By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director
Editor’s note. This story appeared in the December edition of National Right to Life News [www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/NRLNewsDec2021.pdf].
Please share widely—with your pro-life family and friends and anyone else who loves children.
What a difference a year makes! At this time last year, the pro-life movement had suffered a loss in the presidential race with the election of pro-abortion President Joe Biden and the Senate majority was still in contention. Ultimately, the Senate went to the Democrats with the defeat of two pro-life incumbents in the Georgia runoff elections. But the movement has suffered losses before, and we are never demoralized. Following a year of organizing and mobilizing, the pro-life movement rebounded with victories in Virginia and unexpectedly strong showings in states like New Jersey.
The standout political moment of 2021 was the election of Glenn Youngkin as the next governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Joe Biden won Virginia by 10 points just one year prior and yet the commonwealth saw a 12-point swing to the Republicans.
Youngkin’s victory was especially sweet because he defeated pro-abortion extremist Terry McAuliffe, who went as far as to use an abortion clinic for a campaign stop. McAuliffe and his allies in the media tried to use the passage of pro-life legislation in Texas as scare tactic and motivator for McAuliffe’s base and yet their efforts fell flat. Exit polling showed that those who considered the issue of abortion when voting broke significantly for Youngkin. A CNN exit poll found that voters who said “abortion was the most important issue facing Virginia” broke 60-40 in favor of Youngkin. A Fox News exit poll found that Youngkinreceived a 12-point advantage among voters who considered abortion “the most important issue.”Youngkin’s victory once again demonstrated the electoral advantage that candidates receive by taking the pro-life position.
In addition to Youngkin in the Virginia Governor’s race, the Commonwealth elected pro-life Winsome Sears as its next Lieutenant Governor. Sears will become the first African American woman in the Commonwealth’s history to serve in the position.
Pro-life Jason Miyares was elected as the next Virginia Attorney General, defeating pro-abortion incumbent Mark Herring who had served in the role since 2014. Miyares also makes history as the first Cuban American to serve in a statewide office in Virginia.
In the state of Ohio, a special election for the state’s 15th Congressional District resulted in a victory for pro-life Republican Mike Carey over pro-abortion Democrat Allison Russo. Backed by powerful and well-funded pro-abortion groups like EMILY’s List, Russo advocated for a policy of abortion on demand, which would allow abortion for any reason, and she supported using tax dollars to pay for abortions. Many Democrats viewedthe race as a chance to flip a Republican seat in a state Trump won handily in 2020 and to create a narrative that Democrats were in a strong position heading into 2022.
Pro-abortion incumbent Governor Phil Murphy in New Jersey almost went down in defeat after an unexpectedly strong challenge from Republican Jack Ciatterelli. After winning his first term by 15 points, Murphy squeaked by to his second by just 3 points. The race, which had been on few political observers’ radar, underscored the depth of the problems the Democrats face with the American public.
Following the 2021 elections, Rasmussen Reports found that among likely voters, Republicans lead Democrats on the generic ballot by 13 points. Put another way, if the elections for Congress were held today, 51% of likely would vote for the Republican candidate, while 38% would vote for the Democrat. These are encouraging numbers with both the Senate and the House up for grabs in 2022. Both chambers are in reach for Republicans to regain majorities.
The pro-abortion Biden Administration still has 3 years to go but the pro-life movement can stop its pro-abortion agenda dead in its tracks in 2022 by retaking the House and Senate. For instance, victories at the ballot box in 2022 can save the Hyde Amendment and stop the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify abortion on demand and tear down pro-life statutes. Unborn babies cannot vote but we can. Let’s do all we can in 2022 to ensure our elected officials stand for life at every stage!