By Andrew Bair
Early voting kicked off today in North Carolina, the site of one of the nation’s most competitive U.S. Senate races. In the Tar Heel State, there is a clear contrast between the Senate candidates on abortion.
Incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan has a 0% rating from the National Right to Life Committee. In her six years in the U.S. Senate, not once did she cast a pro-life vote. Conversely, Thom Tillis, the Speaker of the North Carolina House, provided crucial pro-life leadership in enacting a record number of pro-life laws.
According to most polls, Sen. Hagan has held a small but consistent lead in the race, often within the margin of error. But there is evidence that Speaker Tillis has momentum going into the final stretch of the campaign.
As Politico reported, “The most recent live-caller poll, from High Point University, showed both candidates at 40 percent, the first independent poll that didn’t have Hagan ahead since August.”
Earlier this week, Hagan skipped a debate hosted by two of North Carolina’s largest publications, The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer of Raleigh. In her place, the organizers placed an empty chair.
Republican research firm America Rising noted, “This is not an image or video that conveys strength or confidence from Kay Hagan’s campaign two weeks out from Election Day.” Instead of presenting her positions to the viewers, Hagan relied on campaign staff to issue “fact-checking” alerts throughout the hour-long program.
With the polls so tight, even one percentage point can affect the outcome. Another factor in the race is the single-digit percentage of the vote drawn by Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh. Like Hagan, Haugh supports a policy of abortion on demand for any reason.
He even took to Twitter to express his opposition to the pro-life movement. On October 16th, Haugh tweeted, “Hear National Right to Life is campaigning against me. Awesome. 🙂”
Grassroots pro-life advocates across North Carolina are working hard to push Thom Tillis over the finish line on Election Day. Barbara Holt, president of North Carolina Right to Life, told the NRL News Today, “I’ve been so impressed with our chapters and grassroots supporters who have stepped up to the plate and are putting so much time and energy into ensuring we elect a pro-life senator here in North Carolina.”
Thom Tillis is endorsed by National Right to Life. In response to the announcement of the endorsement, Tillis told NRLC, “This endorsement means more to me than any other recognition I have received in my time in public service. It is a tremendous honor.”
Under Tillis’s leadership as Speaker of the House, the North Carolina legislature passed a number of measures protecting unborn children and their mothers including:
• Women’s Right to Know Act (Speaker Tillis led the effort to override Governor Perdue’s veto of the measure)
• Ethen’s Law recognizing unborn children as victims of violent crime
• Prohibiting North Carolina taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortion or to pay for insurance coverage for abortion.
• Health & Safety Law – a 2013 omnibus pro-life bill that included language extending conscience protections to health care providers who oppose abortion, opting North Carolina out of abortion coverage in the federal health care exchange, prohibiting sex-selection abortions, prohibiting abortion from being covered in city and county health care plans, banning web-cam abortions, and issuing regulations of abortion clinics.
Compare the U.S. Senate candidates in North Carolina here.
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