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Abortion issues seemed left in the dust as economic concerns drove this year's election, but on Tuesday voters ousted several pro-life Democrats and ushered in fiscal conservatives who tend to oppose abortion.

As the names of defeated pro-life Democrats flashed across the screen Tuesday night, triumphant cheers erupted at Morton's Steakhouse, where staff and supporters of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBAL) had gathered to watch election returns.

SBAL, which works to elect pro-life women to office, typically supports pro-life members of both parties. But that largely changed this year after most pro-life Democrats voted for the federal healthcare bill that many abortion opponents say allows for federal funding of abortion.

Three of the four Democrats most heavily targeted by SBAL lost their seats, including Reps. Steve Driehaus (Ohio) and Kathy Dahlkemper (Penn.). Overall, 10 of 17 pro-life Democrats who voted for the healthcare bill were defeated on Tuesday, according to SBAL.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), said some seats formerly held by moderate Republicans are now being filled by more conservative Republicans. FRC gained attention in the last days of the campaign for its advertising against Joseph Cao—a Republican congressman from Louisiana who supported hate-crimes legislation and an effort to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on openly homosexual service members.

FRC ran ads against Cao even though his opponent, Democratic State Rep. Cedric Richmond, supports abortion rights. (Cao was one of the few incumbent Republican House members to be defeated by a Democrat Tuesday.) "Cao has repeatedly voted for extra protections for homosexuals at the cost of religious liberty," ...

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November 2010

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