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Legatus Magazine

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Marjorie Dannenfelser | author
Jun 01, 2018
Filed under Culture of Life
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Midterm passive-voter motivation can stunt abortion

The 2018 U.S. Senate midterm election is the most important election for the pro-life movement since Roe v. Wade. Forty-five years’ worth of toil, hope, and prayer comes down to this moment.

Marjorie Dannenfelser

By Election Day, three United States Supreme Court justices will be at least 80 years old. Speculation abounds that Justice Anthony Kennedy might soon retire. With state legislatures having passed several hundred pro-life laws in recent years, there is a strong likelihood that the case that finally brings down the Roe regime, with its staggering toll of over 60 million lives, is in its formative stage now. Twenty states have banned late-term abortion after five months of pregnancy based on the unborn child’s capacity to feel pain; Mississippi has banned abortion after 15 weeks; a flurry of bills would end lethal discrimination against babies with Down syndrome; among many developments.

Providential guidance and hard work have brought us to the remarkable point of having a pro-life president who has promised to nominate only pro-life Supreme Court justices, a promise kept with the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch. President Trump may have the rare chance to tip the balance of the court.

The rub is that President Trump can nominate the country’s most brilliant jurists, but the Senate still has to approve them. There is currently a slim Republican majority in the Senate, but not a solid pro-life majority. Time after time, abortion extremists have attacked exceptionally qualified nominees for their faith and principles, and the battles will only intensify in the future.

SBA List has long foreseen this fight and our strategy is in place. Historically, the president’s party suffers in midterm elections. When voter turnout is low, victory often belongs to those who simply show up – so we created the largest, most effective pro-life grassroots team in the country and have spent months laying the groundwork for that victory.

We began our field operation last summer with canvassers visiting homes in the battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Indiana, and Missouri. We are poised to expand into four additional states with vulnerable pro-abortion senators to meet an ambitious goal of visiting two million homes before November. We are well on our way, having visited 700,000 homes already.

SBA List is uniquely focused on locating and motivating low-turnout pro-life voters, those who are prone to skipping an election but are motivated by the life issue. This is a nonpartisan project. We find pro-life Democrats, Independents, and Hispanics who are receptive to our message and can be persuaded to vote for pro-life candidates, then we encourage them to get out to the polls.

We preach to the choir – and it works. Like most Americans, the voters we target are with us on the issues: they overwhelmingly oppose late-term abortion, taxpayer-funded abortion, and the radical pro-abortion agenda. However, they are not voting. They may not realize how critical this election is to the future of unborn children or how extreme their senator’s record is, especially when politicians obfuscate and misrepresent their stance. By delivering this message personally at their homes, we increase voter turnout by 6.6 percent on average.

In so doing, we are going head-to-head with America’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, and their allies, who have announced plans to spend $30 million on the midterm elections. The stakes have never been higher.

An opportunity like this for the pro-life movement truly comes once in a lifetime. We must seize it with all our hearts. With God’s grace and pro-life Americans’ prayerful support, together we can reclaim the Senate and the courts, protect unborn children and their mothers, and end one of the greatest injustices in human history.

MARJORIE DANNENFELSER is president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List. SBA List’s mission is to end abortion by electing leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders. She is also a Legate of the Northern Virginia Chapter.

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