Was the Republican takeover of the House on Tuesday a true sign that the American people want Republicans in power, or merely a case of “Catholic” revenge? The American Spectator is claiming it’s the latter.
A veritable tsunami of pro-life outrage among Catholics ensued, in spite of attempts of White House shills like Sr. Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, to dispute the statements of the Catholic bishops about the presence of abortion funding in the health care legislation.
This outrage was apparent on November 2 when eight members of Stupak’s coalition were defeated. They included Catholic Rep. Steve Driehaus (D, OH-01), who brought a case to the Ohio Elections Commission, arguing the Susan B. Anthony List had misrepresented his vote on the health care bill. Other Catholics, Reps. Kathy Dahlkemper (D, PA-03), Charlie Wilson (D, OH-06), Chris Carney (D, PA-10), Paul Kanjorski (D, PA-11), Baron Hill (D, IN-09), and Brad Ellsworth (D, IN-08), who ran for the Senate, made pro-life claims a prominent campaign theme, and were also rejected by the voters.
Pushed, in part, by concern about the health care bill, Catholic voters across the nation returned to the GOP in numbers resembling the presidential victory of George W. Bush in 2004. CNN exit polls record 55 percent of Catholics voted for the GOP while AP polling showed a whopping 58 percent, a twenty point increase since 2008. Either way, the 2008 Catholic support for Obama has completely reversed itself, perhaps with a vengeance.
In all, over 17 pro-life Catholics will be added to the Congress, while roughly 26 pro-abortion Catholics will be departing.
The heart of the Catholic vote belongs to voters who attend Mass regularly. Parse out these active Catholic voters from less active Catholics, and the results have consistently shown more support for socially conservative and Republican candidates. When I led Catholic outreach for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, we based our outreach on a comprehensive study that pointed repeatedly to the importance of making this distinction.
But the action groups are now owning up to the fact that their goals were not to simply get in more anti-choice politicians, but to make sure those politicians were Republican as well, and pushed their followers to vote the same way. From Christianity Today:
Abortion issues seemed left in the dust as economic concerns drove this year’s election, but on Tuesday voters ousted several pro-life Democrats and ushered in fiscal conservatives who tend to oppose abortion.
As the names of defeated pro-life Democrats flashed across the screen Tuesday night, triumphant cheers erupted at Morton’s Steakhouse, where staff and supporters of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBAL) had gathered to watch election returns.
SBAL, which works to elect pro-life women to office, typically supports pro-life members of both parties. But that largely changed this year after most pro-life Democrats voted for the federal healthcare bill that many abortion opponents say allows for federal funding of abortion.
Three of the four Democrats most heavily targeted by SBAL lost their seats, including Reps. Steve Driehaus (Ohio) and Kathy Dahlkemper (Penn.). Overall, 10 of 17 pro-life Democrats who voted for the healthcare bill were defeated on Tuesday, according to SBAL.
In the end, the election was less about furthering anti-choice numbers in Congress, and more focused on using the opportunity that the fictitious “government-funded abortion” lie offered to take a stab at ousting weak Democrats. As Catholic News Agency explains:
As Catholic voters appeared to break for Republican candidates, Election Day 2010 changed the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives, several governorships and Senate seats.
Pro-life Democrats, especially those who voted for the comprehensive health care reform law backed by President Obama, suffered heavily, while pro-life Republicans gained.
Overall, Republicans are projected to pick up more than 60 seats in the House and have already exceeded the 218 seats needed to take over as the leaders of the House.
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) is expected to be named the Speaker of the House. He will be the first Catholic from the Republican Party to hold the position. He replaces another Catholic, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
The health care bill may have played a role in the defeat of many self-described pro-life Democrats who voted for it.
However, some religious conservatives are waiting to see if they will regret their actions in ousting anti-choice politicians solely on their party label. Over at Politics Daily, David Gibson writes:
When it comes to the battle against abortion, the law of unintended consequences may be the first lesson for the resurgent Republicans, even though the incoming Congress won’t be seated until January.
That’s because the same wave that swept GOP candidates to a takeover of the House on Tuesday also washed away half of the 40 or so pro-life Democrats who had given the movement unprecedented influence in their party and in Congress.
Moreover, many of those pro-life Democrats, including such stalwarts as Rep. Steve Dreihaus of Ohio’s 1st District and Kathleen Dahlkemper from Pennsylvania’s 3rd District, were in fact targeted for defeat by major pro-life organizations like the Susan B. Anthony List, which argued that those Democrats had betrayed their cause by backing health care reform and so deserved their fate.
