Pro-Life Groups Tell Republicans: Fight Back on Abortion and Stand Up for Unborn Babies

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Oct 18, 2022   |   6:50PM   |   Washington, DC

Pro-life leaders urged Republican lawmakers to speak strongly in defense of unborn babies’ right to life as the November midterms approach.

Democrats have been trying to portray the pro-life stance as a losing issue especially after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and states are allowed to ban abortions again. But polls consistently show Americans support strong legal protections for babies in the womb, and pro-life leaders are encouraging pro-life Republican candidates to stand strong in the midst of Democrats’ criticisms and false attacks.

Mallory Carroll, spokeswoman for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, told Politico that Republicans have an opportunity to expose how extreme Democrats’ position is on unborn babies’ rights and abortion.

“We’re not saying don’t talk about gas prices and the economy. Those are salient issues voters care deeply about,” Carroll said. “But pro-life Republicans must account for their policy positions on abortion. With pro-abortion Democrats holding rallies specifically to talk about abortion, pro-life Republicans have an opportunity to present a strong contrast to that.”

Democrat leaders want to legalize abortions for basically any reason up to birth and force taxpayers to pay for them. But a recent Marist poll found that just 36 percent of Americans believe abortions should be legal without any restrictions, and 73 percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions.

Other polls also show strong public opposition to taxpayer funding for abortions and late-term abortions, and support for laws that protect unborn babies from abortion after the first trimester or once their heart begins to beat. Americans overwhelmingly support parental consent for minors, too – something Democrats’ bill to “codify Roe” would get rid of.

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“What’s great about the life issue is it’s not like, ‘Oh this is going to be the golden ticket for Hispanic voters or women in the suburbs or Black voters.’ It’s that across all those demographics there’s a significant percentage of people for whom the Democratic policy positions are just too far and they can be persuaded,” Carroll told Politico. “There’s not one group in particular that we are reaching, it’s people that we’ve identified through the modeling that cuts across a broad blade.”

Democrats are banking on the abortion issue to win votes in November because their actions on the economy, crime, education and other issues have angered many Americans. But new polls suggest their strategy may not succeed.

Here’s more from the report:

[Pro-life leaders’ encouragement] comes amid signs that Democrats are losing their advantage with women despite an unrelenting focus on abortion ahead of the midterms. A New York Times/Siena poll released Monday showed women were evenly split when asked whether they’d be more likely to support the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate, erasing a 13-point advantage Democrats held in September.

GOP and Democratic strategists note that inflation and gas prices are likely contributing to those numbers — not people’s views on abortion — but they may provide a window for some Republicans to advance their abortion message without incurring political damage.

Pro-life leaders want Republican candidates to speak out more strongly about protecting unborn babies from abortion and helping mothers choose life.

“Any candidate is making a mistake thinking that they can hide from these issues. Crime is an issue whether you want to talk about it or not. Abortion is an issue whether you want to talk about it or not,” Kristi Hamrick, of Students for Life, told Politico. “It’s politically naive to think, especially in a post-Dobbs environment, that you’re going to ignore the issue of abortion.”

Pro-life advocates pointed to polls that show consistently strong support for a bill by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy across the U.S. Abortion activists and Democrats have bashed the legislation, but it is far from extreme. Most countries across the world protect unborn babies from abortion after 15 weeks, if not sooner.

Emphasizing pro-life efforts and legislation to help mothers and babies are important, too, pro-life leaders said. “… supporting paid parental leave, advocating for lactation rooms for nursing mothers, and providing maternity-supportive housing [is] a message they hope will appeal to middle-of-the-road voters,” according to Politico.

Gracie Skogman, legislative director of Wisconsin Right to Life, said it’s important for Republican candidates to counter the false claims that pro-lifers don’t care about women.

“We need to be in support of women,” she said. “I would say what we are seeing from pro-life or Republican candidates is maybe shying away from the intricacies of actual pro-life law and instead focusing on women and pregnancy resource centers. That, from our perspective, is the right thing to do.”

Currently, pro-abortion Democrats control the U.S. House and, narrowly, the U.S. Senate. Election experts predict Republicans will win back the House in November, but whether Democrats will maintain control of the Senate is uncertain.

Whoever wins the majority will determine the types of abortion legislation that Congress may pass in the near future, such as a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks on the pro-life side or taxpayer-funded abortions through all nine months of pregnancy on the pro-abortion side.