(NRLC) There is no doubt that the 2024 elections are underway. You have probably already seen campaign launches, heard the first attack ads, received campaign emails, and you may have tuned in for the Republican presidential debates. While we are energized and motivated to oust pro-abortion President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and win pro-life majorities in the House and Senate next year, we cannot afford to overlook the important races happening across the country this year in 2023! Here are some of the races we are watching closely:
Pro-abortion Governor Andy Beshear (D) is up for re-election on November 7, 2023. He is being challenged by pro-life Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R), who is endorsed by National Right to Life and Kentucky Right to Life PAC. Beshear supports a policy of unlimited abortion for any reason until birth, and he supports using Kentucky tax dollars to pay for abortions. Underscoring the extremism of his position, Beshear vetoed a bill to protect unborn babies from late abortions when they can feel pain.
By contrast, Cameron supports protections for unborn children and their mothers, and he opposes the use of tax dollars to pay for abortions. Cameron has been outspoken in his support for pregnancy help centers and the vital services they provide for women in need. As attorney general, he defended in court several pro-life measures passed by the Kentucky Legislature, including the law protecting living unborn babies from gruesome dismemberment abortions. The political arm of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, recently launched a six-figure ad campaign attacking Cameron’s pro-life stance. If elected, Cameron would make history as the first Black governor of Kentucky and the first Black Republican Governor since the Reconstruction Era.
For more information on Kentucky elections, see Kentucky Right to Life PAC: https://www.kyrighttolifevictorypac.org/
With Governor John Bel Edwards (D) unable to run again due to term limits, the gubernatorial race in Louisiana finds Democrats in an uphill battle against Republicans eager to regain control in a state that voted for Trump in the 2020 presidential election by nearly 20 points. According to most public polls, the two leading candidates in Louisiana’s jungle primary are pro-life Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) and pro-abortion Secretary of Transportation Shawn Wilson (D). As attorney general, Landry has boldly defended Louisiana’s protections for unborn children and their mothers. On his campaign website, Landry also highlights his 100% voting record with National Right to Life while he served in Congress.
By contrast, Wilson opposes the protections passed by the Louisiana Legislature for unborn children and their mothers. Unlike Governor Edwards, a pro-life Democrat who signed numerous bills to protect unborn children and to support pregnant women, Wilson’s position mirrors that of the national Democratic Party. “Obviously, we are the pro-choice party and that’s more important now than ever,” stated Katie Bernhardt, chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “People were compromising on the issue before, but now aren’t willing to do so anymore – and shouldn’t have to.”
The Louisiana primary is scheduled for Saturday, October 14th. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote recipients move on to the November 18th general election, regardless of partisan affiliation. For more information on Louisiana elections, check out Louisiana Right to Life: https://prolifelouisiana.org/
The gubernatorial race in Mississippi is a showdown between incumbent Governor Tate Reeves (R) and challenger Brandon Presley (D), a member of the Mississippi Public Service Commission and the second cousin of music icon Elvis Presley. Both candidates are pro-life.
As governor, Reeves has signed into law numerous protections for unborn children and their mothers. Thanks in part to his efforts, Mississippi has some of the nation’s strongest legal protections for unborn children and their mothers. In 2022, Reeves also signed a law authorizing a $3.5 million tax credit for businesses and individuals that donate to pregnancy help centers in Mississippi. In 2023, that tax credit was expanded to $10 million. Bucking pressure from his party, Presley has not backed away from his pro-life stance. In fact, Presley’s first campaign ad touted his pro-life views. He has stated that he will not alter the protective measures currently in effect in Mississippi.
In the race for Lieutenant Governor, pro-life incumbent Delbert Hosemann (R) will face off against business consultant Ryan Grover (D). Hosemann is endorsed by National Right to Life and Mississippi Right to Life.
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch (R) is also up for reelection. Nationally recognized as the attorney general who brought the Dobbs case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Fitch has a strong pro-life record. She is endorsed by National Right to Life and Mississippi Right to Life. Her opponent, Democrat Greta Martin, supports a policy of unlimited abortion for any reason, and she supports the use of tax dollars to pay for abortions. She is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates (PPSEA), the regional affiliate of the nation’s largest abortion provider.
The general election in Mississippi is scheduled for November 7, 2023, with a runoff election to be held on November 28th for races in which no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.
