Congressional Mid Term Elections Thru the Pro-Choice Lens

Ms Magazine does a good summary of how pro-choice did in the election.  Pro-choice suffered some big losses but there is a twist:

First, the big pro-reproductive rights losses:

Replacement of pro-choice Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), pro-choice Democratic leadership team of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), Assistant to the Speaker Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) with the anti-choice team of  John Boehner (R-OH), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Mike Pence (R-IN), and Pete Sessions (R-TX).

More losses–(at time of Ms report) 43 votes in the House and 7 in the Senate. Right wing extremist winners when it comes to women’s issues include: Tea Party endorsed Rand Paul (R-KY), Tea Party endorsed Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Pat Toomey (R-PA).

As far as women go, in the House, 8 pro-choice Democratic women were defeated and 7 new anti-choice Republican women were elected.

All of the Democrats but one were defeated by anti-reproductive rights Republicans.

But when you look a little closer, with the losses in the House, Ms indicates that the abortion issues was really not the deciding factor–13 anti-choice Republicans beat anti-choice Democrats.

And 24 House Democrats who lost had voted yes on the recent Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which would have prohibited the use of federal funds to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother.

So while the twist is that pro-choice did not suffer losses because many who were voted out were not pro-choice to begin with.

According to NARAL Pro-Choice America. with most races called, in the House, there are 154 pro-choice, 248 anti-choice, and 33 “mixed” choice. In the Senate, 40 pro-choice, 46 anti-choice, and 14 mixed choice.

While abortion may not have been the issue in this election, I am left with concern about these overall numbers and Congress’ likely attempts to intrude on women’s reproductive decisions.

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