Jason Jones (pictured above left), founder of IAmWholeLife.com, wrote an op ed on Catholic Exchange today calling out Democrats for Life for "borrowing" his organization's name for its new PAC, Whole Life Heroes.
I asked Kristen Day, president of Dems for Life, about the close proximity, and here was her response...
Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA) has for years been calling herself a "whole life Democrat," and that's why the board went with it. I counseled against this, because I was aware of Jason's Whole Life group, but the board didn't seem to care. I had to do what my board said at the end of the day. That said, I was unaware that "Hero's" was part of Jason's group's name.
Here are excerpts from Jones' piece, which should be read in its entirety:
Democrats For Life of America made an extremely misleading announcement in the July 3rd issue of the Washington Post. Kristen Day, DFLA's executive director, said she's forming a "Whole-Life Heroes" political action committee. I'm the founder and president of HERO's Whole Life America. So, on one hand, I am flattered that the DFLA thought so much of our organization that they borrowed our name. On the other hand, I am greatly offended that they would use our name to undermine human dignity.
The name of our organization... conveys respect for the human person from the embryo to the elderly. We make a stand for human dignity when it isn't politically expedient - against the prevailing ideologies of the age - and that takes courage, hence HERO....
We are rewarded every day as we strive to be consistent with our name. Some of our projects this year include drilling wells for the poor in Darfur, Sudan; delivering aid to victims of the earthquake in Haiti; sharing the message of human dignity in American prisons (even on death row); and partnering with 280 pregnancy centers to bring the message of hope and life to pregnant women in crisis.
In complete contrast, the DFL "Whole-Life Heroes" PAC undermines human dignity. After all, its purpose is to re-elect the Stupak Democrats who broke their promises and voted in favor of the mammoth federal healthcare bill laden with provisions for taxpayer-funded abortions. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), the group's namesake, led that devastating betrayal for the empty promise of an executive order banning those provisions....
[Screenshot, above left, is of Jones and Eduardo Verástegui in Darfur in 2009]
"...its purpose is to re-elect the Stupak Democrats who broke their promises and voted in favor of the mammoth federal healthcare bill laden with provisions for taxpayer-funded abortion"
Now, tell me (really)...which side will vote for these Democrats to get back into office?
The conservatives don't trust them because of their 11th hour flip-flop on the abortion issue...and the Democratic party won't trust them becuase they won't mouth the party line and are angering their sponsor base.
They are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.Posted by: RSD at July 12, 2010 3:20 PM
Ay Ay Ay!
Creo que Eduardo Verastegui had first dibs on I Am Whole Life.com, no?Posted by: Janet at July 12, 2010 3:34 PM
Are Democrats ever REALLY pro-life? I don't know. My sister-in-law claims to be pro-life yet idolizes Obama...I'm sure she has an altar built to him somewhere in her apartment.
I posted a link to a story about how babies are being aborted late term then dissected while still alive. I commented that we as Americans look down our noses at Hitler as the most evil man and society that ever lived and yet here we are torturing babies after their premature births. We've killed 50 million babies since Roe V. Wade! Why don't we turn a little of that condescension on ourselves. Like a typical liberal she turned that around to mean I must be anti-semitic. I don't know how in her warped liberal mind she thought I was PRO-Hitler. Kinda made me mad. Hitler was a murderer! He tore families apart forever! He tortured his victims!
So I just don't know if you can ever trust a liberal to really stand up for life. I'd really like to be proven wrong on that though. I hope I am wrong. But then I think they may claim to be pro-life but when it comes right down to it...they're a liberal first.Posted by: Sydney M. at July 12, 2010 3:47 PM
SO... one group has a monopoly and copywright on the words "whole" and "life" all of a sudden? Even this is fair game in your attempts to tear pro life in two and join hands with NARAL in trying to defeat pro life democrats?
Jill, Kristin probably answered you - and was honest with you - because she thought of you as a friend and ally. I can't see why she would think of you that way anymore. At least not at the moment. You should not have posted her comments to you in an email either, unless she told you you could.
