Don’t Abandon the Women Who Put You in Office
Hartford, October 11, 2017 – The 2016 Democratic platform called for an end to the Hyde Amendment—which restricts federal funding for abortion in the U.S.—and the Helms Amendment—which restricts federal aid funding for abortion abroad. Yet, somehow, the DNC now finds itself supporting pro-life Democratic candidates in an all-hands on deck approach to winning back the House. It’s clear that the 2016 election raised many questions for party leaders, and in the months since Donald Trump won the presidency, there has been plenty of soul-searching and infighting about the best way to move forward. Selling out women is not the answer.
“It’s not possible to have an authentic conversation about economic security for women that does not include our ability to decide when and how we have children.” – Ilyse Hogue, President, NARAL Pro-Choice
IndivisibleCT believes that winning back control of the House is a top priority for Democrats, but supporting candidates who fundamentally disagree with the party on an issue as important as a woman’s right to make decisions about her health, is a bridge too far. It undermines the party’s commitment to the women who make up its base, and to economic justice.
Every person—even a candidate for political office—is entitled to his or her personal beliefs. However, we believe that all Democratic candidates must be committed to preserving women’s access to safe, legal abortion.
Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice, put it best: “The Democratic Party, and its leaders, would be ill-advised to ignore data that blocking access to legal abortion does not win you a single vote, and robs women of dignity and autonomy. Abortion access is not a ‘single issue’ or a ‘social issue.’ It is a proxy for women to have control over our lives, our family’s lives, our economic well-being, our dignity, and human rights.”
The right to safe and legal abortion has long been a part of the Democratic platform, and its commitment to this issue is more important than ever before. The right to choose is under attack at the state level thanks to legislation written by Americans United for Life (AUL), and the pro-choice movement has won some important victories over the past few years. According to Salon.com, 22 states now “require that clinics meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers and 14 require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.” This and other methods—including the recent House vote to pass a 20-week abortion ban—of restricting access to abortion have proven incredibly successful, most notably in Texas where Roe v. Wade began.
This is not the time for Democrats to soften their stance on this issue, and certainly no time to be supporting candidates who would help further these restrictions at a state or federal level. IndivisibleCT—along with sister groups Indivisible Greenwich and Indivisible Orange—will not support any candidate who is not pro-choice, and urges the DNC to double down on its most progressive values—and communicate them to voters—in order to win back the House in the mid-term elections. The only way we will win is to stand up for what we believe in.