Roe vs. Wade @ 43: Why progressives fight for Roe (and why we’re blessed with an entire Democratic field who will too)

On the 43rd anniversary of the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision, Democracy for America's Executive Director Charles Chamberlain released this statement on why progressives fight for abortion rights.

Read the full statement on Medium here or below:

Why progressives fight for Roe (and why we’re blessed with an entire Democratic field who will too)

By: Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director

Over the last 43 years, the fight to protect Roe v. Wade and access to safe and legal abortion has become a core policy position of the Democratic Party and standing up for abortion rights has become a requirement for anyone who wants to call themselves a progressive.

The centrality of abortion rights to the Democratic Party isn’t some blind ideological position — it’s deeply rooted in what it means to be a progressive. You can’t say you care about battling income inequality if you want to deny all women, rich and poor, basic human autonomy. You can’t say you’re willing to stand up to powerful interests, if you won’t stand up and confront those using religion, one of the most powerful institutions in human history, to stop women from being able to decide how to live their lives. You can’t say you’ll take on racial injustice, when you don’t speak out against right-wing legislation that is being used to forcibly limit healthcare options that are helping communities of color the most.

Democracy for America members only endorse candidates with a rock-solid commitment to protecting abortion rights. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our progressive allies when the right attacks abortion rights because we know that we can’t combat income inequality, take our government back from the corporate interests who control it, or actually deal with our nation’s long history of structural racism without standing up for all women’s rights to abortion services. Simply put, DFA fights to protect abortion rights, not only because it’s necessary, but because protecting a woman’s right to choose and working to expand access to legal and safe abortion services is core to progressive values and fighting for progressive change.

As progressives, we’re blessed with an entire Democratic field steadfastly committed to protecting abortion rights, a fact that, fortunately, I think every progressive organization supporting an individual candidate recognizes.

For example, we know that Bernie Sanders has a life-long record of standing up for abortion rights, including against the Hyde Amendment which currently bans federal funds from being spent on abortion services. Even more than that, throughout his life Bernie Sanders has fearlessly called out some of the most powerful players in our political process — whether they are from the big banks, the military industrial complex, or the health insurance industry — and stood up with a steel spine when they’ve fired back. And that’s precisely what we’ll need to confront opponents of Roe and expand the access of all Americans to abortion services.

While our top two Democratic candidates may differ in other areas, it’s a tremendous victory for progressives that both are rock-solid in their commitment to protecting abortion rights and have the guts it will take to stand up and defend those rights against virulent opposition. Regardless of which candidate you’re supporting in this year’s primary, a champion for abortion rights will win the Democratic nomination and that’s something every single progressive should celebrate as we continue our defense of Roe v. Wade forty-three years after it became the law of the land.

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Categories: Elections Endorsement Press Releases

Democracy for America backs Barragán in California's 44th Congressional District

BURLINGTON, VT – This morning, Democracy for America (DFA) endorsed Nanette Barragán for Congress in California’s 44th District.  

DFA’s endorsement of Barragán brings with it a one-million member-strong grassroots army that has knocked hundreds of thousands of doors, made over 11 million phone calls, and raised and contributed more than $32.7 million to help elect 843 progressive candidates nationwide since 2004.

Statement from Democracy for America's Chair Jim Dean on today's endorsement of Barragán:

"Nanette Barragán hasn't simply spoken out against income inequality and for racial justice, she's lead the charge against the wealthy and powerful interests that block the progressive change our country needs. 

"We need more leaders in Congress with the courage, integrity, and commitment to progressive values that Nanette has demonstrated throughout her career, and that's why we could not be more excited to stand with the grassroots campaign she's building in Los Angeles." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

Statement from Nanette Barragán on receiving DFA's backing:

“I am not running to represent special interests or big corporations. I am running because I believe the people of San Pedro, Compton, Carson, and every other city in the 44th District deserve someone who will make their voices heard in Congress.

