Pro-Abortion Political Group Marks 20 Years, $ Doesn’t Mean Success

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 18, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Political Group Marks 20 Years, $ Doesn’t Mean Success Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 18, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Twenty years ago, abortion advocate Ellen Malcolm started Emily’s List with the goal of electing more pro-abortion women to Congress and statewide offices around the nation. While the organization has become the leading political action committee in the nation it has found itself on the losing end of battles more often than not lately.

When Malcolm began the organization, there were 12 Democratic women in the House and none in the Senate. Malcolm sough to elect not just abortion advocates but only women and only Democrats.

Today, there are 43 Democratic women in the House and nine in the Senate and virtually all of them back abortion.

Emily’s List celebrated 20 years at its gala luncheon yesterday and attendees marked its rise to become the top political action committee in the nation in terms of contributions.

Through its members, the group donated $11 million to pro-abortion candidates in 2004 and raised more than $30 million to fund its own grassroots activities.

However, that money doesn’t necessarily transfer into success.

Emily’s List managed to elect only 39% of the candidates it supported in 2004 despite outspending its pro-life counterpart, the Susan B. Anthony List, by an 8.5 to 1 margin. Some eighty percent of the candidates the SBA List endorsed last election cycle won.

"They won only one out of five senate races last election and they won only five out of 14 house seats and that year was a better year than the previous year for them," Concerned Women for America’s Michael Bowman told Family News in Focus.

SBA List candidates defeated six candidates endorsed by Emily’s List, 15 who had the backing of Planned Parenthood, five who had support from NARAL, 11 who were supported by NOW’s PAC and 11 who received endorsements from the Women’s Candidate Fund.
"Our success rate shows that the pro-life issue is a winning issue," SBA List director Jennifer Bingham told

"Despite the unprecedented millions spent by pro-abortion groups this election cycle to try and take back the Senate and President Bush, they lost over and over again," Bingham added. "Americans stand with us and women stand with us wanting abortion restricted in this country."

Meanwhile, the bulldog tactics Emily’s List employs, by trying to control all aspects of one of their candidates’ campaigns, has put off many activists in the Democratic Party, according to the Washington Post. Some Democrats also don’t care for its insistence that only women can be supported.