Missouri Senate Race May Pit Pro-Life Woman vs. Pro-Abortion

State   |   Andrew Bair   |   Aug 24, 2011   |   7:21PM   |   Washington, DC

Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri is one of the Democrats’ most vulnerable senators heading into the 2012 elections.

Fearing the seat could fall into pro-life Republican hands, pro-abortion forces in Missouri are rallying to McCaskill’s side. On Tuesday, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Missouri Paula Gianino co-hosted a fundraising event for Senator McCaskill in St. Louis. McCaskill reportedly already has $2.8 million in her war chest for 2012. McCaskill also has vast personal wealth to invest in her reelection effort, ranking 18th on Roll Call’s list of the 50 Richest Members of Congress.

EMILY’s List, the political action committee that works to elect pro-abortion women, is recommending McCaskill to their supporters, encouraging contributions on her behalf. In order to receive the blessing of EMILY’s List, candidates must support even the most extreme elements of the pro-abortion movement including partial-birth abortion and taxpayer funding of abortion.

Since taking office in January 2007, McCaskill has not cast one pro-life vote. According to her votes, McCaskill supports abortion funding under healthcare reform, taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. McCaskill also voted to use American tax dollars to fund the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which participates in carrying out China’s oppressive One Child Policy. The One Child Policy has resulted in millions of forced abortions and made millions of baby girls into victims of sex-selection abortion.

While abortion advocates almost hysterically cling to the talking point that their opponents are “anti-woman,” they may not be able to use it in the 2012 cycle with the entrance of pro-life State Treasurer Sarah Steelman into the race.

Steelman, who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2008, had the backing of the Susan B. Anthony List. In that race, SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser praised Steelman, saying, “Sarah Steelman is dedicated to representing all Missouri citizens, born and unborn. Sarah is a passionate advocate for women and unborn children and we are pleased to support her candidacy.”

EMILY’s List criticizes Steelman on their website, calling her a “far-right activist” and citing a GOP operative who called Steelman “Palin with an economics degree.” (Only for abortion advocates would it be an insult to be compared to the most influential female figure in American politics.)

As a State Senator, Steelman co-sponsored legislation to ban the horrific practice of partial-birth abortion, sponsored the Adoption Awareness Law and sponsored legislation to create the Missouri Choose Life license plate. Steelman also called for a special session of the Missouri legislation to consider legislation to ban coercive abortion, sex-selection abortion and discrimination against unborn children with disabilities. In recognition of her advocacy on behalf of women and unborn children, Steelman received the endorsement of Missouri Right to Life, the state’s largest pro-life organization, in her 2008 run for governor.

If elected, Steelman would join an expanding group of pro-life women lawmakers in Washington. 2010 saw the election of the greatest number of pro-life female legislators ever to the US House. The Susan B. Anthony List even dubbed 2010, “The Year of the Pro-Life Woman.” However, currently in the US Senate, Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) stands as the lone pro-life female voice.

Steelman has not shied away from her pro-life convictions on the campaign trail, readily criticizing McCaskill’s record. Steelman told LifeNews.com, “Senator McCaskill sides with the pro-choice, anti-life activist groups. I believe life is precious and should be cherished. I believe that one of the government’s main roles is to protect those that cannot protect themselves. If I am elected to the U.S. Senate, I will support the complete defunding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion-providing organizations.”

Also in the race for the Republican nomination is Representative Todd Akin, who is also pro-life on abortion. Akin holds a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee for the current session. Akin supported the efforts to ban taxpayer funding of abortion, federal funding to Planned Parenthood and to repeal Obamacare. Akin’s only pro-life misstep was in 2003, when he voted against the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act, which protected against involuntary denial of medical treatment to senior citizens.

Akin describes his position on abortion on his Senate campaign website: “One of the beliefs on which I will never waiver is that life begins at conception. During my time in public office, I have remained steadfast in this belief and have been a vocal supporter of numerous pro-life bills at the state and federal level that protects the rights of the unborn.”

Many anticipate St. Louis businessman John Brunner will also jump into the race for the Republican nomination, however, he has yet to officially file.