By Karen Cross, NRL Political Director
Editor’s note. This appears on page one of the January edition of National Right to Life News which you received today. It’s an important story from an important issue which I hope you will read in its entirety and pass along to your pro-life family and friends.
As we enter 2021, pro-abortion Democrats will control the House, Senate, and the Presidency.
As unhappy as we are that pro-abortion Joe Biden defeated pro-life President Donald Trump, it’s important to remember that we defied expectations in the Senate and fared well in the U.S. House and in state races. That bodes well for the future.
It’s also important to remember that pro-lifers have been in this place before and each time—undeterred—we bounced back.
For example, on January 20, 2009, President Barack Obama took the oath of office after a decisive electoral victory. He entered office with sizable Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate.
At that time, the pro-abortion movement’s top priority (as it had been for years) was the passage of the so-called “Freedom of Choice Act” (also known as FOCA), a bill that would have invalidated virtually all protections for the unborn. We face similar threats now with the abortion industry lobbying to pack the courts, eliminate the Hyde Amendment, revive the long-dead ERA, add new seats in Congress, increase funding for abortion providers at home and abroad, and more.
However, unlike 2009, President Biden will have to contend with a Senate equally divided with 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats and a House where Democrats currently hold the majority by just 11 seats. This comes despite virtually all the political prognosticators anticipating that the Democrats would expand their majority in the House and pick up many more seats in the Senate.
In 2020, pro-life voters delivered critical margins of victory in countless races. Notably, 13 House seats held by pro-abortion Democrats flipped to pro-life Republicans. (The race in New York’s 22nd District remains undecided so that number could grow to 14.)
In addition, not a single pro-life incumbent lost their seat in the general election. Among the new members of Congress are a record number of pro-life women and people of color.
They bring with them a diversity of experiences and backgrounds, which will serve well as they advocate for life. The lineup of new pro-life members includes former state lawmakers, physicians, mayors, a professional athlete, a Spanish-language media personality, small business owners, military veterans, and more.
While we lost some ground in the Senate, pro-life voters should be commended for delivering key victories for Senators Thom Tillis (NC), Lindsey Graham (SC), Steve Daines (MT), Joni Ernst (IA), Dan Sullivan (AK), and John Cornyn (TX), who faced intense reelection fights. Pro-life voters helped secure victories for new Senators such as Senators Roger Marshall (KS) and Tommy Tuberville (AL), whose races were top targets for pro-abortion Sen. Chuck Schumer. We also saw the addition of a new pro-life woman in the Senate- -Senator Cynthia Lummis from Wyoming.
Another marked difference from 2009 is the composition of the Supreme Court. Thanks to President Trump and the pro-life Senate majority during his term, we have 3 new justices, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. In 2020, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh voted to uphold a pro-life law that was challenged in Louisiana. (Barrett had not yet joined the Court.)
Heading into 2020, political commentators also predicted a good year for Democrats on the state level. They anticipated takeovers of state legislatures and governorships. That did not come to pass. In fact, Republicans held on to their majorities and flipped the state House and Senate in New Hampshire. In Montana, Republicans won an open governorship electing pro-life Gov. Greg Gianforte.
While we fight to stem attempted pro-abortion advances in the immediate future, we must also begin organizing for 2022.
Two years after Obama’s first election, pro-life candidates swept at the ballot box. Likewise, in 2022, pro-life control of both the House and Senate are within reach. We need to net just one Senate seat and a net pickup of 6 House seats.
Obviously, there will be many ebbs and flows, but right now pickup opportunities include Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire. The path to taking over the House runs through several areas where President Trump performed well in 2016 and 2020.
Political victories come and go. But one thing is certain: We are not giving up! The pro-life movement endures because of our broad grassroots support. Your efforts, no matter how small, do have an impact! Let us redouble our efforts and continue to be the critical voice for the voiceless.
There is a lot on the line and unborn children and their mothers are depending on us.