This is insane.
This movement, which has come such a long way in just the last year (thanks entirely to DFL in legislative terms) is one that an extreme wing of the republican party is trying to take over and control.
Compare and contrast Jill's treatment of pro life democrats to her glee and celebration when PRO ABORTION republican Scott Brown won in January. This is extreme partisanship over common sense, and boy I bet NARAL is hoping we do get split into two hostile factions trying to defeat each other while pro aborts waltz into office. The Stupak group got what they could get for us. And it was significant, and thought nearly impossible a year before. Without them, FOCA would be LAW now, and Roe/Wade wouldn't even matter anymore. How soon we forget, and get full of ourselves!!
Now that we are all pretending that something is true just because we say it is, perhaps Mr. Jones would like to comment on the republican party's platform supporting the death penalty, hmm? If we all now must agree on every other issue, and that means opposing the Pregnant Women Support Act and the Pregnancy Assistance Fund in the health care bill - lets start with that one.
Lets compare the Vatican's platform on invading Iraq, social welfare programs, the Palestinian question, immigration policy, and the death penalty and compare it to that of the republican party while we're at it. So Michael Steele has replaced the Pope now?
What gives any of these people the right to demand that everyone agree with them on EVERY other issue out there - or you will be branded a traitor, slandered online, and the target of a campaign to defeat you at ALL costs?Posted by: Sean at July 12, 2010 6:07 PM
There pro-life in the sense that they, I believe have a genuine concern for people after there born. I think the democratic party is in their own way also very pro-women and sometimes view a baby as a hindrance to the goals of women. I think if they started to view women as whole individuals who are capable of making good choices, attitudes would change. I also believe that if the democratic parties platform was pro-life they could really make a positive difference. In our state the way a candidate stands on the issue of abortion really has a lot to do with whether there elected or not.
Yeah, Myrtle. She claims to be against abortion though then votes for Obama with stars in her eyes. I don't get it. I can understand if she agrees with everything Obama stands for and thinks he is wonderful but if you say you think abortion is murder, how can you vote for a man who has promised to make abortion his number one priority? Who has an INSANE pro-abortion/ pro-infanticide record?
I want pro-life Democrats to join forces with us. I do. I just think they're the weak link in this war. Didn't Stupak prove that? Sigh. I dont' know. I do hope more Dems will prove me wrong.Posted by: Sydney M. at July 12, 2010 6:23 PM
We need these so-called "pro-life" Democrats like we need a hole in our head.
Until they can prove that they can stand and vote for something pro-life and contrary to their party's platform...they will just be fairy tales in my book.
...And I'm not holding my breath waiting for them to do so...Posted by: RSD at July 12, 2010 6:52 PM
I was going to vote for him but when I found out about his lack of conviction on helping babies who had survived an abortion attempt, I couldn't. I think there are pro-life democrats who are very sincere. I hope for the presidential election they have a site where citizens can go and actually look at the voting records of all of the candidates.
Well see Myrtle, I really admire you for sticking to your pro-life convictions! I am a stauch...STUANCH conservative but I have voted for Democrats with slightly more liberal views than the Republicans they were running against only because these particular Dems were pro-life and ironically the Repubs were not.
I do just want people with pro-life convictions to have no allegiance to a party but to the cause for life.Posted by: Sydney M. at July 12, 2010 8:03 PM
Sean, again, Kristen is my friend. I did not cut and paste what she wrote in an email. We spoke on the phone this morning about this matter. I read her quote back to her and confirmed it was all right to post it. What she said helps make her case.
Sean, you have me all wrong on this topic. You clearly have not read all I have written over the years about Republicans and Democrats as they relate to the pro-life issue. And it gets quite complicated for me sometimes.
