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Pro-life women nearly double in the House as GOP chips away at Democrat majority

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U.S. Capitol |

As the definitive results of the 2020 presidential election remain uncertain, the number of pro-life women in the U.S. House of Representatives will likely double when the new Congress is sworn in next year.

The 117th Congress, set to begin on Jan. 3, will have at least 24 pro-life Republican women in the House of Representatives, a nearly twofold increase from the 13 Republican women who served in the 116th Congress.

Pro-life Republican women lead in a handful of other districts that have yet to be called. According to The Almanac of American Politics, the 112th Congress, which met from 2011-2013, had the highest number of Republican women on record: 24.

Eleven of the 13 pro-life Republican women who served in the House over the past two years sought re-election and all of them successfully beat their Democratic challengers.

Also, at least 13 additional pro-life women will be joining the House as freshmen members in 2021. 

Susan B. Anthony List, a leading grassroots pro-life activist organization that spent more than $52 million in its efforts to elect pro-life candidates in 2020, described the addition of the several pro-life women to the House as an "enormous advancement" of its mission and “a resounding victory for pro-life women everywhere."

Pro-life women in the 117th Congress
More than a dozen pro-life Republican women will be joining the House of Representatives this year, following their electoral victories in the 2020 election. |

“The surge of victorious pro-life women candidates in the U.S. House is a stunning blow to Nancy Pelosi and her pro-abortion agenda,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser in a statement. 

In an op-ed for Fox News, Penny Young Nance, president and CEO of the socially conservative activist group Concerned Women for America, explained that “the female victors in these districts are representing conservative women who live by our values, even if cancel culture seeks to silence our voices.”

According to Nance, women spoke out in the 2020 election "against the bankrupt ideologies of identity politics, socialist objectives and a radical abortion agenda that cares more about killing unborn babies than caring for women faced with unplanned pregnancies.”

Many of the new pro-life women that will be taking office next year replaced retiring incumbents in safe Republican districts.

Representative-elect Mary Miller will represent Illinois’ 15th Congressional District, the most Republican district in Illinois. According to Daily Kos Elections, which keeps track of presidential election results at the congressional district level, President Donald Trump won the district with 70.7% of the vote in 2016.

Representative-elect Lisa McClain will represent Michigan’s 10th Congressional District, which Trump won with 63.8% of the vote in 2016. Diana Harshbarger was elected to represent Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District, which Trump carried with 76.7% of the vote. Marjorie Taylor Greene will represent Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, where Trump received 75% of the vote in 2016.

Kat Cammack was elected to represent Florida’s 3rd Congressional District in the 117th Congress. Trump carried that district with 56.2% of the vote in 2016.

Another pro-life Representative-elect, Lauren Boebert, defeated sitting Republican Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., in the primary election. Boebert prevailed over her Democrat challenger in the general election in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, which Trump won with 52% of the vote in 2016.

Rep. Susan Brooks, one of the two pro-life Republican women who did not seek re-election in 2020, was replaced by another pro-life woman, Victoria Spartz. Spartz will represent Indiana’s 5th Congressional District, which Trump carried with 53.1% of the vote in 2016.

The remaining group of rising pro-life women Representatives defeated Democratic incumbents, many of whom were elected two years ago in the wave that enabled Democrats to take control of the House for the first time in eight years.

Salazar billboard
A billboard for Florida congressional candidate Maria Elvira Salazar |

Maria Elvira Salazar defeated first-term incumbent Democrat Rep. Donna Shalala in Florida’s 27th Congressional District, which Democrat Hillary Clinton carried with 58.5% of the vote in 2016. Shalala served as U.S. secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton. 

Trump improved substantially in Miami-Dade County, where the district is located. Salazar is one of two Republicans who defeated Democratic incumbents in Miami-area congressional districts.

In Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, Ashley Hinson will replace first-term Democrat Abby Finkenauer in a district that Trump won by over three percentage points in 2016. In Minnesota, Michelle Fischbach defeated longtime Democratic incumbent Collin Peterson in what was the most Republican district to be represented by a Democrat. Trump carried Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District by 31 points in 2016.

In New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, which Trump carried by 10.2 points in 2016, Yvette Herrell defeated first-term Democratic incumbent Xochitl Torres Small. Stephanie Bice defeated incumbent Democrat Kendra Horn in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, where Trump won by over 13 percentage points four years ago.

Nancy Mace
Nancy Mace was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina's 1st congressional district in 2020. |

Nancy Mace will represent South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District in the 117th Congress after defeating first-term Democrat Joe Cunningham. Trump won Mace’s district by over 13 percentage points in 2016.

As many House races remain uncalled, the number of Republican women in the House of Representatives could exceed the record of 24.

Pro-life Republican women have big leads in two New York State congressional races.

In New York’s 11th Congressional District, preliminary results from Politico show Republican Nicole Malliotakis leading first-term Democrat Max Rose by over 15 percentage points with 95% of precincts reporting. Trump won the Staten Island-based district by nearly 10 points in 2016.

In New York’s 22nd Congressional District, former Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney leads first-term Democrat Anthony Brindisi by 12 points with 100% of precincts in. Trump won the district, which includes the upstate New York city of Binghamton, by more than 15 points in 2016.

Pro-life Republican Beth Van Duyne leads her Democratic challenger by a slim 1.3-point margin in Texas’s 24th Congressional District, with 100% of precincts reporting. Trump won the district by a margin of 6.2 points in 2016.

Pro-life Republican women also currently lead their Democratic challengers in two California congressional districts. With 98% of precincts reporting, Republican Young Kim leads Democratic incumbent Gil Cisneros by one percentage point in California’s 39th Congressional District. Trump lost the district to Hillary Clinton by 8.6 percentage points. 

With 100% of precincts reporting, Republican Michelle Park Steel leads incumbent Democrat Harley Rouda by 1.8 percentage points in California’s 48th Congressional District, which Clinton carried by a margin of 1.7 percentage points in 2016. In both California districts, mail ballots could change the outcome in favor of the Democrats. Several Republicans led their Democratic challengers in 2018 only for the Democrats to overtake them when all the mail ballots were counted.

In Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, pro-life Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks trails Democrat Rita Hart by 163 votes, with 100% of precincts reporting. Considering the close margin, it is possible that Miller-Meeks could prevail.

The roster of pro-life women joining the 117th Congress is just one part of the overall battle for the House that continues to take shape. As Politico explained, Democrats will likely keep the House but are unlikely to expand on their majority. 

Currently, Politico has called 215 House races for Democratic candidates and 196 races for the Republicans, with 24 races too close to call. A total of 218 seats are needed for a majority.

Democrats lead in seven of the uncalled races while Republicans are currently leading in 16. The last remaining race is heading to a runoff, where the two candidates who received the highest share of the vote on Election Day will face off.

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