While the health care law included unprecedented funding to aid pregnant women and similar measures aimed at reducing abortion — as well as making care more accessible for mothers and babies — conservative pro-life groups and religious organizations argued that it also included huge taxpayer subsidies for abortion.
Health care experts said that was not the case, and Democratic strategists said this fall’s campaigns against pro-life Democrats showed that the major groups that oppose abortion — the National Right To Life Committee, the Family Research Council and the like — are more concerned with promoting the Republican Party than the pro-life movement.
“They put all their eggs in one party,” said Kristen Day, executive director for Democrats for Life of America, which has been pushing a pro-life agenda in the Democratic Party. “They don’t want two pro-life parties because most of them want a Republican majority.”
November 4, 2010
- Hannah’s plea to lower age for cervical cancer screening in young women – Cornish Guardian
- Botswana Defence Force Launches Annual HIV Campaign – U.S. Africa Command (press release)
- Colo. Voters Reject ‘Personhood’ Amendment For Second Time – Medical News Today (press release)
- Life Expectancy For Zimbabwe Women Falls – RadioVop
- Panel of Global Experts Recommends Best Practices to Combat Postpartum … – EON: Enhanced Online News (press release)
- After the Bruising: Where Obama Goes From Here – TIME (blog)
- Dubai Health Authority Supports Women’s Health at Dubai Meet – Zawya (press release)
- Shanghai says second-child trial unheard of – Shanghai Daily
- WFP In North Korea; Maternal Health In Indonesia; Possible Vaccine … – Medical News Today (press release)
- Colorado Election Results 2010: Colorado Senate Race – Dots Period
- Catholic group bats for RH law – ABS CBN News
- The Return of the Catholic Vote – American Spectator
- Indonesia: New report- denial of access to sexual health services proving deadly – Amnesty International UK
- Girls’ vaccinations resume – Belfast Telegraph
- Probe called over NB abortion policy – Times and Transcript
- Evidence shows abstinence-only campaigns do not work – MMSA – Malta Independent Online
- Social Democrats say sex education should begin in primary school – The Copenhagen Post
- Namibia: Govt Races to Cut Down Maternal Deaths – AllAfrica.com
- New Menopause Documentary, Hot Flash Havoc, Selected to Screen at 25th Annual … – PR Web (press release)
- GOP’s surge in Austin to resurrect divisive bills – Dallas Morning News
- NC works to prevent Latina teen pregnancy – The Daily Tar Heel
- Birth control pill scare flares up – World Radio Switzerland
- Bishop: HIV is God’s will – Mirror.co.uk
- Schools’ safe sex program leaves out crucial facts – Farmington Daily Times
- Lithuania may ban public promotion of homosexual relations – Bay Area Reporter
- Indonesia: Left without a choice: Barriers to reproductive health in Indonesia – Amnesty International
November 3, 2010
- Indonesian ‘Facts for Life’ aims to boost infant, maternal health – Jakarta Post
- Health reform: GOP to try to halt, reverse momentum – Palm Beach Post
- Hopkins looks into fitness guidelines for pregnant women – Los Angeles Times
- The Demise Of Pro-Life Democrats: Be Careful What You Pray For – Politics Daily
- Abortion pill risks on the rise – Catholic Leader
- UK Pro-Life Leader: “This is World War III” – Lifesite
- New scientific exploration raising the volume in talks about anal cancer, HPV … – Medill Reports: Chicago
- Weekly Pulse: What do GOP gains mean for health care? Abortion rights? – rabble.ca (blog)
- Duke frats on “sluts,” ugly girls – Salon
- Global maternal deaths reduce by third- Report – Nigeria Daily Independent
- 8 moments that made Brown a winner – OCRegister
- GOP Victory Puts Reform Law on Chopping Block – MedPage Today
- Push for tribal birth control – Calcutta Telegraph
- Pro-life Republicans make significant gains in midterm election – Catholic News Agency
- Prediction: An assault on reproductive rights – Salon
- The election and reproductive rights – Salon
- ” The conventional wisdom that women all prefer government-provided safety … – Men’s News Daily
- Fiji women top cancer list – Fiji Times
- Probe called over New Brunswick abortion policy – Montreal Gazette
- GOP sweep in Ohio raises concerns among backers of abortion rights, other … – Fox 59
- Pro-life Democrats becoming a thing of the past – National Post
- NC man to plead to putting bomb info on Facebook – Boston Herald
- Zambia to Fight AIDS by Increasing Male Circumcision – Voice of America
- Republicans, Pro-Life Candidates Win 20 State Houses; Abortion Implications – LifeNews.com
- Colorado Personhood Ballot Initiative Overwhelmingly Defeated – Ms. Magazine
- Legislative Democrats make gains on bad night for national party – Los Angeles Times
- Reader hits were topped by a faulty shot at Rick Perry – PolitiFact
- Teen Pregnancy Rates Among Minorities Sky High In Illinois – Huffington Post
- Isle of Wight to Give Morning After and Birth Control Pills to 13-Year Old Girls – First Things (blog)
- Pro-Life GOPer Benishek Wins Seat of Health Care-Abortion Traitor Stupak – LifeNews.com
- Up in Smoke: Marijuana, Abortion, Anti-Tax Ballot Measures Fail – ABC News
- A Look At How Women Fared – msnbc.com
- Medicare Insurance Options Choose Early – Business News
- A New Perspective on Sex Education – Psychology Today (blog)
- Democratic Base to Party Leaders: Take That You Smug Bastards! – ThisCantBeHappening!