That said, I have been rethinking whether it's possible for pro-life Republicans and Democrats to ever have a meeting of the minds, although I thought at one time it was entirely possible. I spoke with Kristen about my thoughts this morning. As I told her, at the foundation our ideologies are different, so our approaches will be different, as evidenced by the healthcare issue.Posted by: Jill Stanek at July 12, 2010 9:01 PM
Eduardo!Posted by: carder at July 12, 2010 9:06 PM
The death penalty may be permissible when it is the only possible way to defend human lives.
Abortion is NEVER permissible.Posted by: Christina H at July 12, 2010 9:43 PM
Sean: Though Jill has already replied to you I would like to add a word of caution. Do not be so quick to jump to conclusions. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but you have to give Jill some credit. She is a consummate professional and there is nothing in all of the work she has done that suggests any kind of ethical or journalistic lapse of good judgment. Nor has she succumbed to taking an uncharitable swipe at a single person, even though she has been viciously attacked at times and might have understandably responded in kind.Posted by: Jerry at July 12, 2010 10:05 PM
I'm not picking sides- Jones' group is trying to rise above politics, and obviously the other group, by virtue of its name, lives and breathes it. Common sense says change the PAC name to avoid confusion because of their unique missions. It's only fair.
There pro-life in the sense that they, I believe have a genuine concern for people after there born.
Posted by: myrtle miller at July 12, 2010 6:09 PM
I would call them pro-life except for the old and unborn. Don't forget that under Obamacare Medicare advantage is gone, Social Security is stolen (Obamacare is funded with money stolen from an insolvent Social Security fund), and beareaucrats are prescribing euthenasia.
Compare and contrast Jill's treatment of pro life democrats to her glee and celebration when PRO ABORTION republican Scott Brown won in January.
Posted by: Sean at July 12, 2010 6:07 PM
Scott Brown is a RINO elected by the people of Massachusettes to try and stop Obamacare. Nothing more, nothing less.Posted by: truthseeker at July 12, 2010 11:50 PM
I love when people chide pro-lifers because some of us do not oppose the death penalty. Babies do not get a fair trial, mandatory appeals, lawyers, or judges to speak for them. It seems like the criminals have a distinct advantage over the unborn. I'm not agreeing with the death penalty, but stating the facts.Posted by: ninek at July 13, 2010 9:35 AM
One sentence in Mr Jones' piece jumped out at me: "In complete contrast, the Democrats For Life “Whole-Life Heroes” PAC undermines human dignity."
It was the word complete that caught my eye, bringing to mind Dem health care policy advisor Dr Ezekiel Emanuel's Complete Lives system of rationing scarce health care resources. Small wonder the pro-obamacare Dems prefer to latch onto the tails of Whole Life Heroes instead of going with a name like Complete Life Heroes in keeping with their own party's health care advisor.Posted by: Fed Up at July 13, 2010 10:15 AM
The essential question here I think boils down to this: can we as a movement afford to attach all sorts of other issues and policy positions, and allow ourselves to become a subset of one party that celebrates pro abortion candidate's victories if only they are part of "our party," while posting a hit list of pro life candidates from "their party" who must be defeated at all costs?
My answer to that is that this will be a disaster for us that will give NARAL its first thing to smile about in over a year. To me, that's a pretty good barometer as to whether or not we are going in the right direction.
Jill, I appreciate your response and I apologize if I presumed you posted Kristin's comments in an email to you without her OK. My bad. I had a long talk with Alex Cortes on Sunday about this. I have known him for 4 years now. And while I respect the fact that both of you have every right to be very proud republicans, I just ask both of you to consider if being a republican is more important to you than advancing the cause of human rights and medical honesty. Is it really better in your eyes if a pro abortion republican beats a pro life democrat so long as "Obamacare" is repealed - or defunded? I know it is not as simple as that, but if there is even one case where you think this scenario would be acceptable - then I just ask how. I am not for the bill in its current form either, and plan on voting republican in hopes of defeating Tom Perriello in my district - for what it's worth.
To the rest of you, I'll ask again..
1) What is it that could/would have stopped the passage of FOCA into law if the DFL lobby in congress had not so bravely stood up and said they would join republicans even defeating it? How exactly would the republicans, with 39 votes in the senate - have stopped it, especially given how many of them are not pro life at all themselves. How does your math work here?
