Republicans Need to Go on Offense, Expose Democrats’ Abortion Extremism

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 10, 2022   |   1:12PM   |   Washington, DC

With the midterm elections now over, one pro-life group says pro-life candidates who performed the best in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade were not ones who hide their views but rather who stood on pro-life principle and exposed their Democrat oponents’ extremism.

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America says canddiates like Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and J.D. Vance of Ohio were “articulate” and “prepared” when it comes to abortion. They didn’t back down on their pro-life views and they discussed how their opponents supported abortions up to birth.

The group said Rep. Ted Budd of North Carolina, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and others were examples of the right kind of pro-life strategy on abortion issues.

The pro-life group’s president Marjorie Dannenfelser said some candidates misfired on abortion “because they hoped the issue would go away” and that led to circumstances where there was a lack of support and energy from pro-life advocates.

“We have a popular position,” Dannenfelser said, citing polling data showing large support for a 15-week ban, “but no leadership at the top.”

These candidates “weren’t prepared or didn’t care to prepare,” said Frank Cannon, political strategist for the organization. Cannon went on to claim advising the “ostrich” or “opossum strategy” — dodging concrete answers for fear of upsetting voters across the aisle — was borderline political malpractice.

Citing Vance’s campaign, Dannenfelser said, “He answered directly, and he spent some money on it.”

During his debate with Tim Ryan, Vance condemned abortion — particularly late-term abortions.

“I am pro-life. We need a minimum federal standard. We should not be aborting babies who can feel pain, who are fully formed,” he said.

“I was raised by a woman, the woman who saved my life,” Vance said, according to a RNC video from the debate. “My mamaw was … an old-school Democrat who believed abortion should be safe, legal and rare. That’s not Congressman Ryan’s view.

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“He voted for a piece of legislation that would have overturned Roe and required abortion-on-demand at 40 weeks for fully elective reasons,” he continued.

Ron DeSantis also didn’t shy away from pro-life issues.

DeSantis spoke about the value of unborn babies while debating his Democrat opponent Monday, saying “everybody counts.”

When asked about abortion, the Republican governor recalled the story of a poor Jamaican woman who nearly went through with an abortion 40 years ago. DeSantis said the woman was urged to have an abortion and even went to her appointment, but she chose life for her unborn daughter instead, according to an RNC Research video from the debate.

“I think about that because a few months ago I appointed her daughter to be the first Jamaican-American justice in the history of the Florida Supreme Court,” DeSantis said. “I just think we’re better when everybody counts. I understand not everyone is going to be born in perfect circumstances, but I would like to see everybody have a shot.”

The governor said he is proud of the pro-life law that he signed in April to ban abortions after 15 weeks. Pro-life leaders estimate the law will save thousands of babies’ lives every year.

DeSantis contrasted his pro-life position with the abortion extremism of his opponent, saying Crist, a former congressman, supports taxpayer-funded abortions up to birth.

“Charlie Crist opposes [a 15-week ban] even though the baby is fully formed, has a heartbeat, can feel pain and can suck their thumb,” DeSantis said. “He also supports sex-selective abortion, which is used to discriminate against little girls. He supports dismemberment abortions where they literally will tear the baby limb from limb, and he supports taxpayer funding of abortions all the way up to birth. And that is wrong.”

And Rubio took his opponent Val Demings to task for abortions up to birth.

“Demings voted with Pelosi to allow radical abortions, even at the moment of birh,” he said in ads that exposed her radical views.

Rubio said the abortion issue is a difficult one for many Americans, but he believes in “the right of an unborn, innocent human being to live.”

“My opponent will not tell you which abortions should be illegal,” Rubio said at an event Thursday in Davie, Florida. “The reason why she can’t is you can’t have 100 percent from Planned Parenthood and 100 percent from NARAL and not believe in abortion on demand, taxpayer-funded, at any point in a pregnancy. At any point.”

In contrast, SBA indicated Mehmet Oz shied away from pro-life issues and had a murky stance that confused and put off pro-life voters.

Oz’s failure to capture a Pennsylvania Senate seat is due, in part, to his refusal to position on abortion in a “mature, deliberative, and principled manner,” Dannenfelser noted.

“Candidates who conversely adopt the ostrich strategy, which is putting their head in the sand and hoping the reality goes away, or the possum strategy, which is to pretend dead and hope nobody notices your body is lying there, they lose,” Dannenfelser added. “And I think that our candidate in Pennsylvania is an example.”

Dannenfelser said that Oz, who conceded the race Wednesday morning, took political advice from leadership in Washington, D.C., which reportedly urged Oz and fellow candidates to pretend the abortion issue did not exist and avoid the topic as much as possible.

“There should not be involvement from the federal government in how states decide their abortion decisions,” Oz said in late October, when asked whether there should be a federal ban on abortion. “As a physician, I’ve been in the room when there’s some difficult conversations happening. I don’t want the federal government involved with that, at all.”

“Define who you are, define who they are, exploit that contrast, it works every time,” Dannenfelser insisted. “But instead they engaged in what is really political malpractice and that is to advise the ostrich or the possum strategy or all sorts of other analogies which lead to a dysfunctional political environment, one in which those contrasts can’t be made. And the positive contrast can’t be leveraged into marginal wins at polls.”