Election 2014- HUGE Victories & A Few Defeats: How the Midterms have and will impact the Pro-Life Movement

Election 2014- HUGE Victories & A Few Defeats: How the Midterms have and will impact the Pro-Life Movement

Election 2014- HUGE Victories & A Few Defeats: How the Midterms have and will impact the Pro-Life Movement

 

Without a doubt Tuesday’s Midterm Elections were a HUGE victory for the GOP, and the conservative movement nationwide.  Not only did the GOP take back control of the Senate for the first time in 8 years but several states made history with their choices for elected leaders and ballot measures/amendments that will have continued impact on the Pro-Life Movement. Let’s take a moment to break it down and see where we stand and where we still have a lot of work ahead of us!

We will start with California; since that is where Right to Life Central California calls home and where a majority of pro-life, conservative voters have felt disengaged and unheard by our local, state and federal leaders. Here in Fresno one of the greatest victories for the pro-life movement was the re-election of Congressman David Valadao who was going up against Amanda Renteria; an abortion on demand advocate and Planned Parenthood supporter. Not only did David Valadao vote yes on H.R. 1797 {the bill to protect unborn children/pain capable act} but he also voted to repeal Obamacare which currently provides funding for insurance plans that pay for abortion on demand. By choosing to re-elect David Valadao; valley voters are showing that they are taking a strong stance toward ending abortion on demand and taxpayer funded abortion services. Although California had one of its lowest voter turnouts in history and the fact that 40% of voters were unaware that Gov. Jerry Brown was even up for re-election, the polls showed Brown with an early lead over Republican candidate Neel Kashkari. What is disheartening about this is that Gov. Brown has chosen to maintain his strong pro-choice position and had the voters chosen to elect Neel Kashkari a breath of fresh air and support for the pro-life movement would have finally been at the head of our state government.

While Democrats held the majority of their offices in California, throughout the Nation, Republican candidates were knocking Democrats out of their seats in both the Senate and the House, and in some states history was made by electing leaders that are a first for their home state. In both Iowa and West Virginia, voters elected for the first time, female Senators. Joni Ernst and Shelley Moore Capito won their seat in the Senate on Tuesday night, and in Utah; Mia Love became the first African American Republican member of Congress.

It was also a historic night for the younger generation of politics. In New York’s 21st District, Elise Stefanik became the youngest member ever elected to Congress at only 30 years old and in West Virginia; Saira Blair became the youngest candidate to EVER be elected into the House of Representatives for the 59th district; Blair who has been very vocal on her pro-life position will be the face of the pro-life generation in Washington. At only 18 years old Saira Blair is in a position to show that the belief and respect for the sanctity of life is prominent throughout the younger generation and can be the voice for not only the conservative voters in her home state but the voice for the pro-life generation throughout our nation. The importance of these historic choices not only place women in a place of Congressional relevance but also undermine the fallacy that the Obama administration and the DNC have been promoting as the “War on Women” that they have used the GOP as a stomping ground for over the course of this election. By placing these women in a position to change the landscape of politics as they related to the female voting population, we now have the opportunity to be a strong voice with intelligent, conservative leaders.

 

One of the largest victories for the pro-life movement was passing of Amendment 1 in Tennessee. For 14 years the pro-life movement in Tennessee has fought to restore abortion regulations that were once in place ; after being struck down in 2000 by the Supreme Court turned Tennessee into the “destination abortion” state in the Southeast. I was able to speak with Lorene Steffes; a spokesperson for Yes On 1 and she told me that one of the things she contributes to the success of Amendment 1 passing was the 18 month grassroots effort that was led throughout the state. There are 95 counties in the state of Tennessee and the Yes On 1 campaign was able to place a “campaign advocate” in every single one of those counties. The purpose behind this was to not only educate the voters in TN about the amendment but to also ensure that the accurate information was being given to voters in the face of deceptive counter-advertising. While speaking with Lorene she informed me that Amendment 1 not only allows Tennessee to make its own decisions regarding abortion and abortion regulations but it also protects women on all sides. During the 14 year period, the 8 abortion clinics in the state were under no regulation by the State or local government. Without any regulations at all on abortion and abortion services, these clinics were operating and performing abortion procedures even though they were not licensed medical facilities by the state, were not inspected by the State Health Department and even though not all the staff who were performing these abortions were licensed and in one instance a “Nurse Practitioner” was found to be performing surgical abortion procedures even though she was not currently licensed to practice medicine, nor was she able to provide any documentation or proof that she had ever been licensed as a Nurse Practitioner. Whether a female voter chooses to take a pro-life or pro-choice position, by ensuring that regulations are put in place, the passing of Amendment 1 is a step towards safer and better regulated Women’s Health Care Services. The goal of Amendment 1 in the immediate moment is to restore PRIOR state held regulations for abortion services. While there are currently no plans to introduce legislature that would ban abortion in Tennessee, the purpose of the Amendment is to ensure that local and state governments have the right to put in place regulations they feel best fit the states needs which includes stopping the “destination abortion” mentality that Tennessee has held over the past 14 years.

 

As always we know that in the first few days after an election the “winning” side is basking in the warm glow of a successful campaign, but it is so vital that we continue to take steps forward in partnership with our new elected officials to continue the incredible amount of work that needs to continue in order to further the mission of restoring the sanctity of life in our country. Lastly, I want to thank each and every one of you who took the time to go out and vote on Tuesday. As a veteran of the US Armed Forces I am incredibly proud to see citizens exercising their right to vote and making their voices and beliefs heard. Remember OUR government works FOR us, and it is our job to put into leadership; strong, god-fearing and compassionate leaders to guide our nation.