2) If it is so simple and infallible for you to call everyone in the DFL lobby "traitors," "backstabbers," and so on because they support other policies that you do not agree with and voted to pass the health care bill - then how exactly is it that you celebrated Scott Brown's victory with great rejoicing when his own website says clearly that abortion "is between a woman and her doctor?"
4) If the executive order that the Stupak lobby forced Mr. Obama to sign is worthless, then how was it that the executive order that Mr. Bush signed banning most destructive forms of stem cell research was such a great victory written in stone? Obama has not and will not dare try and mess with his executive order. He wouldn't dare now, thanks to the polls and the DFL lobby. Again, we've only won what we've won the past year thanks to our allies in the DEMOCRATIC party. No one else. But getting 80% of what we wanted is 0% to so many of you, apparently.
3) Jason Jones and many others among you have championed our Catholic faith with regard to defending human life in the womb. That's great. But perhaps you could consider and comment how it is that you are meanwhile AOK with the republican party being diametrically opposed to the GOP party platform on matters of the death penalty, immigration law, the issue of Palestine, invading Iraq, the excesses of capitalism, and the advisability of having 9 million children without any health care coverage in the world's largest economy. Do none of these issues suddenly matter at all, but only the ONE you handpick? Why, because YOU say that one issue matters and all the rest of them don't? Has the GOP leadership trumped the Vatican in your eyes now?
I don't mean to bring religion into the debate, as my group at UVA does not mention it at all.
I am merely bringing it up since so many of you use Catholicism as a basis for your beliefs on this issue. That's AOK by me, I just don't quite get how it is that you feel entitled to dismiss all the other issues that the Vatican feels very strongly about, most of which are completely supported and defended by the "traitors and turncoats" in DFL.Posted by: Sean at July 13, 2010 12:39 PM
I've always been a tad better at writing than math, obviously. =o)Posted by: Sean at July 13, 2010 12:44 PM
Then why insert religion into the debate?
The argument against abortion can be made on science alone and most commenters here do just that. It is often the pro-choicers and pro-aborts who play the religion card. It was the pro-aborts back in the 1970's who made the Catholic Church the enemy of the abortion movement because the CC had opposition built-in already among many Americans.
What if Obamacare had not passed, and the oil spill tragedy had delayed the FOCA debate til after the November elections?Just to clarify, are you saying that FOCA is dead since Obama care passed? Can we afford Obamacare? Was it worth it when there were many other logical solutions presented by others that would have cost MUCH less?Posted by: Janet at July 13, 2010 2:21 PM
Alot of people dismiss the most important fundamental issue to promote a culture of death & "all the other issues" with a smile.Posted by: Christina H at July 13, 2010 3:33 PM
'Democrats for Life,' Call Your Office. Looks like the use of federal funds for all but sex selection abortions has been approved.Posted by: Fed Up at July 13, 2010 5:28 PM
Hi Janet. Haven't seen any. I did read on Politico today that he is "showing his gratitude to fellow anti-abortion Democrats with a wave of farewell contributions," two of which were for Pennsylvania legislators.
