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Pro-Life Candidate Defeated in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race, New Pro-Abortion Majority Poses Threat to Right to Life

by | Apr 5, 2023

By Karen Cross, Political Director

After a hard-fought campaign that drew national attention, pro-abortion candidate Janet Protasiewicz defeated former Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, who had been endorsed by Wisconsin Right to Life, for the open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. This election hands Democrats a 4-3 majority on the court, the first time in 15 years that they have had control of the body.

Democrats nationwide and leading pro-abortion groups poured money into the race. In the final fundraising period before the election, Protasiewicz’s campaign reported raising nearly $12.4 million. (By contrast, Kelly raised $2.2 million in that period.) Bolstered by a serious cash advantage, Protasiewicz hammered Kelly repeatedly on the issue of abortion, often intentionally mischaracterizing his views. National pro-abortion groups including EMILY’s List, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood Action (the political arm of the nation’s largest chain of abortion facilities) endorsed Protasiewicz in the race.

The new pro-abortion majorityon the Wisconsin Supreme Court could put in jeopardy existing pro-life laws and have a chilling effect on future pro-life legislative efforts in the state. In several other states, activist judges have struck down pro-life protections that had been in effect and saving lives for years. Some judges have even found (or rather, invented) a “right to abortion” in their state Constitutions in order to bypass pro-life state legislatures and governors.

Democrats have also made no secret of their plans to use their new majority on the court to strike down and redraw state legislative and Congressional district maps in a brazen attempt to increase the number of Democrats in office. Some have speculated that a new Congressional map devised by Wisconsin Democrats could throw as many as 3 seats currently held by Republicans into contention. In Washington, Republicans currently hold the House majority by just five seats. With such a small number of seats determining which party holds the gavel, every seat matters.

While the outcome of this election is a disappointing setback, our movement presses on. If you live in Wisconsin, reach out to Wisconsin Right to Life, our state affiliate, and find out ways you can get involved in your area. We cannot let electoral defeats demoralize us or shatter our willpower. That’s what our opponents want. Instead, let’s look at this defeat as a call to action.

In 2024, Wisconsin will again be the focus of national attention as a key battleground state in the presidential election. There is also a prime opportunity to unseat pro-abortion U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) who is up for re-election in 2024. (Democrats currently have just a one-seat majority in the Senate.) And we cannot forget that potentially a handful of House seats could be in play in Wisconsin. Your pro-life voice and political engagement are needed now more than ever!

Will you heed the call?

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