Republicans have won several unexpected races in the House of Representatives, the House will remain under Democratic control, but with a smaller majority than it previously held.
Control of the Senate is expected to come down to January runoff elections for both Georgia seats. While Republicans are expected to hold 50 seats in the Senate, they will lose Senate control if both Georgia seats are picked up by Democrats in January, because Harris, as vice president, would become a tie-breaking vote.
Biden pledged during his campaign to roll back bans on foreign aid to groups promoting or performing abortions, and to rescind religious liberty protections enjoyed by groups who object to the federal contraceptive insurance mandate- both things that can be done by executive order. But the Biden campaign also pledged to enshrine abortion protections into federal law and to pass far-reaching gender identity protections into law - those measures will be unlikely to be enacted if Republicans control the Senate.
Before the election, House speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged to abandon the Hyde Amendment, a longstanding prohibition on federal funding of abortion. It remains to be seen whether that effort will be stopped in the next round of federal budget bills. Biden supported the Hyde Amendment until the 2019 Democratic primary, when, facing pressure from other presidential hopefuls, he said he had come to oppose the measure.
The Trump administration was widely praised by U.S. bishops for enacting religious liberty protections, and promoting measures restricting abortion and the federal funding of abortion clinics. Trump also garnered praise among pro-lifers for his appointment of Catholic justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Trump also faced criticism from the bishops for restricting the number of refugee and asylum seekers seeking entry into the U.S., and for his use of the federal death penalty.