"Democracy for America’s endorsement means so much to me because it is an organization founded on the principle that politicians should be beholden to the communities they represent. I am proud to have their support, and I look forward to championing our shared values throughout this campaign and in Congress.” -- Nanette Barragán, Candidate, CA-44

Barragán, the daughter of immigrants from Mexico, grew up in Carson and the surrounding areas where she attended Stephen M. White Middle School, learned to swim at Carson Pool, and studied at the Carson Library. She worked her way through UCLA and law school at USC before becoming a long-time advocate for the environment and the first elected Latina member of the Hermosa Beach City Council. She was also a leader in the fight against Measure O, a ballot measure that would have allowed oil companies to drill for oil in the Santa Monica Bay.

Democracy for America (DFA) is a member-driven, people-powered progressive PAC with more than 230,000 members in California and one million members nationwide committed to taking on income inequality, money in politics, and structural racism.

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Categories: Elections Candidate Press Releases

DFA responds to Clinton's "bald-faced lies" on Sanders's gun record, "right-wing attacks" on healthcare

Over the last couple of days, the Clinton campaign has begun making a number of misleading attacks on Bernie Sanders that we think could endanger Democrats chances in 2016.

In case it's helpful, here's a response from Democracy for America's Charles Chamberlain on the Clinton campaign's attacks on Sanders's record against gun violence and the progressive goal of universal healthcare:

"While there is room for candidates in the 2016 race to draw contrasts on the issues, the bald-faced lies about Bernie Sanders's strong record against gun violence and the right-wing attacks on his support for single-payer health care coming from the Clinton campaign have no place in a Democratic primary.

"So, let's get a couple of things straight:  

"Anyone who has listened to a single word that Bernie Sanders has said over the last 30+ years or seen the lifetime 'D-' rating he's earned from the NRA knows that any suggestion that he's a 'reliable vote' for some industry lobby simply doesn't pass the laugh test.  I know things get heated in a primary campaign, but, honestly, talk like that is so absurdly false it's almost funny.

"Second, Secretary Clinton was right in 2008 when she said that Democratic attacks on universal healthcare 'not only undermines core Democratic values, but gives aid and comfort to... the Republican Party.' Democrats deserve better than to see her flip flop on that core value now that her progressive opponent is surging in the polls.

"We have said since the start of this primary and we reiterated it when our members voted to endorse Sanders that DFA's top priority in 2016 is ensuring that Democrats hold on to the White House. With so much at stake in this election, that's something we know all Democrats agree on.

"However, regardless of who wins our nomination, the goal of Democrats holding on to the White House in 2016 is being made more difficult every second the Clinton campaign continues to distort the facts on Bernie Sanders's strong record against gun violence and attack a core progressive idea like universal healthcare.

"Bernie Sanders and any Democrat can beat right-wing attacks when they're leveled by Republicans, but Democrats taking those same swings only hurts our ability to unite the Democratic coalition we need to win in November." -- Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America

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Categories: Press Releases

DFA on Guns Action: Only option given GOP "owned by a industry that's content supplying terrorists"

Reaction from Democracy for America on the President's executive action on guns today:

"Given that Republicans in Congress are outright owned by a gun industry that's content with supplying terrorists and profiting off of the murder of Americans, the executive actions taken today are some of the only options left for the President to reduce gun violence in America. 

"While far more needs to be done to slow the gun violence that's ripping apart American families every day, Democracy for America members thank President Obama for today's concrete actions to limit the number of guns that fall into the wrong hands and for continuing to stand up to the merchants of death in the gun industry and their cheerleaders at the NRA." -- Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America.

Democracy for America is a national progressive organization with more than 1 million members nationwide and has been a long-time advocate for commonsense gun reform.  Here's a statement DFA put out immediately following last month's tragedy in San Bernardino.

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Categories: Press Releases

BREAKING: DFA says DNC should reverse Sanders data decision, brings DNC "neutrality" into question

Earlier this morning, news broke that the DNC had cut off voter file access to Bernie Sanders' campaign following a security failure at its data vendor, NGP-VAN.

Statement from Charles Chamberlain, Democracy for America's Executive Director, about the DNC's poor decision:

"The Democratic National Committee's decision to attack the campaign that figured out the problem, rather than go after the vendor that made the mistake, is profoundly damaging to the party's Democratic process. DNC leaders should immediately reverse this disturbing decision before the committee does even more to bring its neutrality in the race for President into question." -- Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America

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Categories: Press Releases

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