A resolution was introduced at the Republican National Committee this week to address the “strategy of silence” on abortion taken by Republican candidates, CNN reported. Delaware National Committeewoman Ellen Barrosse drafted the Resolution on Republican Pro-Life Strategy, because “Not talking about it has not worked well for us. Not responding has not worked well for us. It's a conversation the party has to have.”
Certainly, the seventy pieces of legislation passed in 2013 limiting or restricting access to abortion don't send a clear enough message to voters. Kristen Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the RNC, hopes the resolution will help the GOP “positively promote our social agenda using facts.” The Republican party has an interesting history with facts, but hopefully this resolution will also help candidates distinguish between facts and things that “aren't intended to be factual statements” when it comes to reproductive healthcare issues.
More on the Resolution on Republican Pro-Life Strategy and the importance of Republican candidates speaking out against abortion below the jump. The Resolution is focused mainly on combating the War on Women rhetoric that became widely popular over the last few years. As the Resolution states,
The Democrats have waged a deceptive “War on Women” attack against Republican pro-life candidates, demonizing them and manipulating American voters.
While some might argue that the War on Women language arose out of three record-breaking years of abortion restrictions across the country, outpacing the number of such laws passed in the decade previous; the dismissal of rape and pregnancy resulting from sexual assault by GOP candidates in 2012; or the tendency of GOP talking heads to call women “sluts” when they argue for contraceptive coverage, it seems Barrosse and Kukowski have the real answer. Republicans have been allowing Democrats to define them through sharing these examples with the general public, which was a key tactical error. The GOP could have shot back by pointing out the many ways in which Democrats support access to reproductive services, including abortion. Thankfully, the Resolution calls on the RNC to do just that:
Staying silent fails to alert voters to the Democrats' extreme pro-abortion stances, which voters are repelled by.
The Resolution includes a list of statistics for candidates to rely upon when confronted with War on Women rhetoric, including support for parental and spousal consent laws. Luckily, since many Republicans – like those in the Texas State House – don't view marital rape or incest as valid exceptions for restrictions on access to abortion, neither of those issues should present problems in relying on such policies to argue that Republicans are actually pro-women.
Seven out of ten Americans support abortion access, according to a recent poll, the highest level of support found by that poll since it started tracking the issue in 1989. The Resolution wisely keeps this statistic off its list of facts. Instead, it focuses on issues such as “partial-birth abortion,” which is a great example of pro-life strategy and certainly should be included in this next step forward for the GOP. A medically incorrect term coined by the National Right to Life Committee in 1995 in hopes of increasing support for pro-life policies, “partial birth abortion” – and the 64% of Americans who support a ban on the procedure – is proof that if the GOP really puts their mind to it, they can do anything.
The Resolution could leave readers slightly uncomfortable, because it hints to trouble in paradise. Hopefully, this Resolution can help the parents of the GOP straighten it out.
Pro-life Republicans should fight back against deceptive rhetoric regardless of those in the Republican Party who encourage them to stay silent; Candidates who stay silent on pro-life issues do not identify with key voters, fail to alert voters to the Democrats' extreme pro-abortion stances, and have lost their elections.
Yes, it is certainly the GOP's stubborn silence on their opposition to abortion and that caused so many candidates to lose in 2012. Perhaps if Mitt Romney had just been more clear in his aversion to abortion as a procedure we wouldn't have seen the largest gender gap in the history of Gallup polling in the 2012 presidential election.
Perhaps inspired by the Resolution, Mike Huckabee took a stand today at the RNC meeting to speak precisely to the deceptive nature of the War on Women rhetoric. Instead, Huckabee said, Republicans are fighting a “war for women.”
And if the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it, let's take that discussion all across America because women are far more than Democrats have made them to be. And women across America have to stand up and say, Enough of that nonsense.
If Barrosse and her co-sponsors get their way, the 2014 election cycle should offer plenty more opportunities for Republicans like Huckabee to renounce their silence on reproductive justice. Women across the country will finally know what Republicans think they should and shouldn't do with their bodies. Enough of that nonsense, indeed.