Frustrated with Congress? Elect a Pro-life President and more pro-life senators

By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director

Editor’s note. This appeared in the November digital edition of National Right to Life News at www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRLNewsNov2015.pdf. The entire 41-page issue can be accessed at this URL. Please read as much of the “pro-life newspaper of record” as you can and pass along links to your pro-life contacts.

electionreAccording to a Gallup poll released November 12, only 11% of Americans approve of Congress – the lowest point this year and one of the lowest ever.

But pro-lifers are frustrated for a very different reason. Both houses of Congress have strong pro-life leadership, but their efforts have been stymied by pro-abortion President Barack Obama and an entrenched pro-abortion minority in the Senate.

Currently, the gridlock happens when the U.S. House of Representatives passes pro-life legislation and it goes to the U.S. Senate. Under most circumstances sixty votes are required for passage. We don’t have 60 pro-life votes in the Senate.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), which would protect from abortion unborn children 20 weeks or older, easily passed the U.S. House, 242-184 (238 Republicans and four Democrats). However, in the U.S. Senate, 60 votes were required to take up the bill. Only 54 senators (51 Republicans and three Democrats) voted to take up the bill.

More recently, the U.S. House voted (240-189) to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, in the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762). Because it is a budget reconciliation bill, it cannot be filibustered in the Senate, so only 51 votes are required.

This is the best opportunity to place a pro-life bill on the president’s desk. If we had a pro-life president, he or she would sign the bill into law.

Simply put: for pro-lifers, what is needed to alleviate this frustration with Congress is to elect a pro-life president, elect more pro-lifers to the U.S. Senate, and maintain pro-life leadership in both houses.

Look for updates in future National Right to Life News and National Right to Life News Today.