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Republicans Must Not Stop Talking About Abortion

Los republicanos no deben dejar de hablar sobre el aborto

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ACCORDING to polls, the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning the Roe v. Wade ruling and establishing that the federal Constitution does not guarantee a right to abortion, has led to abortion becoming one of the top issues motivating voters heading into the November midterm elections. A Fox News poll last week shows that abortion is the second most motivating issue for voters (16%) after inflation (19%).

Moreover, according to a recent Pew survey, the significant increase in voter interest in the abortion issue is driven almost entirely by Democratic voters, which explains, in large part, why Republicans have been losing momentum in the polls. For the first time this year, Democrats are up in most generic polls that ask voters which party they will vote for in the next election. Given this new twist in the election campaign, the worst thing Republicans can do is to distance themselves from the issue, as some seem to want to do. Now is the time for them to stand firm in their defense of life and offer the people a clear vision of how they want to deal with this important issue. Voters favor leaders who take clear positions, not cowards.

It should be noted that, although the red wave has slowed down, the Republicans are still expected to retake the House, although they may end up with a smaller majority than expected. And, as for the Senate majority race, if until recently it was thought to be leaning towards the Republicans, now, analysts consider it to be unpredictable. The Democrats have been able to improve their competitive position for the elections, but they are still in a very bad position because the vast majority of the people disapprove of the performance of Biden and the Democrats in Congress.

The abortion issue has given new impetus to the Democrats because they have been able to use it to their own advantage. The people’s attention to this issue did not come about spontaneously. Since the Dobbs opinion was issued, the Democrats, with the help of the liberal biased press, have sought to position the issue in public opinion, directing millions of dollars in campaign ads to elevate the issue and excite their base, which up to this point had been rather discouraged by Biden’s failures.

Republicans, however, have failed to respond effectively to this political move by the Democrats. Quite a few are choosing to avoid the issue or taking ambiguous positions.  Several Republican congressional candidates, for example, have scrubbed their websites of references to their pro-life positions.

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Not talking about abortion also allows Democrats to define the public discussion of the issue in their favor. Democrats very effectively continue to insert the false narrative that Republicans oppose women’s rights and no one is really challenging them.

Republicans must come to their senses and address the issue with confidence and clarity. They must demonstrate that they are consistent with their principles and remain committed to defending life from conception. This is essential to enthuse their own party’s base, particularly those for whom this issue is a priority. Republicans cannot win if pro-life voters do not come out to vote.

Republicans must also offer public policy alternatives that contrast with the a la carte, unrestricted, late-term abortion policies that Democrats support and that are contrary to how Americans feel about the issue.  All polls show that a majority of Americans favor some form of restriction on abortion and oppose mid-term abortion.

In that regard, it would be a very good idea for them to embrace the bill just introduced by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham that would ban abortion after fifteen weeks nationwide, without preventing individual states from going further in their protection of the unborn. Democratic opposition to this legislation would be evidence of the Democrats’ extreme stance on abortion. It would change the national discussion of the issue, putting Democrats on the defensive by forcing them to explain why they oppose a ban on taking the life of a baby that has been in its mother’s womb for nearly four months and is already relatively well-formed.

Republicans can reverse the gains that Democrats have made in this campaign using the abortion issue. But they can only do so if they are courageous, if they do not waver in defense of the principles they have always stood for, if they fearlessly proclaim, as President Ronald Reagan did, that “we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are unfit to live and must be abandoned to abortion or infanticide.”

Alfonso Aguilar es de Senior VP and Political Director de El American, exjefe de la Oficina de Ciudadanía de los Estados Unidos durante la administración del presidente George W. Bush y presidente del Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles. // Alfonso Aguilar is the Senior VP and Political Director of El American and former head of the Office of United States Citizenship during the administration of President George W. Bush and president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.