Leading Progressive Groups: Party Must Stand Up and Proudly Support Abortion Rights

For Immediate Release

Leading Progressive Groups: Party Must Stand Up and Proudly Support Abortion Rights

WASHINGTON - Leading progressive groups, led by NARAL Pro-Choice America and Democracy for America (DFA), today released a Statement of Principles when it comes to the Democratic Party and abortion.

Joining NARAL and DFA on the Statement of Principles are MoveOn Political Action, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, EMILY's List, Working Families Party, Ultraviolet, Daily Kos, Demos, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Indivisible Project, American Federation of Teachers, and Social Security Works.

The Statement of Principles brings together groups that supported Secretary Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders in last year's primary.

"Our basic rights and freedoms are under assault daily from the Trump Administration," said Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "The Democratic Party cannot give an inch in their opposition to this Administration. That is true across the board and especially true when it comes to abortion rights. The Democratic Party cannot and will not win if it turns its back on women and our fundamental rights."

"Democrats will fail to retake power in 2018 if we allow ourselves to be forced into a false choice between a populist progressive agenda and reproductive justice,"  said Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director of Democracy for America.  "Abortion rights are inextricably tied to the fight against economic and racial inequity, full stop, and until all leaders of our party fully understand that we're going to keep losing."

The Statement of Principles are online here and copied below:

"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 re-election.

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."

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NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as "one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America."

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