After the swell of election night results, one thing has become clear: abortion appears to be much more of a driving issue than Republicans anticipated.
But Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, contends the stifled red wave is proof that Republicans must go on “offense” on the issue of abortion to expose Democrats “as the true extremists,” seizing the moral high ground based on science and logic rather than cowering from the lefts’ poison-dipped arrows of propaganda.
Dannenfelser sent out a memo on Wednesday reflecting on the midterm elections and noting that “GOP pro-life candidates win in competitive races if they define their opponents as abortion extremists who support abortion on demand with NO limits, and contrast that with a clearly defined pro-life position centered around consensus such as pain-capable or heartbeat limits.”
“This must be the key takeaway for the GOP as we head into the 2024 presidential cycle, especially those eyeing a run for the White House,” she wrote.
She pointed to examples of candidates who “did this effectively and either have won or have a strong shot at winnings as races are settled,” including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator-election Ted Budd (R-NC), Senator-election J.D. Vance (R-OH), and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) among others.
“It’s especially worth highlighting governors who signed ambitious pro-life legislation into law and never flinched politically, despite running in competitive states,” she wrote.
- Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) signed a pain-capable law, won by 19.4 percent.
- Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) signed a heartbeat law, won by 25.6 percent.
- Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) signed a heartbeat law, won by 7.5 percent.
- Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) signed a heartbeat law and a trigger law with complete protections, won by 11.1 percent.
While she said there is “no doubt” the Dobbs decision caused a “political earthquake” and gave Democrats the opportunity to “motivate their depressed base,” the $391 million they spent on abortion-focused TV ads “did not prevail” against “candidates who went on offense.”
“While we have examples of pro-life GOP candidates who were prepared and went on offense, there are also examples of candidates who were not prepared and took the ostrich strategy: burying their heads in the sand and running from the issue, allowing their opponents to define them. A good example of this is Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania,” she wrote.
“The losing ostrich strategy was largely pushed by the inside-the-beltway consultant/strategist class, who urged candidates to totally ignore abortion and hope it went away,” she continued. “Given the Dobbs earthquake – that everyone knew for months was coming – the ostrich strategy was political malpractice.”
Dannenfelser concluded by delivering a “clear message for GOP presidential hopefuls:” that the upcoming 2024 presidential election must feature Republicans who are unafraid to stand for life.
She argued that the GOP must force Democrats to confront the reality of abortion and contrast Democrats’ robust support for unrestricted abortion access with “a strong GOP pro-life agenda center on national minimum protections for the unborn child and mothers either at the point in which they feel pain or when their heartbeat can be detected.”
“GOP primary candidates may have different views on what is achievable, and we welcome that debate – and even more so welcome the debate in the general election setting,” she ended.