By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director
Have you heard? A wonderful thing happened Tuesday under the Capitol dome when the 114th Congress convened.
With pro-life Speaker John Boehner’s re-election to serve another term, and pro-life Senator Mitch McConnell’s election to serve as the U.S. Senate’s majority leader, both houses of Congress are now under pro-life leadership.
It was an honor to join with members of New York State Right to Life in the Capitol Visitor’s Center to celebrate and welcome three new pro-life members of New York’s congressional delegation to Washington, D.C.: Lee Zeldin (R), John Katko (R), and Elise Stefanik(R).
Both Lee Zeldin and John Katko defeated pro-abortion incumbent Democrat House members, while Elise Stefanik, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, won the open seat previously held by a pro-abortion Democrat. All three new members won in districts which voted for Obama in 2012.
Similar celebrations were being held elsewhere for other states in the halls of Congress. A total of 13 freshmen U.S. senators were sworn in, as were more than two dozen freshmen members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
National Right to Life’s political entities were actively involved in 74 federal races nationwide: 18 in the U.S. Senate and 56 in the U.S. House. We won 76% of those races!
Approximately 3.3 million identified voter households were contacted; 1.3 million pieces of literature were hand-distributed by NRL’s grassroots volunteers; and 33,000 radio ads were aired on more than 1,200 stations in crucial districts leading up to the election, exposing the vast differences on life issues between the candidates, including their positions on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the use of tax dollars to pay for abortion, and the pro-abortion, pro-rationing Obamacare law. These activities were conducted by NRL PAC and NRL Victory Fund independently of the candidates’ campaigns.
Post-election polling (The Polling Company/Woman Trend, Nov. 4, 2014) revealed how important the abortion issue was in the 2014 election. Twenty-three percent of voters across the nation said that the abortion issue affected their vote and voted for candidates who oppose abortion. Just 16% said abortion affected their vote and voted for candidates who favor abortion. This 7% net gain for pro-life candidates made the difference in many races.
The poll also found that 28% of voters recalled receiving, hearing, or seeing information or advertising from National Right to Life. Voters also recalled other pro-life groups involved in the election: 17% recalled receiving information or hearing advertising from the National Right to Life affiliate in their state; 9% recalled hearing from Susan B. Anthony List; and10% recalled hearing from Americans United for Life.
Visitors to the U.S. Capitol see the outward signs of newness being prepared with scaffolding on the dome, while on the inside, under the new dome, today we watched with excited anticipation as new pro-life leaders were sworn in.
It’s a new day in Washington. And none of this could happen without your support: your involvement, your votes, and your prayers.
Look for election updates in future National Right to Life News and National Right to Life News Today.