Filibuster debate reveals abortion votes in the Senate to be on a knife’s edge (and what you can do to help tip the balance)

Last November, Americans – including a disproportionate number of Catholics – united to elect one of the most pro-life House of Representatives since Roe v. Wade, arguably the most pro-life House in a generation.

In the U.S. Senate, things did not fair as well, partly because only a third of Senators come up for election every two years, but the entire House of Representatives is reelected every two years. At any rate: a majority of Senators still support abortion on demand.

But pro-abortion groups are still worried. Ben Smith at Politico writes that groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL are concerned that procedural modifications to the Filibuster rule could result in pro-life bills and amendments passed in the House could begin to slip through the Senate as well:

“[A] staffer for a major abortion rights groups said they’re raising concerns to Senate offices on the question, and specifically on what impact the requirement that Senators actually stand there and talk would have on the current informal standoff on abortion-related issues.

“Our main concern is that traditionally, out of the filibuster, an automatic 60-vote threshold has emerged on abortion isues,” said the staffer, noting that as a matter of informal Senate rules, no abortion-related bill or amendment proceeds without that supermajority support.

“After the November 2 elections, and looking at the trajectoryy on this issue, it’s really important that the automatic 60-vote threshold on abortion amendments is preserved,” the staffer said, anticipating “a litany of amendments undermining women’s access that are coming out fo the House.”

“We’re going to need the Senate to be able to beat back attacks,” the staffer said.

In other words, pro-abortion groups are worried that they have enough votes and power in the Senate to filibuster pro-life legislation, but not if the procedural rules are changed.

Of course, even if the House and Senate did agree to pro-life measures, we can still expect our pro-abortion President to veto them. We still have a long way to go before we have a truly pro-life Washington DC making laws for the rest of the country.

But still, the pro-abortion side is worried. And that’s always a good thing for the unborn.


There are two ways we can encourage our representatives in Congress to defend the unborn.

The first is the HR 217, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Pence which will deny federal funding to Planned Parenthood (Creative Minority Report has more).

The second is HR 51111 (which Cardinal DiNardo has endorsed – read the PDF here) which will begin to remedy the serious problems posed by Obamacare, specifically the new funding streams it establishes for federal dollars to go towards abortions and abortion providers.

Visit this website and enter your zip code to find your representatives and ask them if they have signed on to these two bills yet. Make your voice count for the unborn!

Once these two bills have passed the House of Representatives, we can begin working on the Senate to take them up and put them to a vote, filibuster or no filibuster.



  • Tom McCarthy

    In other words, you’re LOSING. Especially when pro-life activists help nominate Sarah Palin in 2012, then you’ll lose in a landslide.

    Latest poll. Obama defeats Palin in a landslide, 56-30.

    Roe v. Wade forever.

    • Brian C

      Palin will not be the Republican nominee in 2012. The 2012 general election will be competitive.

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  • JohnE

    Unfortunately my reps and senators are all abortion-lovers.

  • CDNowak

    Has the Pitts bill (HR 5111, 111th) been re-introduced?



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