- The Great Corrective – Town Hall
- First outstanding article award presented by Contraception – EurekAlert (press release)
- Anti-Prop 8 Jerry Brown, Barbara Boxer Shut Out Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina – On Top Magazine
- During Stop In Papua New Guinea, Secretary Clinton Promotes Women’s Rights – Kaiser Family Foundation
- Looking at sex education through a historian’s eyes – Washington University Record
- Montana Faces Increase Rate of Teen Pregnancy Due to Low-Cost Health Care – Daily Rosetta
- Blogs Comment On Gender Issues In Midterm Campaigns, Brazilian Election, Other … – Medical News Today (press release)
- NBR and opinion leaders sensitized on effect of violence against women and girls – TODAY Newspaper
- Religious Order Seeks Recruits to Teach Theology of the Body and NFP – National Catholic Register (blog)
- Canadian Government to mix TB and HIV centers under one roof. – TopNews United Kingdom
- Republican newcomer claims Stupak’s seat – Detroit Free Press
- 350 HIV/AIDS patients to be dropped from program – MiamiHerald.com
- UAE ‘makes significant progress’ on maternal mortality – International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics
- Birth control battle: Bloggers on whether health care reform should include … – The Star-Ledger – NJ.com (blog)
- Poll: Voter anger at govt aids Blunt win in Mo. – KOAM-TV
- Probe called over abortion policy – Telegraph-Journal
- Boxer victory has special meaning for CSULB students – Daily 49er
- High schools address tough issues in bioethics courses – Catholic San Francisco
- Faith leaders focus on teen concerns – Centre Daily Times
- Gavin Newsom elected California lieutenant governor – Los Angeles Times
- Republican newcomer claims Stupak’s seat in 3-way race – Detroit Free Press
- ELECTION DAY PANEL: Where did social issues fall in these mid-terms? Were they … – Care2.com (blog)
- Defeated Ellsworth was one election target of abortion opponents – The Hill (blog)
- Got tested? Being inspi(RED) – The Daily Tar Heel
- Vaginal rings study receives USD5 m grant – Africa Science News Service
- Aboutorabi: Liberal feminism isn’ta given – Yale Daily News
- Three states to cast ballots on health insurance mandate; Others consider … – Biomed Middle East
- Personhood Amendent slammed by voters – The Colorado Independent
- An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Repeal – Huffington Post (blog)
- CEDAW: Uganda denies human rights violations faced by LGBT and disabled women – ReliefWeb (press release)
- Colorado voters reject anti-abortion measure – Washington Post
- Republican newcomer Benishek from western UP wins Stupak’s seat – Detroit Free Press
- HOUSE: Republicans Recapture Control – NPR
- The raid season – Manila Standard Today
- Global Health News: Disasters In Indonesia; Maternal Health In Pakistan; Gates … – Electronic Tech News
- Gubernatorial Wins Give Pro-Life Advocates Chance to Cut Abortions Further – LifeNews.com
- Brown Defeats Whitman – Advocate.com
- New one-roof policies on TB, HIV/AIDS ‘are challenging’ – Business Day
- Pro-Life Democrats Continue to Falter – ChristianityToday.com (blog)