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NRL News
Page 10
Fall 2011
Volume 38
Issue 8

Pro-Lifers Prevail in Recent Elections

By Karen Cross

One year out from the 2012 general election, voters in parts of the nation have been busy with “off-year” and special elections. Following is an overview of recent elections from across the nation.

Virginia Election Gives Pro-Lifers Majority Control in Both Houses

Virginia’s off-year election proved to be beneficial for the babies. Pro-lifers already controlled the governor’s office and the House of Delegates. In fact pro-lifers increased their numbers in the House of Delegates on November 8.

But more importantly two pro-life senators replaced two pro-abortion state senators, giving pro-life senators control in the Commonwealth. A nail-biter to the end, pro-abortion Democratic state Senator Edd Houck, chair of the Senate Health and Education Committee, lost by 226 votes to his pro-life challenger, a race in which Virginia Society for Human Life PAC, a National Right to Life affiliate, played a key role.

“This election proves that the pro-life increment is decisive in close races,” added Holly Smith, Virginia Society for Human Life PAC chair. “We devoted our efforts to educating voters on the extreme voting records of pro-abortion incumbent senators. Pro-life challenger Bryce Reeves defeated pro-abortion incumbent State Sen. Houck in a race where the life issue was dominant in the closing days of the campaign. We now have the votes we need in the General Assembly to pass meaningful laws to protect innocent life.”

Olivia Gans, Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL) President, agreed. “The victories in this election will allow us to work toward the passage of truly protective legislation, such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and continue the prominent legislative legacy of VSHL.”

The 87th House of Delegates race in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. saw pro-abortion candidate Mike Kondratick, who was backed by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, and pro-life David Ramadan, who was supported by National Right to Life’s State Political Committee, square off. It is the only contest in the November 8 elections in which National Right to Life and NARAL went head-to-head. Pro-Life Ramadan declared victory after edging Kondratick by a 51-vote margin.

“The extraordinary victory for pro-life candidates in the Virginia elections hastens the approaching death knell, no longer of the unborn child awaiting birth, but rather of the vapid ‘pro-choice’ cause from which over 50 million unborn children have died,” said Geline Williams, NRLC Chairwoman of the Board.

Mississippi Pro-Lifers Now Control Both Houses and Retain Governor’s Office

As a result of the November 8 elections there are now a majority of pro-lifers in the Mississippi state House and the Senate and one pro-life governor was replaced with another pro-life governor.

“We are very happy to see the election of pro-life candidates to all levels of government,” said Barbara Whitehead, president of Mississippi Right to Life. “We flipped the House and increased the number of pro-lifers in the Senate. Now the real work begins.”

Whitehead added, “We look forward to working with our newly elected pro-life officials to enact legislation to protect unborn babies who experience excruciating pain from abortion, and to protect the elderly to ensure they receive lifesaving treatments that they want.”

Because of the changes in control of the state legislatures in Virginia and Mississippi, pro-life legislation will be on the agenda with a much greater prospect of success. More lives will be saved.

Governor’s Races

On November 8, there were gubernatorial elections in Kentucky and Mississippi. In Kentucky, pro-life challenger state Senate President David Williams (R) was unable to defeat pro-abortion incumbent Governor Steve Beshear (D).

And because pro-life Governor Haley Barbour (R) was term-limited, Mississippi’s gubernatorial seat was open. Fortunately, there were two pro-life candidates competing. Pro-life Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant (R) defeated his pro-life challenger, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree (D).

On October 22, Louisiana’s popular pro-life Governor Bobby Jindal (R) was re-elected, garnering more than 65% of the vote in a 10-way race.

New Yorkers Elect Pro-Life Congressman in Special Election Surprise

New York’s September 13 special election to replace pro-abortion Congressman Anthony Weiner in the state’s 9th Congressional District, stunned pro-abortion Democrats. Just two weeks prior to the election, pro-abortion Democratic New York Assemblyman David Weprin was the odds on favorite to win. A three-to-one Democratic voter registration advantage meant that the district has been a Democratic stronghold for decades.

But with the help of National Right to Life PAC, pro-life Republican businessman Bob Turner overcame Weprin and the last-minute infusion of a half million dollars from the Democratic Congressional Committee. The final margin exceeded even the wildest GOP hopes, 54% to 46%.

Pro-Life Candidate Prevails in Nevada Special Election

Early on, Nevada Democrats had high hopes of winning the 2nd Congressional District seat vacated by pro-life Congressman Dean Heller who was appointed to the Senate following the resignation of Senator John Ensign. Adding to the Democrats’ anticipation was that in the 2008 presidential election, the 2nd was the nation’s most competitive house district. Instead, again with the help of National Right to Life PAC, pro-life former state Senator Mark Amodei (R) resoundingly defeated pro-abortion state Treasurer Kate Marshall (D), 58% to 36%.

Oregon Special Primary Results

On November 8, Oregon voters determined the general election matchup in Oregon’s special election to replace pro-abortion Rep. David Wu (D) in Oregon’s first congressional district.

Pro-life Republican businessman Rob Cornilles will face pro-abortion Democratic state Senator Suzanne Bonamici, an EMILY’s List candidate, in the special general election on January 31, 2012. EMILY’s List endorses only the most militant pro-abortion female Democratic candidates.

National Right to Life Advantage

Abortion continues to be an issue felt more passionately by pro-lifers than by pro-abortionists. The advantage among citizens who vote based on the abortion issue has consistently redounded to the benefit of the pro-life candidate.

For example, in 2010, 30% of all voters said that abortion affected their vote. Of that 30%, 22% voted for pro-life candidates to only 8% who voted for pro-abortion candidates—a net advantage of 14% for pro-life candidates.

Because of this “pro-life increment,” the National Right to Life Political Action Committee’s track record in 2010 was very impressive. In 2010, NRL PAC actively worked in 130 of the most competitive federal races nationwide. Of those, we won 88.

Because so many pro-life candidates won in 2010 and 2011, Congress is debating and voting on pro-life legislation once again. Moreover, because of the changes in control of the state legislatures in Virginia and Mississippi, pro-life legislation will be on the agenda with a much greater prospect of success. More lives will be saved.

Looking ahead to 2012, it is encouraging that Democrats had to spend $500,000 in an unsuccessful attempt to defend New York’s 9th Congressional District, a seat they should have retained easily.

No doubt the unpopularity of pro-abortion President Barack Obama contributed to these defeats. Recent polling has shown that a majority of Independents hold an unfavorable view of President Obama.

Just as did 2010, 2012 holds out the realistic possibility that pro-lifers can win in areas undreamed of only a year ago.