More Pro-Life Dems Axed
For pro-life Democrats, it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad election day.
When Bart Stupak (D-MI) and his coalition of pro-life Democrats cast their vote for the final health care bill in the House, they were called turncoats by some, profiles in courage by others. Today, most of them have a new label: unemployed.
All told, three out of five members of the Stupak coalition will not return in January. Stupak and four others opted not to run for reelection. Alan Mollohan (WV-1) was defeated in the primary. Another sixteen lost in the general election yesterday.
The ones that retained their seats did so because they faced little serious opposition. Sanford Bishop (D, GA-2) was one exception. In August and early October, Bishop was viewed as fairly secure. Recent polls, however, had showed him trailing his opponent by five points. Bishop hung on last night, winning his south Georgia district.
Pro-life groups took aim at several of Stupak's coalition. The efforts paid off. Steve Driehaus(D, OH-1) and Kathleen Dahlkemper (D, PA-3) lost, as expected. James Oberstar (D, MN-8) was thought to be a stronger candidate, but he also lost. Jim Oberstar (D, MN-8) was the rare member of the Stupak coalition to win despite active campaigning against him by pro-life and pro-family groups such as CitizenLink.
But the losses of pro-life Democrats was sometimes unrelated to the health care vote. In fact, Democrats with rock solid pro-life voting records who also opposed the health care bill did worse than those in the Stupak coalition.
Such causalities from yesterday include:
– Bobby Bright (D, AL-2)
– James Marshall (D, GA-8)
– Ike Skelton (D, MO-4)
– Travis Childers (D, MS-1)
– Gene Taylor (D, MS-4)
– Lincoln Davis (D, TN-4)
In addition, Charles Melancon (D, LA-3) opted not to run. The pro-life Democrats remaining in the House after the election are
– Daniel Lipinski (D, IL-3),
– Douglas McIntyre (D, NC-7)
– Heath Shuler (D, NC-11)
– David Boren (D, OK-2)
In the Democratic caucus, there were (at most) 50 pro-life members, members who would be willing to cosponsor and vote for many pro-life bills. Starting in January, that number will be just 20. And of these, only a handful would be considered pro-life by national pro-life organizations.
Editor's note: See more details in the story posted on our website today.
This post has been updated to reflect that Charles Melancon is from Louisiana.