By Karen Cross, National Right to Life political director
Prior to the 2016 general election, prospect of maintaining pro-life leadership in the U.S. Senate looked grim. Polling showed most of the closely competitive U.S. Senate races within the margin of error. Larry Sabato, a political analyst, predicted a net gain of four Democratic seats in the U.S. Senate, thus having a 50-50 tie, which gives the tie-breaking vote to the vice president. Others predicted the U.S. Senate would flip to pro-abortion Democratic leadership.
It looked impossible. Millions upon millions of dollars were spent by pro-abortion groups to defeat our pro-life candidates. EMILY’s List, the extreme pro-abortion PAC that only works for Democrat women who support abortion for any reason, claimed to raise more than $60 million for the 2016 election cycle.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, announced its political action committee would spend nearly $30 million targeting pro-life candidates, and NARAL Pro-Choice America spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in digital ads targeting pro-life senate candidates in highly competitive races during the last weeks of the campaign.
EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-choice America candidates had a huge financial advantage this election, but fortunately, the babies and their pro-life candidates had YOU.
National Right to Life and its political entities, National Right to Life Political Action Committee and National Right to Life Victory Fund, were actively focused on 58 of the most competitive federal races overall: the Presidential race, eleven U.S. Senate races, and 46 races for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Despite the dire predictions and financial disparity, National Right to Life’s political entities won nine of the eleven closely contested Senate races, or 82%.
In the most competitive pro-life/pro-abortion U.S. House races, National Right to Life political entities won 38 of the 46 races, or 83%. Overall, we won 48 of the 58 closest races in the country, or 83%.
This is important to our pro-life efforts because the next president will nominate a successor for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and probably have the opportunity to nominate successors to at least two more justices.
The United States Senate will confirm or block these nominees.
The next Senate and House will also decide whether to advance pro-life legislation, such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act.
HOW DID NRL-CANDIDATES FARE IN THE MOST COMPETITIVE RACES AGAINST PRO-ABORTION EMILY’S LIST CANDIDATES?
In the most competitive races, National Right to Life was involved in 26 head-to-head races with the wealthy pro-abortion PAC, EMILY’s List. Keep in mind, in order to be considered by EMILY’s List, the candidate had to support unlimited abortion, and taxpayer funding of abortion on demand.
Of those, 21 (81%) of the National Right to Life-supported candidates won their elections.
Since 1985, EMILY’s List has raised and spent more than $400 million dollars for political candidates. National Right to Life has been able to spend only a small fraction of that. Our resources are carefully targeted and frugally spent for maximum benefit. It may not be pretty, but it’s effective so that we are able to continue to protect unborn children in the 115th Congress. (You can always help with our ongoing efforts by donating here.)
Look for updates in future National Right to Life News and NRL News Today.