Besides being the day before my birthday, November 2 is Election Day. If you are concerned about the abortion issue, this is a rather important election.
At this moment, both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives are controlled by the Democratic Party and, for the most part, the Democrats support abortion rights. Still, the votes in the House and the Senate are often very close because there are a number of Democrats who are pro-life. We saw the impact of that situation when the Congress considered health care reform and a number of pro-life Democrats who supported the bill forced President Obama to assure them that the new law would not fund abortions. Desperate for votes, Obama took the extraordinary step of signing an Executive Order confirming that the new law would not pay for abortions. That satisfied those Democrats, so they voted for the bill.
Since the Democrats are the majority party in both houses, it means that every chairman of every committee is a Democrat. And it is in the committees where all the action is.
Every year, pro-life Members of Congress introduced legislation that would in one way or another outlaw abortion. These bills can take different approaches but the bottom line is they want to make abortion illegal again. When those bills are introduced, they are usually referred to the Judiciary Committees. The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is John Conyers, who is pro-choicer. When he sees these anti-abortion bills, he says thank you very much and proceeds to stuff them in a drawer, basically killing any chance of their being considered. They are DOA. The same thing happens in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
But this November, it is very possible that Democrats in the House will lose a number of seats and the Republicans could actually be in the majority. If that occurs, come next January, when the new Congress is sworn in, a bill that is introduced to outlaw abortion could very well go to a new Chairman of that committee who would probably be pro-life. In that case, it is very possible that that chairman could then take steps to move that bill for consideration. Then the battle will be on. Yes, President Obama will be there for us to veto any bad bill but the pro-choice forces will have to mobilize, raise money, etc. to fight the bill.
Then there is the U.S. Senate. When President Obama has to nominate someone for the Supreme Court, the nomination goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is run by pro-choicer Pat Leahy. The current chairman will do everything he can to assure that Obama’s nomination is granted smooth sailing in the committee and on the floor of the Senate.
But should the Senate fall into the hands of the Republican Party, then you will have probably Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah as chairman and he is very pro-life. So, a nomination that is sent to his committee will have a much tougher time of it. Indeed, if the Republicans take over the Senate, there is a good chance that Obama’s pro-choice nominations will be defeated and he’ll have to nominate someone who is “neutral” on the issue of abortion.
So, the bottom line is you need to vote.
You need to do your research, find out who is running and vote for the one who is pro-choice.
You’ve got the power – use it.