On November 7, 2023, Ohioans will vote on Issue 1, officially titled “the Right to Make Reproductive Decisions Including Abortion Initiative,” which would enshrine unlimited abortion in the Ohio Constitution. If this pro-abortion ballot initiative were to succeed, Ohio’s existing protections for unborn children and their mothers would be invalidated. Ohio Right to Life has called Issue 1 “the most dangerous initiative Ohio has ever faced.” On their website, Ohio Right to Life emphasizes, “The seriousness of this ballot initiative cannot be overstated. If this is passed, Ohio’s legislature could not pass any future laws to protect the preborn. The abortion issue would be ripped out of our hands permanently.”
Vote NO on Issue 1 by Tuesday, November 7, 2023. The last day to register to vote is October 10th. Early voting begins on October 11th. For more information: https://ohiolife.org/ballotinitiative/
Early voting is already underway in the Commonwealth of Virginia in elections for the State Senate and House of Delegates that could have a huge impact on the status of abortion in the state. Currently, Democrats hold a razor-thin majority over Republicans in the State Senate (22-18) while Republicans hold a slim majority in the House of Delegates (49-46 with 5 vacancies).
If victorious in November, pro-abortion Democrats will continue to block commonsense protections for unborn children and their mothers and push for a constitutional amendment to enshrine unlimited abortion until birth in Virginia. Democrats are counting on the abortion issue to galvanize their base. Axios reported, “Although Virginia Democrats will also touch on the economy, education and gun violence, (House Democratic Caucus Leader Don) Scott said, they’re betting that abortion is ultimately going to keep driving people to the polls.”
The final day to vote in Virginia is Tuesday, November 7th. For more information and ways you can get involved, contact the Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL): www.vshl.org.
On November 21, 2023, voters in Utah’s Second Congressional District will have the opportunity to vote in a special election to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of pro-life Congressman Chris Stewart (R). Celeste Maloy, a pro-life Republican who previously served as chief of staff for Congressman Stewart, will face pro-abortion State Senator Kathleen Riebe (D). Maloy supports protections for unborn children and their mothers and opposes the use of tax dollars to pay for abortions. She is endorsed by National Right to Life. By contrast, Riebe has a pro-abortion voting record in the Utah Senate and was previously endorsed by Planned Parenthood Council of Utah, a local branch of the nation’s largest abortion provider.
The district leans Republican (Stewart was re-elected by a 25-point margin in 2022 and President Trump carried the district in 2020 with 56% of the vote) but given the razor-thin majority that pro-life Republicans hold in the U.S. House, we should take no seat for granted!
Tweet This: There are important election races happening across the country this year in 2023 with regard to the life issue
On November 7, 2023, voters in Rhode Island’s First Congressional District will vote in a special election to fill the vacancy left by pro-abortion Congressman David Cicilline (D)’s resignation in May. In the September primary, Democrats nominated Gabe Amo, the deputy director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs under President Biden, while Republicans chose Marine veteran Gerry Leonard.
Amo supports a policy of unlimited abortion for any reason until birth and supports the use of tax dollars to pay for abortions. He has even called for the repeal of the longstanding Hyde Amendment, which prevents taxpayer funding of abortion in many federal programs and is estimated to have saved the lives of over 2.5 million Americans since it was first enacted in 1976. By contrast, when asked his position on abortion, Leonard told NBC 10 News, “I absolutely believe in the sanctity of life. I do not believe taxpayers ought to be funding abortions.”
The district leans heavily Democratic, but anything can happen under the unusual circumstances of special elections. Upsets can only happen if we turn out and vote regardless of what the polls and pundits tell us. Early voting begins on October 16th. For more information and ways you can get involved in Rhode Island, get in touch with Rhode Island Right to Life: https://rirtl.org/
Pennsylvania and Wisconsin
On November 7th, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will hold elections for their state Supreme Court and other judicial offices. The outcome of these races could very well determine the fate of protections for unborn children and their mothers in these states. For more information and ways to get involved in Pennsylvania, contact the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation: www.paprolife.org. For Wisconsin, reach out to Wisconsin Right to Life: www.wrtl.org.
Editor's note: Karen Cross is Political Director for national Right to Life and Andrew Bair is Political and Communications Assistant. This article was published by National Right to Life News and is reprinted withe permission.