the younger generation was the most passionate and most open in their caring about this issue.  This despite the fact polls show the Millennial generation just as divided about abortion as previous ones.  Wasserman Schultz, faced with pressure, immediately back tracked from her comments and the party lost a chance to think deeply about itself and abortion.

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Democratic Revival Stresses Values, Messages in Promoting a Culture of Life

By Lisa Stiller

Getting our party back – and returning to values that support life – was a major theme of speakers at a Democratic Revival that took place in Washington, D.C. during the last weekend of September.  We must work to “change the values that need to be changed for a pro-life culture,” said Reverend Jennifer Butler, chief executive officer of Faith in Public Life.  The challenge, said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America, is “How do we revitalize the platform?”

Pro-life Democrats with the same question came to hear several speakers give us their thoughts and suggestions for returning the Democratic Party to its roots.

Butler reminded us that our tradition as a nation is really one of community, but, she said, we have become a very individualistic culture: The days when communities had a “barn-raising” collective culture have given way to an individualistic, me-first culture, perpetuated largely by Hollywood.  “What we imagine our history to be is not what it really is,” she said.  Butler ended her talk by invoking words of Pope Francis when he spoke while in the U.S., emphasizing the importance of community and our tradition of caring for the most vulnerable.  DFLA board member Jeanne French reminded participants that the history of our country has “always been to be inclusive”.

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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.

Changing the approach to abortion in the Democratic Party: Making “safe, legal, and rare” meaningful

by Lois Kerschen

We need to change the language and the focus of the discussion about abortion in the Democratic Party.  This was the consensus at the Democrats for Life Caucus at the Democratic state convention in Texas last summer.

For one thing, the pro-choice advocates in attendance didn’t want to be called “pro-abortion” because they said no one is in favor of abortion, even though that is the “choice” referred to in “pro-choice.” So, when asked if it would be more accurate to describe them as pro-choices, they said that might fit better as long as abortion is one of the choices.

However, the pro-life advocates said that they too are better described as “pro-choices” because they promote more than one option, and the concept of choice means selecting from a variety of options. It isn’t really a choice if there is only one option – that is a case of being forced to accept the default.

The pro-choice people said, though, that since abortion is legal, the pro-life people couldn’t be considered “pro-choices” unless one of the choices is abortion, in addition to raising the child or placing the child for adoption.

So it seems that both sides considered themselves to be “pro-choices.” In that case, if we all agree that a pregnant woman has three options for the future of herself and her child, then why are we arguing?

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Building a New Party in the Heart of Dixie

by Matthew Tyson

Beginning in the 1960’s, the Southern Strategy brought about a war between the Republican and Democratic parties in Alabama. That war dragged on for decades. Then, in the early part of the 21st century, the GOP took down Democratic Governor Don Siegelman and clinched a Republican-controlled state house and senate for the first time in over a century.

The effects of that victory are still very prevalent today. The Democratic Party in Alabama isn’t waning. It’s dead. Outside of a few districts in the Black Belt, Alabama is as red as the day is long. The war is over, and the Democrats lost.

Being a Democrat in Alabama is rough. I should know. As both a proud Alabamian and dedicated Democrat, I’ve dealt firsthand with the frustration of living in such a divided house. Thanks to the burning rhetoric and idealism of the right, Democrats in the Heart of Dixie might as well be card-carrying communists. The GOP has so successfully predicated us as socialist, big government, America-haters that we can’t even have a constructive conversation without the dark cloud of presumption hanging over our heads.

Our state party is in shambles, and we have little to no voice, but worst of all, we are forced to sit and watch as two decades of total Republican leadership have pushed Alabama even deeper into economic turmoil.

Alabama is consistently ranked at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to healthcare, education, poverty, and unemployment. Our prisons are overcrowded. Our jobless rate is higher than the national average. Even worse, it was recently revealed to the public (conveniently after Bentley waltzed back into the governor’s mansion) that our debt is hundreds of millions of dollars worse than originally thought.

All this under the watch of the GOP. Continue reading

Where is the Modern Opposition to Abortion from the Left?

by Kevin P. Rauch

Within the past several years, there has been a surge of opposition to abortion throughout our nation.  The annual March for Life has drawn hundreds of thousands of protesters and every year teenagers and young adults are disproportionately represented at these marches.  New ultrasound technology produces increasingly detailed images of fetal development within the womb.  In addition, a variety of new restrictions on abortions that are supported by strong majorities of the public have been passed at the federal, state, and local level.

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