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Harnessing the Political Winds to Build a Pro-Life Wave in 2022 Elections

by | Jul 14, 2022

By Karen Cross, NRL Political Director

Editor’s note. This appeared in the July issue of NRL News, the first edition in the post-Roe era. Please be sure to pass this along to your pro-life family and friends.

“Democrats face a nightmare scenario,” wrote The Hill’s Niall Strange back in April about the upcoming midterm elections. In the same report, an anonymous Democratic strategist conceded, “I think this is going to be a biblical disaster.” 

A New York Times headline, quoting Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, declared, “It’s time to head for the lifeboats.” 

If these forecasts come to pass, it will be fantastic news for unborn children and their mothers, and it will be devastating for the abortion industry and their allies in Congress. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson has thus far failed to become a silver bullet aiding Democrats in bucking political headwinds and preserving their fragile majorities in the House and Senate. 

But even with 75% of registered voters saying America is headed in the wrong direction, according to a July YouGov/Economist poll (versus just 16% who say we are headed in the right direction), the midterm elections are not a done deal. The lives of countless unborn children and their mothers hang in the balance. We must roll up our sleeves and put in the work if we want to see a wave of pro-life leaders elected in November.

Despite dire predictions, many Democrats have held out hope that if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, such a ruling would galvanize Democratic voters, tip Independents their way, and put a stop to some of the bleeding the party is currently experiencing among key groups such as suburban women, young people, and Hispanic Americans. 

TIME Magazine published an article entitled, “The Fall of Roe May Save Democrats in the Midterms, at Least in the Suburbs” while analysis from the Washington Post bore the headline, “Democrats are losing White women. Will repealing Roe bring them back?”  along with dozens of similar headlines from other publications with demonstrably pro-abortion bents, give more the impression of wishful thinking than actual fact.

Public opinion surveys do not indicate any significant new advantage for Democrats as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Unfortunately for Democrats (and fortunately for unborn children), their party’s full-throated defense of abortion for any reason, at any time in pregnancy, funded by American tax dollars, continues to stand on the outside the American mainstream. In the two weeks following the official handing down of the Dobbs decision, several polls confirm that the deeply held views of Americans on the issue of abortion have not drastically changed. If anything, there are encouraging signs and emerging opportunities for the pro-life movement moving forward.

Unchanged is also the fact that many Americans still do not understand Roe v. Wade and its companion case Doe v. Bolton. A Harvard-Harris poll, taken entirely after the Court overturned the 1973 decisions, saw 55% of Americans say they opposed the overturning with 45% saying they support it. However, the same poll also found noteworthy support for legal protections for unborn children and their mothers. 

Charles W. Cooke at National Review summarized the results, “Out of the options presented to them, 72 percent of respondents said that they supported abortion up until 15 weeks — the exact issue at stake in Dobbs — while 49 percent went only to six weeks. Both of these views were incompatible with Roe, which means that, whether they knew it or not, many Americans said they supported Roe while opposing what Roe actually did.”

Rasmussen Reports surveyed likely voters on similar topics but framed the question about the Dobbs decision as such: “The Supreme Court recently overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, so that each state can now determine its own laws regarding abortion. Do you approve or disapprove of the court overturning Roe v. Wade?” When the question is presented in this way with a brief but accurate description of what the Dobbs decision does, we see an inverse of the Harvard-Harris numbers. 50% of likely voters in the Rasmussen poll approve of the Court ruling in Dobbs, including 38% who strongly approve of the decision, while 45% disapprove.

A midterm election is historically a referendum on the sitting U.S. President. With just a 38% approval rating according to RealClearPolitics, President Biden is less popular than Presidents Trump, Obama, Bush, and Clinton were at similar points in their presidencies. In his speech to the nation on the day of the Dobbs ruling, Biden signaled that Democrats would be doubling down on their extreme pro-abortion agenda, declaring, “This fall, Roe is on the ballot.” 

The centerpiece of this agenda is the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act, known by critics as the “Abortion Without Limits Until Birth Act” because it would enshrine abortion on demand in federal law and policies. Going even beyond the scope of Roe, the bill would also tear down pro-life protections on the state level including parental involvement and informed consent laws. 

Currently, the U.S. Senate is divided 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, with pro-abortion Vice President Kamala Harris (D) as the tiebreaker. On November 8th, there are 14 Democrat and 21 Republican Senate seats on the ballot across the nation. If they expand their Senate majority, Democrats have indicated that they will seek to eliminate the filibuster, pass the radical Women’s Health Protection Act, and expand and pack the Supreme Court with new pro-abortion justices. We cannot let that happen. 

In a roundabout way, Biden was correct that abortion will impact the elections. If you support protections for vulnerable members of the human family, including unborn children and their mothers, it is vital that you engage and participate in the 2022 elections. While there are indications that we have strong political winds in our sails this fall, our involvement and especially our votes are as essential to securing victory as ever. 

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