Memo: The Democratic National Convention and Democrats For Life of America
From: Catholics for Choice
Date: 21 July 2016
Re: The Democratic National Convention and Democrats For Life of America
Language in the 2016 draft Democratic Party platform strongly affirms a woman’s right to access abortion and calls for an end to the Hyde Amendment. Like the Democratic Party faithful, the vast majority of Catholics in the United States understand that these values are part of our faith’s respect for conscience and commitment to social justice.
Claiming to speak for Catholics and Democrats, Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) is protesting this renewed commitment. The group is pushing for a vote to remove this language from the final platform during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week. As part of these efforts, DFLA plans to release a report appealing to the larger party for greater recognition of its minority agenda. However, DFLA has never represented more than a small fraction both within the Democratic Party and within the Catholic community.
As you report on the convention next week, keep these facts about Catholic Democrats in mind:
- Catholic voters support abortion access just like the rest of the nation. More than nine in 10 Catholic Democrats support legal abortion in some cases.
- A majority of Catholic Democrats (58 percent) believe that insurance should cover abortions when a woman and her doctor decide it is appropriate.
- Eight in 10 Catholic Democrats object to bishops withholding Communion from those who support legal abortion.
- Ninety-one percent of Catholic Democrats reject the idea that they have an obligation to vote for candidates recommended by the bishops.
- Eighty-four percent of Catholic Democrats reject the idea that Catholic politicians have an obligation to vote on issues as the bishops recommend.
Catholics have deep respect for individual conscience and believe that a woman is the only one suited to determine the best course of action in her life. This respect reflects an emphasis on the important Catholic values of compassion, equality and moral autonomy within our social justice tradition. Among these is a strong belief that neither her pocketbook nor her zip code should determine the healthcare available to a woman.