Pro-Life Democrats See Bleak Election Over Pro-Abortion ObamaCare Votes

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 6, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Democrats See Bleak Election Over Pro-Abortion ObamaCare Votes

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 6
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — The "pro-life" Democrats in Congress who stood with retiring Rep. Bart Stupak in favor of the ObamaCare bill that funds abortions are seeing a bleak election future. Their prospects aren’t helped by pro-life groups targeting them for defeat and a Democrats for Life group not coming strongly to their defense.

Politico ran a feature today on its news web site on the pro-life Democrats and some of the campaigns has reported on spearheaded by groups like Americans United for Life and the Susan B. Anthony List.

SBA recently purchased 32 billboards at a cost of $55,000 in several districts occupied by Democrats who ran as pro-life candidates but, according to the pro-life women’s group, violated that pledge by voting for the ObamaCare bill.

Americans United for Life launched yesterday a $600,000 campaign featuring various online and offline advertising targeting those Democrats for defeat.

Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, a Pennsylvania lawmaker, is one of the targets of the campaigns and she says she’s upset she is being targeted because she has been pro-life all her life.

“It’s been extremely frustrating at times,” Dahlkemper told Politico. “All along, I have donated. I have marched. I have been an unmarried pregnant woman who chose life. I have lived this. Now I’m 52, and in the last six months, all of a sudden, people are questioning who I am.”

She could have been a star in the pro-life movement until she voted for the bill that virtually every pro-life group noted would fund abortions. As National Right to Life put it, Dahlkemper and her Stupak coalition allies "voted to require certain federal agencies to subsidize and administer health plans that cover abortion on demand, and opened the door to future direct federal funding of abortion in multiple federal programs."

The pro-life movement has already had to work overtime to stop abortion funding in three states where the Obama administration planned to pay for abortions in high risk health insurance pools until NRLC blew the whistle.

Democrats for Life of America is the only pro-life group of note which has come to the defense of Dahlkemper and Stupak and issued an endorsement for the congresswoman yesterday.

But Politico’s survey of election records shows DFLA has not put its money where its mouth is behind the candidates — spending only $308 and raising just $2,431 for candidates so far this election cycle. The group is reportedly planning to send $250 each to a slate of 10 candidates it supports.

As a result, it says just 12 of the 43 Democrats with partly or mostly pro-life voting records, according to NRLC, are safe — with the rest looking to go down in defeat or in tossup races.

DFLA admits the pro-abortion health care bill is hurting the lawmakers it supports.

“We’re hoping to hold our members, but I’m afraid we may lose some,” Kristen Day, executive director of DFLA, told Politico. “It’s partly the political climate and then the health care bill definitely being used against these members.”

But SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser told the web site she is not surprised.

“I fully expect they will be in decline,”she said. “Not only with their decision making but because the Democratic Party has not been overly enthusiastic about protecting them.”

For the pro-life movement, while abortion will not likely be stopped until enough members of both political parties are ready to stop it, immediate concerns about the funding and promotion of abortion under the Obama administration are lessened by pro-life Republicans taking over the House and Senate from pro-abortion Democrats.

That reality makes it difficult for groups like DFLA to argue their members should get another shot at a two year term. Pro-life voters tend to have a long memory and they feel they got burned by Stupak and his allies like Dahlkemper and, next month, they will likely let those lawmakers know how they feel.


Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.