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We Must Uphold Our Platform!

by Laura Nevitt on May 18, 2011 · 28 comments

Yesterday the Minnesota Senate passed two bills that attack a women’s right to make reproductive choices for herself and have access to affordable health care. SF103 severely limits state funding for abortions while SF 936 prohibits abortion after 20 weeks. Both of these bills have House versions that were passed last week and now these bills will go to Governor Dayton’s desk to be vetoed.

Not only is this a sad day for all women in Minnesota and the legacy of Roe v. Wade, it is especially sad to me as the President of the DFL Feminist Caucus. I am particularly saddened because of the number of DFLers who authored these bills and voted in favor of them. I worry that they could help to override the veto.

The DFL Platform specifically states, in two distinct  places, the party’s support for women and for choice.

In the Civil, Human and Constitutional Rights Section:
“We oppose government interference in all matters related to the control of one’s own body, including protection of the rights of women to bear children, practice birth control and obtain safe and legal abortions “

In the Health and Human Services section:
“We support private and public funding for health care programs that include pregnancy care, family planning and abortions, regardless of age or income”

I proudly align myself with the DFL and  head up the DFL Feminist Caucus because I believe in the principles and platform of this party and am proud that they are so willing to put it in writing. As a woman and as a feminist I know that this party is the one that should stand up for my values and for me.  Notice I said should.

While I am glad the DFL  has  this commitment in  writing, I now hope they start putting it into action.

With the passage of the two bills 19 DFLer’s voted against women and their own platform. Five of them even put their names on the bills. Here is the list:

SF 649/ HF 936 – Abortions at or after 20 weeks postfertilization age prohibited unless exceptions apply, and civil and criminal penalties provided.

DFL Senators:
Gary Kubly – SD20
Keith Langseth  – SD9
Tom Saxhaug –  SD3
Dan Sparks – SD27
LeRoy Stumpf – SD1

DFL Representatives:
Authors: Patti Fritz – 26B, John Ward – 12A,
Voted for:
Joe Atkins – 39B
David Dill – 6A
Denise Dittrich – 47A
Kent Eken – 2A
Patti Fritz – 26B
Larru Hosch – 14B
Kory Kath – 26A
Lyle Koenen – 20B
Ann Lenczewski – 40B
Paul Marquart – 9B
Mary Murphy – 6B
Gene Pelowski – 31A
John Ward – 12A

SF 103/HF 201 – Limit State Funding to state-sponsored health-programs that provide abortions

DFL Senators:
Gary Kubly – SD20
Keith Langseth  – SD9
LeRoy Stumpf – SD1

DFL Representatives:
Authors: Patti Fritz – 26B,  Mary Murphy – 6B, Larry Hosch – 14B, Lyle Koenen – 20B
David Dill – 39B
Denise Dittrich – 47A
Kent Eken – 2A
Patti Fritz -26B
Larry Hosch – 14B
Kyle Koenen – 26A
Ann Lenczewski – 40B
Paul Marquart – 9B
Terry Morrow – 23A
Mary Murhphy – 6B
Gene Pelowski – 31A
John Ward – 12A

I know that calling out fellow DFLers will be taken in different ways – some positive and some negative. I know I will get accused of causing infighting or the like. But to me and the members of the DFLFC this is about accountability.

The DFL has a party platform and I expect that when someone decides to run as a DFLer,  seeks our endorsement and gets it,  that they will  uphold that platform to the best of their ability.  To put your name on or vote for a bill that goes directly against not one, but two ( I could push it to 3) of the party’s platform is a unacceptable.

The DFL party, which raises much of its money off of the back of activists, women and feminists, puts that money to use by helping get these anti-choice DFLers elected.  This needs to change.

The DFL Feminist Caucus is committed to making sure these principles are upheld by all elected officials who choose to call themselves a DFLer and get money from the DFL.  To that end we call on all DFL officials to support, without qualification, their platform that recognizes the rights and health of women are not negotiable.

Laura M. Nevitt
President
DFL Feminist Caucus

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