By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director
One year out from the 2012 general election, voters in parts of the nation have been busy with “off-year” and special elections. Following is an overview of yesterday’s elections, ballot initiatives, and proposed amendments to state constitutions.
Virginia Election Gives Pro-Life Majority Control in Both Houses
Virginia’s off-year elections proved to be very beneficial for the babies. Pro-lifers already controlled the governor’s office (Bob McDonnell) and the House of Delegates. Tuesday’s election in Virginia replaced two pro-abortion state Senators with two pro-life state Senators, giving pro-lifers control of the state Senate as well.
A nail-biter to the end, pro-abortion Democratic state Senator Edd Houck, Chair of the Senate Health and Education Committee, lost by 86 votes to his pro-life Republican challenger, a race in which Virginia Society for Human Life PAC, a National Right to Life affiliate, played a key role.
(Pro-abortion Democratic Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw told the Washington Post today that his party “will pursue counting every ballot,” but added, “I don’t hold out much hope.”)
Republicans added at least six more seats in the House of Delegates, meaning they now have a two-thirds majority, the largest in Virginia history.
“This election proves that the pro-life increment is decisive in close races,” said Holly Smith, Virginia Society for Human Life PAC chairman. “We devoted our efforts to educating voters on the extreme voting records of pro-abortion incumbent senators. As of this writing, pro-life challenger Bryce Reeves leads pro-abortion incumbent State Sen. Edward Houck, in a race where the life issue was dominant in the closing days of the campaign. Once the results are confirmed, we will have the votes we need in the General Assembly to pass meaningful laws to protect innocent life.”
Olivia Gans, President of the Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL), agreed.
“For far too many years pro-abortion members of the Virginia Senate have controlled the fate of protective pro-life legislation in the General Assembly,” she said. “Pro-lifers are in the majority in the House of Delegates but pro-abortion members in charge of the Senate Health and Education Committee have ensured that every pro-life bill is killed without any debate.”
Gans believes, “The victories in this election will allow us to work toward the passage of truly protective legislation, such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and continue the prominent legislative legacy of VSHL.”
In Kentucky, pro-life challenger state Senate President David Williams (R) was unable to defeat pro-abortion incumbent Governor Steve Beshear (D).
Because pro-life Governor Haley Barbour (R) was term-limited and could not run, Mississippi’s gubernatorial seat was open. Fortunately, there were two pro-life candidates competing. Pro-life Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant (R) defeated his pro-life challenger Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree (D).
(On October 22 Louisiana’s popular pro-life Republican Governor Bobby Jindal was easily re-elected, garnering more than 65% of the vote in a ten-way race.)
Ohio and ObamaCare
In still another example of how wildly unpopular ObamaCare is, two-thirds of Ohioans voted in favor of Ohio Issue Three, an amendment to the state constitution that says Ohio residents cannot be forced to buy health insurance. That requirement—the “individual mandate”– is a key component against which the Supreme Court will decide tomorrow whether to hear legal challenges.
The numbers are even more shocking than on first blush. Labor unions poured an enormous amount of money and effort into a separate ballot question on collective bargaining. However as The Hill reported today
“But even with strong turnout around a traditionally Democratic issue, 66 percent of voters had supported the anti-mandate initiative at the time the Associated Press called the vote.”
Left unsaid is that ObamaCare is obviously unpopular with many members of organized labor as well.
Oregon Special Primary Results
Voters determined the general election matchup in Oregon’s special election to replace pro-abortion Rep. David Wu (D) in Oregon’s first congressional district. Wu resigned amid scandal.
Pro-life Republican businessman Rob Cornilles will face pro-abortion Democratic state Senator Suzanne Bonamici, an EMILY’s List candidate, in the Special General election on January 31, 2012. EMILY’s List endorses only the most militant pro-abortion female Democratic candidates. The two won their primaries in an election conducted by mail.
Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Initiative 26 would have amended Mississippi’s state Constitution to define life “to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.” The measure failed 59% to 41%.
At the same time, pro-lifers replaced one pro-life governor with another, strengthened their majority in the state Senate, and “flipped” the House from pro-abortion to pro-life.
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