By Ameillia Wedward, Intern
Greetings! It is day ??? of the election… Alright, you probably feel exhausted from this year’s election season. The whole country is still tense from the campaign season, fraud allegations, and lawsuits. However, as polarized and stressful as the presidential election is, we can’t help but be overjoyed with how many pro-life offices have been won, both here in the state of Wisconsin and around the country! These victories should inspire pro-lifers, make advocates proud of the strides we have made thus far, and encourage us for what is to come. Life has become a key issue in the political arena and on the ballot, and it has proven itself to be a winner!
- LIFE is a KEY Issue in the Political Arena
As citizens of the United States, we know that our laws reflect the country’s values and morals. Our own Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all… are created equal.” We were taught that every citizen has been granted certain unalienable rights: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. From the birth of our nation to the most recent election cycle, we know that there is value and dignity in every human life, but life must be actively defended. In order to protect life through laws, we have learned that we need to elect leaders to represent our pro-life values. We then need to spur on these politicians to write and pass laws to protect life. Politicians can safeguard our tax dollars from going into abortion clinics and instead allocate them toward rescuing babies who survive those death-sentencing procedures. Elected officials can vote on policies that would give women the chance to learn about the reversal pill, or better educate them on adoption or foster care services. They could prevent abortions that discriminate against the baby’s race, gender, or health condition. When it comes to politics, electing pro-life leaders helps implement life-affirming policies and save lives. Majorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, states in her new book Life is Winning, “When we win elections, we… help restore to America a culture that respects life, supports mothers, and nurtures babies at every stage.”
- The Pro-Life Agenda is on Every Ballot!
In this election, more than any other, we saw that the ever-growing concern for upholding life is on the ballot. What used to be a murky issue not always decided along party lines is now an extremely partisan issue: the Democrat party has adopted the pro-choice agenda, and the GOP has adopted the pro-life movement. From Dannenfelser’s perspective, it was not until President Trump stepped into the arena that pro-lifers felt empowered and heard. For the longest time, the male-dominated field of politics was silent on the issue. Countless politicians did not want to discuss a “women’s issue,” so being pro-life was not highly valued or discussed in public, or even private, debates. However, we have seen time and time again that Americans do care about the sanctity of human life.
In Wisconsin, five pro-life Republicans have stood their ground for the eight Congressional Districts. Four of the five were incumbent races, and State Senator Scott Fitzgerald was newly elected for the open seat in the 5th District. Additionally, Wisconsin held significant pro-life majorities in the state legislature.
Pro-lifers weren’t just elected by Wisconsinites, though. The 2020 general election brought forward “13 new pro-life women and the reelection of 11 incumbent pro-life women in the U.S. House of Representatives” (Fowler). Seven of those 13 wins flipped pro-choice Democrats out of office. These pro-life women come from diverse backgrounds: in occupations, marital status, faiths, and generations or ages. Carol Tobias, President of the National Right to Life Foundation, mentioned that the pro-life wins could help spur on the men already in political office. “Bringing in more pro-life women will give encouragement and support to the leaders who have been speaking up for years.” While awaiting more results and the pending runoff election in Georgia, the Senate also had three pro-life women incumbent wins.
Although we should not be naïve enough to believe that life was the primary issue in each of these races, we can be assured that life set these candidates apart from their opponents. Americans want to vote for candidates who will protect their right to life, because they recognize it as a fundamental value. We saw that life was on every ballot – from local elections to federal elections – and will be for years to come.
- What We Can Learn
From the presidential race to the village trustee, we want our elected officials to boldly take a stance on life issues. However, most of the Democratic elected leaders have accepted their party’s platform: permitting unlimited abortion to the point of birth, paid for by public tax dollars. As Dannenfelser notes in her book, Speaker Pelosi stated back in 2013 that “late term abortions were ‘sacred ground,’” and these sentiments have only increased in her party over a few short years. Unfortunately, the Democrat party has drastically moved toward radicalism on the issue of abortion in recent years.
With a Joe Biden White House, pro-lifers will need to pivot. Biden has already stated that once inaugurated “he plans to sign an executive order that will reverse the Pro-Life initiatives implemented by the Trump administration” (Yecla). We have to learn to adapt: to strategize and be on the defensive side. Although it is unlikely we will be able to find common ground when it comes to making abortion-related policy, pro-lifers need to be hyper-aware of everything a Democrat administration implements because we know their true intentions.
We can also proceed by holding all elected officials accountable on the life issue. Kristen Nupson, legislative and PAC director at Wisconsin Right to Life, stated, “Now that we have elected leaders who claim to be pro-life while on the campaign trail, we need to be encouraging action. Being pro-life doesn’t mean simply voting on big pro-life bills. We should expect pro-life representatives to speak unapologetically about life and boldly use their platform.” This calls all of us, advocates for life, to action. We should become familiar with everyone that represents us in various levels of government. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask about the life issue. Support them if they defend life. Speak against bills that could threaten the right to life. Let them know that the preservation of life greatly influences your vote! The more we talk about life, the more it is on their mind as they go about lawmaking.
Life has become a key political issue, but 2020 has shown that it wins local and general elections, and teaches us how to be proactive. The topic of life is significant and requires our attention and action. Discuss it around the dinner table, then discuss it with your elected officials. We know that life has won on the ballots before, and with our help it will be a key issue again and again until all life is protected. Even if perhaps this election season may not have gone as us life advocates had intended or hoped, this fight is far from over. But remember: life is winning!