Kristina Powell, Democracy for America
You don’t often hear from me. Normally, I am working behind the scenes, updating Excel sheets and tracking finances to make sure that Democracy for America members and staff have the resources they need to make change happen. But I felt it was necessary to step out of my comfort zone.
Last week, in case you missed it, the head of the DCCC shared that they will support and fund candidates that are against women’s rights, against abortion rights. THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE.
As a mom, a woman, a wife, a daughter, it is time for the Democratic Party to state loudly and clearly women’s rights are a human right, and that is non-negotiable. Period.
Here is why the DCCC’s move is bad policy and bad politics:
- The ability to make deliberate decisions about when, or if, one starts a family is essential to a woman’s freedom and economic security.
- If we’re truly ready to fight for justice for all people — economic justice, racial justice, environmental justice and more — we can’t afford to leave anyone behind.
- Democrats have to stand for something. We cannot be Republican-lite if we are to win back the over 1,000 seats we have lost in the last nine years.
Democracy for America has joined with NARAL, MoveOn, the Working Families Party and many other progressive organizations to release a statement of principles that clearly and unequivocally makes abortion rights a central part of our vision for a more progressive America.
Here is our joint statement in full:
As progressives, we know we cannot have a real conversation about economic security that does not include the ability to decide if, when, and how to raise a family; that being able to plan a pregnancy has a powerful effect on educational attainment, career trajectory, and chance to define our own destinies.As progressives, we stand united in understanding that policies that limit access to abortion and force medically unnecessary procedures are oppressive to women, especially low-income women and women of color.
As progressives, we stand united in the belief that a woman’s autonomy over her own body is not a secondary issue or a “social issue,” but rather a human right and a necessity in order to attain and preserve economic security in her life.
As progressives, we acknowledge that the current economic system is exceptionally punishing of mothers, single mothers, and mothers of color whose wages, job opportunities, and economic advancement suffer due to the “motherhood penalty.”
As progressives, we stand united in our belief that 21st century economic populism must include an understanding of how race and gender affect our economic reality and our economic opportunity.
As a progressive movement, we recognize that over the last decade there has been a massive erosion of access to abortion and attacks on contraception and we cannot back away from this fight without abandoning people and undercutting core constituencies in our base.
As we always have, progressives share our party with people who personally don’t believe that abortion is an option for them. This includes self-identified “pro-life” legislators up until the moment they seek to impose those personal views on their constituents and the country. If they vote to restrict abortion access or contraception access, they then undercut the party platform and they undercut the welfare of women. We strive for and believe in personal evolution and growth so, if they have voted to do so in the past, the burden of proof is upon them through subsequent votes and/or public statements — not in the heat of a campaign — but prior to running for office or reelection.
Thus, as progressives, we know to organize, mobilize, and win elections we must field candidates who understand the integral nature of these core values and bring the full power of our collective base to win.
I’m proud that DFA is taking a strong stand against the infuriating statements being made by the DCCC. It has never been more important for those of us who are concerned with justice to come together and insist that strong support for reproductive rights be a non-negotiable part of any progressive platform.
Thanks for standing up for women’s autonomy and freedom.
Kristina Powell, Finance Director
Democracy for America
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