The Pro-Life Freshmen on the March

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 24 2011 1:36 PM

The Pro-Life Freshmen on the March

I stopped briefly by the March for Life, the annual anti-abortion rights rally held on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade . Of the most interest to me: What the dozens of pro-life Republicans who took over suburban, blue districts would say.

They showed up, and they were not shy. Rep. Bobby Schilling, who defeated Democrat Phil Hare in a district that had been drawn for a moderate Democrat, proudly told the crowd that he had 10 children, and that he decided to run for office after two of his daughters cried at the news of Obama's 2008 victory.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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"When somebody tells you they support the right to choose, finish the sentence!" said Schilling. "It's the right to choose to kill unborn babies."

Rep. Joe Walsh, who unexpectedly won a tony district in the Chicago suburbs that had been trending Democratic, reminded the crowd that he was "one of four new pro-life members from the president's home state."

Rep. Ann-Marie Buerkle, who won an upstate New York seat in another close upset, told the crowd she was honored to be there after "30 years in the pro-life movement."

For some reason, coverage of the GOP's 2010 wins spotlighted the economic libertarian streak of candidates and soft-peddled the fact that almost every candidate was solidly, Henry Hyde-honoring pro-life. Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List was at the rally, though not backstage with the various candidates she'd helped to elect. She pointed out that this is arguably the most pro-life Congress since Roe .

"We have 17 pro-life women," said Dannenfelser. "I can't remember ever having so many. And I count each one of them as three members!"

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.