Democrats who oppose abortion rights will gather next month in Colorado for a conference to “rejuvenate the Democratic Party with pro-life Democrats,” sponsored by a prominent anti-choice organization that has weaponized dubious allegations to target Planned Parenthood.
Live Action, which has allied with congressional Republicans to block federal funding to reproductive health-care organizations, including Planned Parenthood, is a sponsor of the anti-choice conference. Live Action has a history of making unsubstantiated allegations against Planned Parenthood, coordinating efforts with Republican lawmakers to prohibit the organization from receiving federal funding for non-abortion-related reproductive health care.
Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) on July 20-22 will host its inaugural annual conference in Denver. The conference will include speakers from prominent anti-choice organizations such as And Then There Were None (ATTWN), the Vitae Foundation, and the Radiance Foundation.
Scheduled speakers for the conference include former Democratic member of Congress Bart Stupak, who lead the push to include an abortion restriction in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and former Democratic member of Congress Lincoln Davis, who was defeated in the 2010 midterm election by Tea Party Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais.
The conference is taking place during a time when the future of legal abortion is in question, with the announcement this week that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire, leaving President Trump to nominate someone to the Court who could vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Thomas Perille, president of Democrats for Life of Colorado, told the Denver Catholic that the organization seeks to give Democrats who oppose abortion rights a voice within the party. “These Democrats often feel intimidated and historically have been silenced in the Democratic Party,” Perille said.
There are several prominent anti-choice Democratic state and federal lawmakers, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has shown support for anti-choice candidates in Democratic primaries. Democrats in Rhode Island have blocked a law protecting abortion rights, with a leading Democrat dismissing the nationwide legislative attack on abortion access.
Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America, praised anti-choice Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski’s narrow victory in the Illinois primary as a “win for the Big Tent Democratic Party.”