The Road to retaking the House in 2022

By Karen Cross, Political Action Director

Editor’s note. This appears on page four of the May digital edition of National Right to Life News which arrived in your inboxes this morning. Please take time to read the entire issue and share the link with your pro-life family and friends. Thank you.

Republicans and their pro-life leadership are just a handful of seats away from retaking the House of Representatives.  Pro-abortion Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s grip on the majority is hanging by a thread. 

Restoring pro-life control of the House will be crucial going forward under the presidency of pro-abortion Joe Biden. There are already several positive indicators that this goal is within reach. 

New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District

On June 1st, voters in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District go to the polls to fill the vacancy left by pro-abortion Rep. Deb Haaland, who was confirmed as Interior Secretary. National Right to Life has endorsed Mark Moores, a state senator with a strong pro-life record. He faces Melanie Stansbury, a pro-abortion state representative who is endorsed by EMILY’s List and the political arm of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. 

The contrast could not be starker between the candidates. Mark Moores supports legal protection for unborn children and opposes taxpayer funding of abortion. Conversely, Melanie Stansbury supports a policy of abortion on demand, even late in pregnancy, and she supports using tax dollars to pay for abortions. 

While the district leans Democrat, anything can happen during a special election. Pro-life voters could make the difference in flipping the seat and bringing us one step closer to retaking the House majority. (You can read our analysis of the contest here

Texas’s 6th Congressional District

On May 1, voters in Texas’s 6th Congressional District went to the polls for the first round in a special election to fill the vacancy left after the passing of pro-life Rep. Ron Wright in February. Candidates from both parties competed in a single primary, and since no candidate received more than 50%, the top two finishers continue on to a runoff election to be set for a date later this year. 

Coming out on top were two pro-life Republicans: Susan Wright, the widow of the deceased Representative and Jake Ellzey, a Texas state representative. In 2020, President Trump carried the 6th Congressional District by just 3 points, putting the district in the sights of Democratic operatives hoping to flip the seat and cushion their slim House majority. Yet in a huge setback, Democrats were effectively shut out of the race when their top candidate, pro-abortion Jana Sanchez, landed in third place. 

Democratic Retirements

Another bad sign for Democrats heading into the midterms is the increasing number of high-profile retirements from within their ranks. One of the most notable is pro-abortion Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a former chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 

In 2018, Bustos won reelection by 25 points. But in 2020, she found herself in an unexpectedly close race, ultimately winning by just 4 percentage points over a first-time candidate. Illinois will be losing one congressional seat because of redistricting, so it is possible the district would have become even more difficult for Bustos to hold. 

Pro-abortion Congressman Filemon Vela (TX-34), the vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, is also retiring after this term. He was first elected in 2012, capturing the seat by a 25-point margin. In 2020, Vela won by 14 points. The impact of redistricting may have weighed heavily on his decision. 

Similarly in Florida, Republicans control the redistricting process. Pro-abortion Rep Charlie Crist (FL-13) entered the Florida governor’s race rather than seek reelection to Congress. It is also possible that Florida Reps. Val Demings (FL-10) and Stephanie Murphy (FL-7), both of whom are pro-abortion, may seek higher office. This would open up two other seats which could be more favorable for Republicans after redistricting. 

In Arizona, pro-abortion Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-2) will also step down after her current term ends, opening up a seat in what was one of 2020’s closest swing states. (Arizona determines the lines of their congressional districts through a nonpartisan commission.)

History is also on the side of the Republican Party heading into the midterms as the president’s party typically loses seats in midterm elections. Democrats lost large numbers of seats in both midterms under Obama, and the trend continued in 2018 when Republicans lost the House majority during the Trump presidency. 

But even with these factors working in our favor, we each need to do all we can to help push our pro-life candidates over the top. Elections have consequences, and those consequences impact our ability to protect unborn children and their mothers from abortion.