By Karen Cross, NRL Political Director
Editor’s note. This appears in the July issue of National Right to Life News. Please share this story, and the entire contents of this 51-page edition with your pro-life family and friends.
EMILY’s List, a pro-abortion fundraising behemoth, wasted no time pivoting from the 2020 election to the 2022 midterms. After all, their name (EMILY) is an acronym that comes from the political adage, “Early money is like yeast.” A major part of the political action committee’s strategy is to recruit pro-abortion Democratic women and invest large sums of money into their primary campaigns.
So far in the 2022 cycle, EMILY’s List has endorsed Senate candidates in the competitive states of Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and announced their support for vulnerable incumbent senators in Nevada and New Hampshire. Each of these candidates is committed to extreme positions on abortion including support for abortions late in pregnancy and taxpayer funding of abortion.
EMILY’s List sinks millions of dollars into pro-abortion campaigns. However, despite being vastly outspent by EMILY’s List, pro-life candidates persevered in 2020.
There were 58 races in which a candidate supported by National Right to Life was running against a candidate supported by EMILY’s List. Forty-one (or 71%) of the National Right to Life-supported candidates won.
In the perennial swing state of Florida, EMILY’s List is backing pro-abortion Congresswoman Val Demings in her challenge to pro-life Senator Marco Rubio (R). Demings will face at least 10 other Democrats in her primary.
The contrast between the candidates could not be clearer. Senator Rubio holds a 100% pro-life lifetime voting record with National Right to Life while Congresswoman Demings holds a 0%. Demings supports taxpayer funding of abortion and opposes legislation to protect unborn babies after 20 weeks (when they can feel pain). Her position is so extreme that she even opposed legislation to guarantee that infants born alive during failed abortions are afforded the same degree of care as other babies born at the same gestational age.
The Cook Political Report currently ranks the Florida Senate race as Likely Republican but like most statewide races in the Sunshine State, it will likely be hard-fought right up to the end.
In North Carolina, EMILY’s List has endorsed former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley for the open seat left by pro-life Senator Richard Burr’s retirement. Beasley has affirmed her support for Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand. In May, Beasley tweeted, “As a woman and a former judge, I know it’s time North Carolina has a Senator working in Congress to protect Roe v. Wade.” She faces two other major candidates in the Democratic primary.
Meanwhile on the Republican side, several pro-life Republican candidates have announced their campaigns, including Congressman Ted Budd, former Governor Pat McCrory, and former Congressman Mark Walker. The race for the open seat is considered a pure Tossup by the Cook Political Report. Many expect it to become one of the most expensive Senate races in U.S. history. (Excluding Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff races, the most expensive of all time was North Carolina’s 2020 Senate race between pro-life Republican Senator Thom Tillis and challenger pro-abortion Democrat Cal Cunningham, according to OpenSecrets.)
Pennsylvania may live up to its nickname as the Keystone State as it may be the key to whether Republicans can retake the Senate or if Democrats hold on to control. Pro-life Senator Pat Toomey (R), who was elected to the seat in 2010 and then reelected in 2016, is retiring after pledging to only serve two terms. The Cook Political Report ranks the race as a Tossup.
While the other Democratic candidates in the field such as Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta have received most of the media coverage of the race, EMILY’s List has gone all-in for Val Arkoosh. She is a physician and currently serves as the chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
Arkoosh did, however, make headlines when she railed against the Unborn Child Dignity Act, a state pro-life bill, in May. Pro-life State Rep. Frank Ryan (R), the bill’s prime sponsor, said the legislation would give parents the right to provide for burial or cremation of a child “lost to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or stillbirth,” and require hospitals to keep those remains separate from medical waste.
Arkoosh falsely claimed the bill would fine women who miscarry and force women to fill out death certificates. Even the generally pro-abortion fact-checker Snopes rated Arkoosh’s claims as “Mostly False.” https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/pennsylvania-miscarriage-fine/
On the Republican side of the aisle, announced candidates include former Congressional candidate Sean Parnell, former Lieutenant Governor candidate Jeff Bartos, and former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands.
Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski (D) received EMILY’s List’s endorsement as she runs for Senate. She is seeking the Democratic nomination in an already crowded field of five candidates with more expected to announce.
Pro-life incumbent Senator Ron Johnson (R) has not announced whether he will seek re-election. Johnson holds a 100% rating with National Right to Life.
In May, when the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would take upDobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health, a case concerning a Mississippi law protecting unborn children after 15 weeks, Godlewski posted, “Yet another outrageous attack on a woman’s right to choose. These partisan crusades are flat-out dangerous to the health of women and would only undermine our reproductive freedom.”
In 2016, President Trump carried Wisconsin by a little more than 20,000 votes. In 2020, President Biden carried the state by 20,000 votes. The Wisconsin Senate race is labeled Leans Republican by the Cook Political Report but if Senator Johnson should opt to retire, the race could easily fall into the Tossup category or even Leans Democrat depending on which candidates emerge from each party’s primary.
EMILY’s List has endorsed four incumbent Democrat U.S. Senators in 2022: Senators Tammy Duckworth (Illinois), Patty Murray (Washington), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nevada), and Maggie Hassan (New Hampshire). Of those four, political observers are paying the closest attention to the races in Nevada and New Hampshire, two states which were competitive in the last two presidential elections.
In the 2020 presidential election, Nevada was decided by about 30,000 votes (a 2.39% margin). In 2016, Hillary Clinton narrowly carried New Hampshire by a 0.4% margin, making it the second closest margin of any state in the nation (after Michigan). Both Senators Cortez Masto and Hassan narrowly won their first terms in 2016– Cortez Masto by 2% and Hassan by 0.1% (1,000 votes). The Cook Political Report rates both races as Likely Democrat but make no mistake about it – both races are winnable for Republicans in 2022!
EMILY’s List is a formidable foe. In any given election year, they will spend more money than all the single-issue pro-life political action committees combined. But we have something even more valuable: The pro-life grassroots.
EMILY’s List spending can only do so much for their candidates. But we are emboldened by our belief that every child deserves the right to life. We are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work to ensure the men and women we elect to office will stand up for the most vulnerable among us. That makes all the difference!