View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

A Democratic secret

There’s something some Democratic Party leaders have been trying to keep hidden from voters for a long time.

Some Democrats are pro-life.


It’s a little secret they have been trying to keep behind closed doors, like a crazy uncle.

Back in 1992, they wouldn’t let Bob Casey, the pro-life Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, speak at the Democratic convention.

On the party website, they have fought to keep off links to pro-life Democratic groups. But they do have links to groups like Catholics for a Free Choice.

They have tried to keep pro-life Democrats from getting on party committees and from receiving the party’s endorsements for elective offices.

Oh those crazy pro-lifers. Just like Uncle Ed.

But last fall the party got a rude awakening. Democrats lost. A lot of them. And in some cases, polls suggest it was because of pro-life voters rejecting – dare I say it – the party’s fanatical support for abortion.

Some of the smarter Democrats are taking note of this situation. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York has voiced some moderation on the issue. That former Planned Parenthood worker and now Democratic Party head, Howard Dean, has even said that the party has to recognize that there are pro-life Democrats.


Maybe the first step for the national party should be to recognize Democrats for Life of America, an organization founded in 1999. There are currently chapters in 41 states. There are a number of elected officials affiliated with the organization.

Democrats for Life is certainly trying to get the word out. It just announced a new initiative: DFLA 95-10.

According to a press release from the organization. “The 95-10 Initiative is a comprehensive proposal of 15 different policy programs that, when fully funded and implemented in coordination with each other, will hopefully reduce the number of abortions in America by 95 percent over the next 10 years.”

Good goal.

Among the initiative’s proposals are:

Federal Funding for Toll-Free Number/National Public Awareness Program
Federal Funding for Abortion Counseling and Daycare on University Campuses
Make Adoption Tax Credits Permanent
Ban Pregnancy as a “Pre-Existing Condition” in the Health Care Industry
Require Adoption Referral Information
Women’s Right to Know
Increase Funding for Domestic Violence Programs
Fully Fund Federal WIC Program
Parental Notification

There’s lots more to it.

The initiative is supported by, among others, Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI), Congressman Lincoln Davis (D-TN), Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE), Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN), Congressman Jerry Costello (D-IL), State Representative Mark Miloscia (D-WA), and Tom Atwood, President and CEO, National Council on Adoption

Lots of Democrats in there.

Pro-life Democrats.

Check out the press release, the full initiative and Democrats for Life of America at

Perhaps it’s finally time for Democrats to let Uncle Ed out from behind that closed door.


Anonymous Brian said...

You know what the best part about the 95/10 initiative is? Not only will it reduce the abortion rate in this country, not only will it help the party by showing that pro-life Democrats have a better plan than anti-abortion Republicans, not only is it a real, workable solution that everyone can get behind, but its also the right thing to do!

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Lee, I hope everything is going well for you. Maureen Viel may not be the devil himself, but she's a big fan.

8:42 AM  

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