By Karen Cross, Political Director
Editor’s note. This appears in the current edition of National Right to Life News. Please share it—and the many other stories in this 46 page issue—with your pro-life family and friends.
For many pro-life advocates, getting involved in politics is one of the hardest parts of our work to protect life. This is understandable. During elections, the attack ads are outrageous and nonstop, media misinformation can make the truth difficult to determine, and passions surrounding elections can drive wedges between friends and family members. It is also easy to get discouraged after campaigning for pro-life candidates and then watching some of them go down in defeat.
But the cost of not being engaged in the political process is much higher. The cost can be the very lives of vulnerable human beings.
For example, studies confirm that pro-life measures on both the state and federal level save lives. One of the clearest examples is the Hyde Amendment, the longstanding appropriations rider that protects American taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions through many federal programs. Since its first enactment in 1976, the Hyde Amendment has saved over 2.5 million lives according to conservative estimates. National Right to Life labeled it “the single greatest domestic reducer of abortions in American history.”
It should then come as no surprise that the pro-abortion movement aims to eliminate pro-life protections like the Hyde Amendment. They also aim to pass the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that would enshrine unlimited abortion in federal law and policies and strike down pro-life protections on the state level, including parental involvement and informed consent laws.
All this could very well happen if the pro-abortion movement had the necessary votes in the U.S. House and Senate and a pro-abortion president in agreement. Heading into 2023, they have two of those three things – the Senate and the presidency. Thanks in part to the tireless work of pro-life advocates in the 2022 elections, the House will have a pro-life majority and a new pro-life speaker in 2023.
The House makeup will be 222 Republicans to 213 Democrats, which means pro-abortion Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have to hand over the gavel to pro-life leadership. Eleven competitive Congressional House seats flipped from pro-abortion Democrat to pro-life Republican. National Right to Life’s political entities were actively engaged in reaching thousands of pro-life voter households in each of those eleven competitive races.
Additionally, National Right to Life and its political entities supported and defended 284 pro-life candidates running in U.S. House and Senate races, winning 236, or 83% of those races.
This is hugely important to unborn babies and their mothers.
In communities across the country, pregnancy resource centers open their doors to assist women and babies in need. These centers offer compassionate care and resources, often free-of-charge, and provide women real alternatives to abortion. The abortion industry, which purports to be on the side of women, views pregnancy resource centers and the support they provide to women considering abortion to be a threat to their bottom-line.
As a result, the abortion industry with the help of allies in Congress like Sen. Elizabeth Warren continues to advocate for legislation that would make it nearly impossible for pregnancy resource centers to operate. If the pro-life movement were to ignore politics, our opposition could very well get the votes they need in order to shutter pregnancy resource centers, leaving women without the support they critically need and with few options other than abortion.
Our pro-life beliefs mean very little if we are not willing to act on them. If we are not engaged in politics, lawmakers will be elected who do not share our view that every human life has value and deserves to be protected.
Without our willingness to take a stand at the ballot box, our opposition will succeed in establishing unlimited abortion through birth, paid for with our tax dollars, in every state.
At bare minimum, we must show up and vote in every election, taking into account the candidates’ positions on the right to life while doing so. But many of us can do so much more than that.
We can reach out and educate pro-life friends, family members, neighbors, and members of our faith communities about what is at stake. In the age we live in, we have the opportunity share information widely with a few simple clicks thanks to social media. While they are not allowed to endorse candidates from the pulpit, we can encourage pastors or other church leaders to be more vocal about the responsibility to vote.
We can volunteer on the campaigns of pro-life candidates by making calls, stuffing envelopes, going door-to-door, distributing yard signs, and more. In addition to devoting time, some have the ability to donate financially to pro-life groups like National Right to Life who work tirelessly to make a difference in elections.
These are just some examples of ways we can be active in politics. Ultimately, each of us in the pro-life movement must ask ourselves how we can best utilize our own gifts and talents to stand up for life. But there should be no question in our minds of whether or not we should be involved in politics. We must stay informed and engaged. We cannot forget that innocent unborn babies who do not have a voice in the political process are counting on us to be their voice. And their mothers are counting on us too.
If we will not fight for them, who will?