Marjorie Dannenfelser: The 2020 Election Shows Victory Against Abortion Is Within Our Grasp


A record-breaking 17 new pro-life women were just elected to Congress – further proof that, as Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana remarked upon the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, “There is no American dream that women can’t achieve,” and we don’t need abortion to do it.

Their backgrounds highlight the beautiful unity in diversity characteristic of the pro-life movement, and they demonstrate the power of the life issue to make the difference in competitive races.

A striking color-coded visual by The New York Times shows how pro-life Republicans propelled by pro-life voters made inroads into blue terrain. Not only was there no “blue wave,” but Republicans won every one of 27 congressional races listed as toss-ups. Pro-life women sent nine pro-abortion Democratic incumbents packing.

These ranks could still grow, as two races (Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District and New York’s 22nd) remain too close to call. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, an Army veteran and a doctor, and Claudia Tenney, who served from 2017-19 and is running to win her seat back, would be strong additions to Congress.

So, who are the 17 inspiring newcomers?

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They are trailblazers and barrier-breakers.

In New Mexico, Yvette Herrell won a rematch of 2018 against pro-abortion Democrat Xochitl Torres Small. Herrell is the first Republican woman of the Cherokee nation to serve in Congress.

In neighboring Texas, Beth Van Duyne is a pro-life champion who developed strength and independence early on, putting herself through college at 17. She was the first woman to serve as councilwoman and mayor of the city of Irving, all while raising two kids as a single mom.

In South Carolina, Nancy Mace, the first woman to graduate from The Citadel, prevailed over Joe Cunningham. Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee also paved a path as the first in her family to earn a college degree; now she is Congress’ only female pharmacist.

They are immigrants and first-generation Americans.

Do you think that the pro-life cause is winning?

One of the biggest upsets of a pro-abortion incumbent took place in Florida’s 27th District. Maria Elvira Salazar – a successful journalist and a daughter of Cuban immigrants – unseated Donna Shalala, former secretary of health and human services in the Clinton administration and an icon during the heyday of abortion-centered feminism. No more – Salazar represents a fresh direction.

Like Salazar, several newly elected women have been formed by experience with regimes that devalue life and violate human rights. Victoria Spartz emigrated from socialist-controlled Ukraine and worked her way from bank teller to executive and then a state senator. Along with Justice Barrett and Vice President Mike Pence, Spartz will make pro-life Hoosiers proud.

In Oklahoma’s 5th District, Stephanie Bice will be the first Iranian-American to serve in Congress. In the Oklahoma Senate, she served as assistant majority floor leader and maintained a 100 percent pro-life voting record. Not content to rest on her laurels, she shares her experience as a mentor to other young Republican women.

Pro-life women flipped seats in deep-blue states as well. In New York, Nicole Malliotakis defeated pro-abortion incumbent Max Rose. With a unique Cuban-Greek heritage, she is the only Republican woman and only Hispanic Republican elected official in New York City, as well as the first of only two Greek women elected in New York state.

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And in California, Young Kim and Michelle Steel are two out of three of the first Korean-American women to serve in Congress. Kim was the first Korean-American woman in the state legislature, and Steel was the nation’s highest-ranking Korean-American officeholder and California’s highest-ranking Republican woman during her tenure.

They are proud, loving moms who know how to get things done.

Mary Miller of Illinois also has something in common with Justice Barrett: Both have seven children. Representing the 15th District, Miller will be a refreshing contrast to Democrats in state government, who have pushed to expand taxpayer-funded abortion through the moment of birth.

In Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene is vocally pro-life and considers spending time with her family, including her three children, the best part of her life.

In Colorado’s 3rd District, grassroots activist and entrepreneur Lauren Boebert, a mom to four boys, defeated a female opponent who favored enshrining a constitutional “right” to abortion.

Award-winning journalist and mother of two Ashley Hinson flipped Iowa’s 1st District, where extremist Democrat Abby Finkenauer refused to protect even babies born alive during abortions.

Adoptive moms are represented as well, with Lisa McClain defeating a radical pro-abortion candidate in Michigan’s 10th District.

Also in Michigan, pro-life champion Michelle Fischbach unseated incumbent Rep. Collin Peterson. The 15-term Democrat’s record on life had deteriorated lately – another sign of how much the parties have changed. Michelle and her husband Scott, head of Minnesota Concerned Citizens for Life, have two children and are big supporters of pro-life pregnancy centers.

They are survivors of Roe v. Wade.

One of the most affecting personal stories belongs to Kat Cammack, the youngest Republican woman elected to Congress. In a powerful ad, Cammack explained the source of her deep pro-life convictions: Her own mother courageously chose life, defying the advice of doctors who wanted her to have an abortion due to her history of pregnancy complications. Cammack defeated a supporter of abortion giant Planned Parenthood and will never back down.

Susan B. Anthony List’s team couldn’t be more excited to welcome the incoming class of pro-life women to Washington. Their ascendancy represents a new day in politics – an achievement widely thought impossible at the time of SBA List’s founding.

It is a stunning rebuke to the old guard of pro-abortion women led by Nancy Pelosi and a formidable obstacle to House Democrats’ hopes of erasing decades of pro-life progress, including President Trump’s legacy. It also signals trouble ahead for Democrats’ deeply unpopular agenda in 2022 and beyond.

Finally, it proves life is winning in America and victory in this long, grueling battle is within our grasp. If that isn’t cause for celebration, I don’t know what is.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List. She serves as national co-chair of the Pro-Life Voices for Trump coalition and is the author of the book "Life is Winning."