By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director
Editor’s note. This appeared in the August digital edition of National Right to Life News. You can read all the many news stories, commentaries, opinion pieces, and editorials at www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRLNewsAugust2016.pdf.
The next president will nominate a successor for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. He or she will also likely have the opportunity to nominate successors to at least two more justices.
As we anticipate those nominations, perhaps the greatest responsibility we in the political field have right now is to ensure we have a pro-life Senate that will confirm pro-life nominees and block judges who would entrench and expand Roe.
There are a lot of races we will need to work on to accomplish this task. But I know that equipped with the right information, you will go back to your communities and rally the necessary troops to see this through.
As we discuss these Senate races, I will be talking a lot about the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, and EMILY’s List, which is the extreme pro-abortion PAC that only works for Democrat women who support abortion for any reason.
Whenever you read “Planned Parenthood” you should think “the nation’s largest abortion provider.” I never say Planned Parenthood without clarifying “the nation’s largest abortion provider.”
And whenever you hear EMILY’s List, you should think “the extreme pro-abortion PAC.”
This year, there are 34 U.S. Senate seats up for election: 10 Democrat seats and 24 Republican seats.
All of the Democrats up for re-election are pro-abortion.
According to Cook Political Report, eight of the 10 Democrat seats are currently “safe,” while 13 of the 24 Republican seats are vulnerable. Democrats need a net gain of five seats to regain control of the Senate, or four if they win the White House.
The Senate elections will be tough.
Please do not fall into the trap of thinking that if you don’t live in one of the “toss-up” states, this election doesn’t affect you. Remember we are all in this together, and we need to support each other, regardless of our location. Find out how you can support your colleagues via social media. Reach out to your friends and family who may live in states with competitive Senate races.
Never stop looking for an opportunity to make a difference. We are all responsible for these races and for the future of our country.
So with an eye towards how you can make an impact in the battle before us, let’s review the most pressing Senate races we face in November.
In June, pro-life Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) announced he would run for a second term. Senator Rubio has voted pro-life on every occasion.
Following the August 30 primary, Rubio’s opponent will be pro-abortion Rep. Alan Grayson or pro-abortion Rep. Patrick Murphy. Both Grayson and Murphy are so extreme that they even voted against the bill to require care for babies who are born alive during an abortion. Of course, they also voted to continue funding Planned Parenthood.
Pro-life Congressman Joe Heck (R) will face pro-abortion former Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D) for the Nevada U.S. Senate seat that is being vacated by retiring Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.
Congressman Heck voted for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and he voted to defund Planned Parenthood.
In contrast, Cortez Masto is supported by NARAL Pro-Choice America and EMILY’s List.
In New Hampshire, pro-life Senator Kelly Ayotte (R), who has a 100% pro-life voting record, is being challenged by pro-abortion Governor Maggie Hassan (D), another candidate supported by EMILY’S List.
In Ohio, pro-life Senator Rob Portman (R) is facing a challenge by pro-abortion Ted Strickland (D), a former member of the U.S. House and a former governor.
Portman has a 100% pro-life voting record, while Strickland had a dismal voting record in Congress, voting against the pro-life position nearly 80% of the time in a 10-year span. Strickland has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood.
In Pennsylvania, pro-life Senator Pat Toomey (R) is facing a challenge by Katie McGinty (D), another candidate supported by EMILY’S List.
In Wisconsin, pro-life Senator Ron Johnson (R) faces pro-abortion former Senator Russ Feingold (D).
Senator Johnson has a 100% pro-life voting record.
In contrast, Feingold supports the current policy of abortion on demand, and voted against the partial-birth abortion ban every chance he had. He is also endorsed by Planned Parenthood.
In North Carolina, pro-life Senator Richard Burr (R) is facing a challenge by former Assemblywoman Deborah Ross (D), a candidate supported by EMILY’s List.
In Arizona, Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (D), another candidate supported by EMILY’s List, is challenging pro-life Senator John McCain (R).
Senator McCain’s pro-life record contrasts greatly with Kirkpatrick’s, who voted against the pain-capable legislation, and voted to fund Planned Parenthood.
Pro-life El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn (R) is challenging pro-abortion Colorado Senator Michael Bennet (D).
Michael Bennet voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and has been awarded a 100% lifetime rating by Planned Parenthood.
Pro-life Congressman Todd Young (R) will face former Senator Evan Bayh (D) for Indiana’s open Senate seat.
Todd Young has a 100% pro-life voting record, while Evan Bayh, who has a mixed record on abortion, voted to endorse Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand.
In Missouri, Senator Roy Blunt (R), a pro-life leader in the U.S. Senate, is facing a challenge from pro-abortion Secretary of State Jason Kander (D), who had a 100% pro-abortion voting record while in the Missouri House of Representatives.
And finally, in Iowa, pro-life Senator Chuck Grassley (R), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is facing a challenge by pro-abortion former Lt. Governor Patty Judge (D).
Senator Grassley has a 100% pro-life voting record, while Patty Judge is so extreme on abortion she is supported by EMILY’s List and Planned Parenthood.
As you can see, the stakes couldn’t be higher in 2016.
Look for updates in future National Right to Life News Today.