Will the New Congress Be Pro-Choice?
For the first time since the 1994 "Republican revolution," the Senate will have a "pro-choice" majority, although it remains under GOP control, Women's Enews reports. "[W]e now have a clear pro-choice majority in the Senate," Dempsey said. Monica Hobbs, federal legislative counsel at Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, added that the new
Senate will have 54 abortion-rights supporters and 46 abortion-rights opponents, if Maria Cantwell (D) holds on to defeat Sen. Slade Gorton (R) in Washington. However, if Gore wins the presidency, running mate Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) would leave the Senate, and Connecticut Gov. John Rowland, a Republican, would name Lieberman's replacement. The current Senate has 50 abortion-rights supporters, including 32 "solidly pro-choice" members and 18 members with mixed records, Hobbs said (Women's Enews, 11/9). According to
National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League analysis, the new Senate will consist of 34 abortion-rights backers, 18 with mixed records, and 47 abortion-rights opponents, pending the results of the race between Cantwell and Gorton (NARAL release, 11/8). Hobbs also said that the House will have at least 139 abortion-rights backers and 77 members with mixed records, pending the outcome of several races, although it remains under Republican control. According to Hobbs, the current House has 136 "solidly pro-choice" members and 82 with mixed records. "The fact that the number of mixed-record members has dropped is essential," she said (Women's Enews, 11/9).