Only 1% of Catholic Democrats in Congress Pro-Life, vs. 94% of Republican Catholics
WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to statistics compiled by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), 94 percent of Republican Congressional representatives who identify as Catholic have a pro-life voting record, whereas only 1 percent of Democratic Catholics in Congress have such a record.
Of the 82 Catholic Republicans in Congress, 77 Republican representatives have voted consistently pro-life (from 68-100 percent) and 3 have a mixed record (34-67 percent). 1 has voted consistently pro-abortion (89 percent), Rep. Richard Hanna of New York. The representatives with mixed records are Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) with a 63 percent pro-life record, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) with 40 percent, and Rep. John Katko (N.Y.) with 60 percent.
Of the 86 Catholic Congressional Democrats, the sole representative with a pro-life voting record is Rep. Madeline Bordallo of Guam with 100 percent. Two have mixed records, Rep. Dan Lipinski (Ill.) with 63 percent and Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) with 56 percent. The remaining 83 Democratic Catholic Congressional representatives have a 66-100 percent pro-abortion record.
These statistics are compiled by the NRLC based on their assessment of whether a given bill before the House is “pro-life” and the subsequent record of Congressional votes. Non-voting delegates from outlying territories are not counted. The current NRLC “scorecards” for House and Senate can be viewed here.
The current political climate in America is a volatile one for the pro-life cause. The ideological division displayed in the NRLC statistics makes passing pro-life legislation a difficult battle, at a time when more than twenty abortion-related bills are currently waiting on a vote in both the House and Senate. The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has left the conservative party in the Supreme Court weak, with a number of important pro-life cases under review; and above all, the looming presidential election will have a dramatic effect on pro-lifers’ political efforts, positive or negative.
Monday night saw the first of the presidential debates for the November 2016 election, between Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Clinton has sided definitively with the Democratic Party on abortion, declaring it a “fundamental human right.” Meanwhile, Trump has emerged as a the pro-life candidate, at first confusing voters with the statement “Planned Parenthood does good things” but over the course of the campaign declaring that he would defund Planned Parenthood, that he opposed abortion, and most recently indicating his willingness to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The outcome of the election will have a major effect on the attempts of House and Senate pro-life blocs to push for reform.