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Peace & Life Connections Index

#361 Democrats Catching On!

Good News: Some US Democrats May be Starting to Catch On

We reported a few weeks ago that Democrats were in an uproar because Bernie Sanders had campaigned for Heath Mello, candidate for mayor of Omaha, Nebraska. In that locale, being pro-life is an asset for a politician, but upper-echelon Democrats stirred up a controversy which the Republican candidate took advantage of. Mello lost.

The Atlantic has a May 16 article suggesting some of those upper-echelon Democrats may have learned a lesson: “DNC Chair Tom Perez to Meet With Pro-Life Democrats.” The sub-title is: “The outreach follows controversy and questions over whether Democrats who oppose abortion are welcome in the party.”

Timing isn’t yet announced, but Perez is expected to meet with Kristen Day (pictured), executive director of our member group Democrats for Life. If you’d like to meet her, she’s one of our speakers at our 30th anniversary conference August 4-6.

The topic is also covered in an excellent opinion piece in The Washington Post: Why Won’t Democrats Let Antiabortion Progressives Under Their Tent? We quote from it below. (Thanks to subscriber Tom Taylor for sending this in).

Latest CL Blog: Self-Defeating Violence: The Case of the First World War John Whitehead talks about how “the war to end all wars” was followed by the Nazi regime and a far worse war. The idea that a violent "solution" doesn't solve anything, but leads to worse outcomes, is also shown with the bombing of Cambodia followed by the Khmer Rouge genocide; with the idea that abortion would relieve women in poverty not panning out as there are ways it's made such poverty worse; and with the idea that executions deter criminal murders not being supported by the experts (there is even a possibility that potential murderers actually see executions as an example to follow).

Also of Interest around the Web ∞ Luke Pigott has written a blog post called “Post-Execution Church: Rise Up from the Electric Chair!” It talks about the actual experience of executions by the staff carrying them out and how criminals become scapegoats. (Thanks to subscriber Kirk Kramer who sent this in). ∞ Jennifer Bartlett has published an opinion piece in The New York Times (May 10, 2017) with her personal story of being a pregnant woman with a disability (cerebral palsy). Though explicitly taking a “pro-choice” stand, she makes the same points we make about the experience of discrimination. Bigotry about the pregnancies of women with disabilities can provide pressures for abortion.

Quotation of the Week Christine Emba (pictured) Why Won’t Democrats Let Antiabortion Progressives Under Their Tent? Washington Post, May 3, 2017

Ironically, restricting abortion was once a progressive cause. Early defenders saw protecting the unborn as an extension of society’s responsibility to shield the poor, weak and otherwise defenseless. Many were wary of abortion’s eugenic potential and of how it allowed men more leeway to exploit or abuse women without consequence. But after the Supreme Court established the right to abortion in 1973, the issue became more and more a matter of left-right divide . . . Yet recent years have seen the emergence, or perhaps reemergence, of activists who oppose abortion from a divergent and sometimes frankly left-wing perspective — secular humanists; “consistent life ethic” activists who oppose abortion, capital punishment and euthanasia with equal fervor; and antiabortion believers otherwise fed up with the Republican Party.

Responses/News tips/Questions to share are all welcome.

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