Dems in the House now threaten the pro-life movement

Dems in the House now threaten the pro-life movement
© Greg Nash

Every now and then the pundits predict correctly. This time around Democrats didn't win the House as much as the Republicans lost it.

In an election that should have favored the Republicans — with a booming economy and low unemployment — the party of Reagan failed to define itself successfully or accomplish much with their majority. Republican leadership’s will to fight, in both chambers, has been sporadic for years. They have risen to the occasion on occasion, such as confirming two Supreme Court Justices and passing the first large tax cut bills in over a decade. Yet a lack of cohesive leadership has led to noticeable letdowns such as the failure to repeal ObamaCare as well as defund abortion-giant Planned Parenthood.  


Republican leadership was so focused on highlighting what they accomplished that they missed the growing frustration of the electorate at opportunities squandered. 

Donald Trump won the Republican nomination and presidency because of his willingness to fight for his constituents’ objectives even if it meant upsetting the status quo — this is the type of leadership the Republicans need to dig themselves out of the hole they are in right now. 

No pro-life protection will be safe with the Democrats now in control of the House and the Republicans will need to play constant defense. The administration will constantly be defending itself against subpoenas and impeachment threats. And all the great things this administration has done for the cause of life, from reducing the U.S. taxpayer dollars going to foreign abortion entities to proposing new Title X rules protecting the unborn, will be under fire.

The likely new chairs of House committees will be the most radically pro-abortion rights in our country’s history. Rep. Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHeads up, GOP: Elections have consequences Trump’s new strategy: Chummer-in-Chief Top Judiciary Dem threatens to subpoena acting AG Whitaker MORE (D-N.Y.), who is a sponsor of the Medicare for All Act, may well head the Judiciary Committee where a number of pro-life concerns are addressed. The Medicare for All Act would eliminate private insurance (resulting in 153 million Americans losing coverage according to Vox) as well as eliminate the remaining protections that keep taxpayers from paying directly for abortions. 

Prospective Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDem lawmaker: 'There's plenty of competent females' that can be Speaker instead of Pelosi Marcia Fudge under spotlight as Pelosi Speaker fight heats up Election Countdown: Florida Senate race heads to hand recount | Dem flips Maine House seat | New 2020 trend - the 'friend-raiser' | Ad war intensifies in Mississippi runoff | Blue wave batters California GOP MORE (D-Calif.) called campaign finance one of the Democrats’ top priorities. In the past Democrats put forth a bill dealing with "campaign finance" that was nothing more than an attempt to silence conservative activists. Going forward, any bill dealing with campaign finance would originate in the House Finance Committee, now likely to be headed up by Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersMarcia Fudge under spotlight as Pelosi Speaker fight heats up On The Money: Senior GOP senator warns Trump against shutdown | Treasury sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | HQ2 deal brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Senate confirms Bowman to Fed board Pelosi allies rage over tactics of opponents MORE (D-Calif.). Considering that Rep. Waters — no stranger to campaign finance violation investigations — has called for the public harassment of supporters of President Donald Trump, it is likely any legislation would target conservative non-profits and leave unions protected.

But most of the assaults on the pro-life cause will originate within the powerful House Appropriations Committee. The likely new chair, Rep. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyOn The Money: Amazon taps New York, Northern Virginia for new offices | What it means for the DC area | Dems target vulnerable commerce chief | Earmarks look to be making a comeback Earmarks look to be making a comeback Overnight Energy: Trump, California leaders clash over fires | Trump says oil prices should be 'much lower' | Zinke criticizes media coverage | Officials consider new truck pollution rule MORE (D-N.Y.) is a sponsor of the radical Medicare for All Act and has long been an opponent of protections for the unborn. We can expect many of the pro-life protections found in Appropriation bills, as well as pro-life administration policies, to be in jeopardy.

On the Senate side, leadership should speed up the pace on judicial and executive branch nominations. Instead of trumpeting how many nominees have been already confirmed, imagine how many more confirmations would have occurred had they worked Mondays and Fridays, like most Americans.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAvenatti ‘still considering’ presidential run despite domestic violence arrest Mulvaney positioning himself to be Commerce Secretary: report Kasich: Wouldn’t want presidential run to ‘diminish my voice’ MORE should follow the lead of two of his predecessors, Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and immediately issue a veto threat should any standing pro-life policies be stripped from legislation. The Trump administration could also fill out appointments in the various departments to accomplish more of the president’s agenda. Health and Human Services needs to finalize the numerous conscience regulations dealing with abortifacients as well as health-care worker rights and finalize the rules to protect tax dollars from going to abortion providers through the Title X family planning program. 

But make no mistake, incoming Speaker Pelosi’s priority will be to repay favors now owed to special interest groups on the left who poured hundreds of millions of dollars into this election to achieve a Democrat victory. Now is the time for pro-life members in both chambers to shrug off their innate wariness of actual engagement and stand up for the issues they have always run on. Historically, being in the minority is when you see champions arise and the Republicans are in dire need of such leaders.

Tom McClusky is the president of March for Life Action, which is a pro-life organization.