Pro-Abortion Senators Dodd and Dorgan to Retire, Set Up 2010 Election Races

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 6, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Senators Dodd and Dorgan to Retire, Set Up 2010 Election Races

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 6
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Two veteran pro-abortion senators have announced their plans to retire from the Senate after promoting abortion for decades in the halls of Congress. The retirements of Democrats Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota set up key 2010 election contests that could give pro-life advocates an opening.

The North Dakota lawmaker was one of the 60 votes for the pro-abortion health care bill in the Senate, though he was also one of a handful of Democrats to support an amendment to stop the abortion funding in the bill.

Still, Dorgan leaves the Senate with a pro-abortion record and only received a 20% pro-life voting record from the National Right to Life Committee this year on pro-life votes by virtue of supporting abortion funding in other circumstances. That mark is consistent with the low scores he received from NRLC in prior years.

Dorgan will not seek a 4th term in office, he announced late Tuesday in a decision that gives Republicans a chance to pick up a seat held in a state that could easily yield a pro-life replacement.

"In recent months I began to wrestle with the question of whether making a commitment to serve in the Senate seven more years (next year plus a new six-year term) was the right thing to do," Dorgan said in a statement.

Dorgan denied that his decision had anything to do with the prospects of a difficult re-election fight in a state that voted for John McCain over Barack Obama.

Republicans are hoping to convince pro-life Gov. John Hoeven to run for the seat and he may be more likely to do so now that Dorgan is stepping down.

Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D), who took over the state’s lone House seat when Dorgan ascended to the Senate, would be the strongest Democrat to run and he is an abortion advocate as well.

Meanwhile, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut has also announced he is stepping down and that apparently happened in light of poor polling numbers for his 2010 re-election bid there. The White House reportedly spoke with Dodd about that and encouraged him to consider retiring.

Dodd was a presidential candidate last year seeking the Democratic nod against Barack Obama but he failed to gain any traction and left the race early.

Karen Cross, the National Right to Life political director, previously told during the presidential election that Dodd "is completely out of step with the American public on pro-life issues."

"His position is so extreme that he voted every chance he got — eleven times — to keep the barbaric partial-birth abortion procedure legal," Cross said.

Dodd has repeatedly voted against a ban on partial-birth abortions, he’s voted in various ways to use taxpayer funds to pay for abortions, he endorsed a resolution supporting Roe v. Wade, and oppose protecting pregnant women who are victims of violence.

He also has voted to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research, the science that involves destroying human life.

Dodd has compiled an abysmal pro-life voting record. Cross said Dodd had voted 110 out of 113 times against pro-life legislation

Today, pro-abortion Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal said he would run to replace Dodd in the Senate. Dodd’s seat is viewed as offering a smaller opportunity for a pro-life pickup than the Dorgan seat.

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