On the abortion issue, a Republican-controlled House spells doom for the Women’s Health Protection Act, at least for the time being. President Biden and Pelosi, a fellow Catholic, placed a premium on passage of the radical pro-abortion legislation, which would overturn all state restrictions on the killing of unborn children.
Yet election night also brought crippling disappointments for the pro-life cause. By wide margins, voters approved pro-abortion ballot measures in California, Vermont, and Michigan. A pro-life ballot initiative did not succeed in Kentucky, and another was behind in Montana as of Wednesday morning.
In California, where 65% of voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution to protect abortion, Catherine Hadro, director of media relations for the No on Proposition 1 campaign, said that if voters had understood how extreme the measure was they would not have voted for it.
“The notion that a baby can be aborted for any reason up until the moment of birth is soundly rejected by voters, especially if the baby is healthy and the mother is in no danger,” Hadro cautioned in a statement early Wednesday. “And yet, this is precisely what Proposition 1 will allow.”
Hadro told CNA: “The battle now shifts to the courts and the legislature. Our coalition will fight all attempts to reinterpret rights or conform state law to what is now known as the nation’s most extreme abortion amendment.”
This year’s midterm elections took on heightened significance in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in a Mississippi abortion case in June that upended nearly a half-century of legalized abortion nationwide and freed states to regulate abortion.
While polling before the election found that voters were more concerned about inflation than abortion, a National Election Pool exit poll, conducted by Edison Research for CNN, found that 31% of voters said inflation was the most important issue to them, and 27% said that abortion was their top concern.
Katie Yoder contributed to this story.
Shannon Mullen is the Editor-in-Chief of CNA. He previously worked as a features writer, investigative reporter, and editor with the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press. He has received numerous national reporting awards and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Zelda Caldwell is News Editor at Catholic News Agency based in Washington, DC. She previously worked for Aleteia, as News and Culture editor.
Edie Heipel is the Political Correspondent for CNA's Washington, D.C. bureau. She previously worked in communications for Center for Renewing America, served in the Trump White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and has been a contributor to various outlets including The Federalist and The Charlotte Lozier Institute. She is a graduate of Wheaton College.