For a short time last year, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers was public enemy number one of the pro-life movement.
Congressional leaders had planned for weeks to bring up a bill to ban abortions after 20-weeks on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. But Ellmers sabotaged the bill by insisting that broad rape and incest exceptions needed to be added to the bill that many pro-life groups were worried would undermine the bill entirely and render the ban moot.
Due to her attacks, Republican leaders were force to pull the bill and rework it — and it eventually passed.
Ellmers caused a firestorm of controversy to the point that multiple pro-life groups like National Right to Life and the Susan B. Anthony List actively worked against her this year and supported her pro-life primary opponent, George Holding , who defeated her handily in last night’s primary in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District.
National Right to Life president Carol Tobias outlined the problem with bringing Ellmers back to Congress: “Both behind the scenes and publicly in the press, Ellmers was the most outspoken representative opposing the bill, even though she had previously pledged to support it – and had even voted for the exact same bill in the previous Congress.”
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“Nothing has the potential to do more damage to pro-life efforts than people who run as pro-life candidates back home in their pro-life districts and then stab the babies in the back when they come to DC and work against pro-life efforts,” she said.
“Thankfully, we’ve been given the chance to send Rep. Ellmers packing,” she said. “George Holding is a pro-life stalwart who was always taken a pro-life position – at home and in Washington. George Holding is the kind of congressman the babies can depend on.”
Meanwhile, SBA List urged pro-life voters to “Dump Ellmers” after she actively worked in 2015 against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the group’s top legislative priority. Last month, SBA List and the North Carolina Values Coalition announced their joint endorsement of Rep. Holding.
SBA List’s North Carolina team, a ground operation of five field staff and more than 200 canvassers who have been active in the state since 2014, has had a team knocking on more than 12,500 doors across NC-02 in the last few weeks. In addition to reaching NC-02 pro-life primary voters at their door, SBA List also reached 90,000 voters through digital advertising. To date SBA List canvassers have knocked on a total of 185,000 doors throughout the state to educate voters on pro-life issues in the presidential race.
“Susan B. Anthony List exists to support and amplify pro-life women’s voices. Rep. Renee Ellmers was our ally until she led the charge to derail the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. That’s why we had to flex the political muscle of the pro-life movement,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, SBA List president and a North Carolina native. “She has her own failed leadership to blame for this loss.”
FRC Action PAC President Tony Perkins made the following comments:
“We congratulate Congressman Holding, a great advocate for conservative principles, on his victory in North Carolina. Voters sent a message tonight that they will do more than take notice when Members of Congressbetray thepro-life principles that they were elected to champion.
“American families are looking for leaders who will address the pressing issues we face as a nation, and who will not just make campaign promises but also follow through on them once elected to office.
“Rep. Holding’s pro-life, pro-family record stood in stark contrast to the incumbent, Rep. Renee Ellmers who lost significant support among pro-life voters after she undermined the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act last year. This important legislation would prevent abortion after 20 weeks — a point at which science has proven unborn babies can feel excruciating pain. Abortionists kill about 13,000 babies every year through late-term abortions.
“We look forward to continuing our work with Rep. Holding in advancing constitutional limited government, individual liberties, and strong family values,” concluded Perkins.