www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/39648.htmlPosted by: Fed Up at July 13, 2010 6:01 PM
If abortion is about a womans' choice, it would follow that sex-selection abortions should be legal. Male or female, it will all even out in the wash.Posted by: Janet at July 13, 2010 6:46 PM
Okay, Jill. This is no joke. . .I just received an email from DFLA promoting their Whole Life Heros PAC and my first reaction was that I had been duped by Jason Jones because it looked like he is actually part of DLFA. Next, I googled "Whole Life pro-life" and found your blog where you state that Jason is offended that DFLA "borrowed" his organization's name. I would be hopping mad if I were him! DFLA is not a pro-life organization because they put being Democrat before being Pro-life. They refuse to take an official position on ESCR and they are in favor of contraception - which is extremely offensive given that Kristen Day is Catholic. Jason ought to demand that DFLA choose another name. How about "Only When It's Convenient Life Heros PAC"?Posted by: Valerie at July 13, 2010 7:57 PM
The Dems for Life that voted for Obamacare suck and they give the real Dems for Life a bad name. The ones that did not get suckered in by Stupak and voted against Obamacare will likely survive. More power to these real Dems for Life. Next they should bring up a bill to defund Planned Parenthood and vote with the Republicans on it in the lame duck session. That would restore my faith that there is such a thing as a pro-life Democrat...but I won't hold my breathe.Posted by: truthseeker at July 14, 2010 1:33 AM
Why do I illude myself. I am such a hopeless romantic..Posted by: truthseeker at July 14, 2010 2:01 AM
That's AOK by me, I just don't quite get how it is that you feel entitled to dismiss all the other issues that the Vatican feels very strongly about, most of which are completely supported and defended by the "traitors and turncoats" in DFL.
Posted by: Sean at July 13, 2010 12:39 PM
Sean, then you just don't get it period. There is nothing in the world more intrinsicly evil to a Catholic then a mother submitting her self and her child to abortion. What could be more evil? And if you can't rail against abortion then you are can't be Catholic anyway. You are excommunicating yourself from the Body of Christ. See for yourself as stated below in the Catechism.
2258 "Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being."
2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.
From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion.
This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.
Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves.
Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.
2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense.
The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.
"A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae," "by the very commission of the offense," and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.
The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy.
Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society. "
One would think that by having even a cursory look at the website or facebook group I designed and the group I founded - that one would be left with very little doubt as to whether I was pro life or not.
But I have noticed that nobody has ventured an answer to any of the questions I posed regarding the mathematics of how we avoided FOCA and got what we've gotten the last year in DC (and who was responsible for that). Nor have I seen anybody face up to all those OTHER issues upon which the Vatican feels so strongly about that the GOP has policies diametrically opposed to.
If we're going to win over and retain the independents and the center in America, let me be the first to remind all of you that we will ALL have to accept that having 9 million children and tens of thousands of pregnant mothers without any health coverage is not a particularly pro life stance! That may not matter to some of you on the extreme right politically, but I can assure you it will to those in the center. We can either get their votes, or lose them.
This all comes down to math in the end. And I've been noticing that a lot of you are not particularly good at math when it comes to congressional reality at present - and how we might go about changing that.Posted by: Sean at July 14, 2010 10:54 AM
But I have noticed that nobody has ventured an answer to any of the questions I posed regarding the mathematics of how we avoided FOCA ...
Posted by: Sean at July 14, 2010 10:54 AM
Avoided FOCA? The new health care law allows for the implementation of part of the FOCA agenda via bureaucratic mechanisms. We may have avoided a piece of legislation named FOCA, but we got parts of its agenda in PPACA.Posted by: Fed Up at July 14, 2010 3:08 PM
But I have noticed that nobody has ventured an answer to any of the questions I posed regarding the mathematics of how we avoided FOCA
Posted by: Sean at July 14, 2010 10:54 AM
Sean, that math isn't due to the Dems for Life. FOCA is probably supported by less than half the Democrats and less than 1% of the Republicans out there. That would be like saying Dems for Life don't support the re-legalization of PBA. That is pretty low bar you are setting for them there.
"This all comes down to math in the end. And I've been noticing that a lot of you are not particularly good at math when it comes to congressional reality at present - and how we might go about changing that."...Sean
According to almost all of the polls the math is on the side of those who want to jettison Democrats from congress. They (as a party, not as every individual) have been exposed as far left of the American people. Might it be because of the socialist, anti-business, anti-life, anti-traditional family agenda that except for one or two of them they universally support?Posted by: Jerry at July 15, 2010 11:59 AM
Gallup polls are not election results.
There are 36 pro life senators at present - 38 if you count Nelson and Casey.
It takes 40 for a filibuster.
This is not difficult math.Posted by: Sean at July 15, 2010 1:04 PM
How many of those 36 are Democrats?