Each of the seven new Republican Senators are pro-life, a political shift that will likely ensure that pro-life legislation continues to pass Congress and make it more difficult to filibuster President Bush’s judicial appointments.

The biggest victory for pro-lifers was the defeat of the Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D, SD). Pro-life and pro-family former Congressman John Thune defeated the highest ranking elected Democrat in Washington. Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families said the reasons for Daschle’s defeat are simple: “his opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment, his unprecedented filibustering of President Bush’s judicial nominees, and the fact that his pro-abortion record finally caught up to him – all moral issues!” Throughout the campaign Thune hammered Daschle for being out of touch with South Dakota values in a state in which the majority want abortion banned.

Moral issues were also important in other races including Oklahoma and South Carolina where Dr. Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint won respectively. Other pro-lifers who won their seats for the Republicans included David Vitter (Louisiana), Mel Martinez (Florida), Johnny Isakson (Georgia) and Richard Burr (North Carolina). The social conservative vote also helped Jim Bunning narrowly hold onto his Senate seat in Kentucky despite serious campaign missteps.

Pro-family groups were excited about Vitter’s victory in Louisiana, who prevented a run-off election by garnering 50 per cent of the vote. (Under Louisiana’s election laws, if no candidate receives a majority of voters, the top two finishers run in a second election.) Michael Bowman, a political analyst with Concerned Women for America, said “David Vitter is a proven pro-family leader who has taken on the gambling industry [and] the abortion industry.”

There are two new Democratic senators, neither of whom are pro-life – Barack Obama who beat pro-life Republican Alan Keyes in Illinois and Ken Salazar who successfully portrayed himself as moderate on social issues to narrowly beat beer magnate Pete Coors in Colorado.

-Paul Tuns