First on CNN: GOP urges candidates to stand ground on abortion
Anti-abortion supporters and pro-abortion rights supporters crowd into the rotunda of the Texas capitol, Monday, July 1, 2013, in Austin, Texas.
January 21st, 2014
12:09 PM ET
6 months ago

First on CNN: GOP urges candidates to stand ground on abortion

Washington (CNN) – A faction of conservatives will introduce a resolution at this week's meeting of the Republican National Committee urging GOP candidates to speak up about abortion and respond forcefully against Democratic efforts to paint them as anti-woman extremists.

The "Resolution on Republican Pro-Life Strategy," drafted by Delaware National Committeewoman Ellen Barrosse and co-sponsored by 15 other RNC members, urges the party organization to "support Republican pro-life candidates who fight back against Democratic deceptive 'war on women' rhetoric by pointing out the extreme positions on abortion held by Democratic opponents."

The language of the resolution, provided to CNN by Barrosse, cites polling data showing majority opposition to late-term abortions and support for parental consent laws.

"The Republican National Committee urges all Republican pro-life candidates, consultants, and other national Republican Political Action Committees to reject a strategy of silence on the abortion issue when candidates are attacked with 'war on women' rhetoric," the resolution reads.

Barrosse said she wrote the resolution, in part, because GOP candidates like presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli failed to defend themselves against a barrage of "war on women" attacks unleashed by Democrats in 2012 and 2013.

She said Republicans who oppose abortion have an obligation to confront the hot button issue during their campaigns, rather than hope it disappears.
"Not talking about it has not worked well for us," Barrosse told CNN in an interview. "Not responding has not worked well for us. It's a conversation the party has to have."

The 168-member RNC is gathering this week in Washington to huddle on party strategy and vote on a series of rules changes that will affect the 2016 presidential nomination process, proposals that were reported by CNN last year. The meeting also happens to coincide with the annual March for Life, an anti-abortion demonstration that some RNC members, including party chairman Reince Priebus, are expected to join.

The new abortion language will be introduced Wednesday at a session of the RNC's resolutions committee, and may face some changes before it moves on to the full committee for a Friday vote.

Asked about the resolution, RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski called it "one of the first steps for the GOP to start taking back messaging on this false war on women."

"It provides guidance on messaging, on how to do that, and how we can positively promote our social agenda using facts," she said.

Read the full text of the RNC resolution below:

RESOLUTION ON REPUBLICAN PRO-LIFE STRATEGY

Whereas, The Democrats have waged a deceptive "War on Women" attack against Republican pro-life candidates, demonizing them and manipulating American voters;

Whereas, The Republican Party is proud to stand up for the rights of the unborn and believe all Americans have an unalienable right to life as stated in The Declaration of Independence;

Whereas, Pro-life Republicans should fight back against deceptive rhetoric regardless of those in the Republican Party who encourage them to stay silent;

Whereas, 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;

Whereas, According to the extensive polling conducted by Gallup since 1975, many Republican stances regarding abortion garner at least 60 % support from the public and across the political spectrum:

· 87% support informed-consent laws about certain possible risks of the abortion procedure;
· 80% support banning abortion during the 3rd trimester;
· 71% support parental consent laws;
· 69% support imposing a 24-hour wait period before an abortion;
· 64% of Americans support banning abortion during the 2nd trimester;
· 64% support banning partial-birth abortion;
· 64% support spousal notification laws that require the husband to be simply notified if his wife seeks an abortion;

Whereas, Staying silent fails because this strategy allows Democrats to define the Republican brand and prevents the Republican Party from taking advantage of widely supported pro-life positions listed above to attract traditional and new values voters; and

Whereas, Staying silent fails to alert voters to the Democrats' extreme pro-abortion stances, which voters are repelled by; therefore let it be

RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee condemns the Democrats' deceptive "war on women" rhetoric;

RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee will support Republican pro-life candidates who fight back against Democratic deceptive "war on women" rhetoric by pointing out the extreme positions on abortion held by Democratic opponents;

RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee will not support the strategy of Republican pro-life candidates who stay silent in the face of such deceptive rhetoric; and,

RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee urges all Republican pro-life candidates, consultants, and other national Republican Political Action Committees to reject a strategy of silence on the abortion issue when candidates are attacked with "war on women" rhetoric.

Chief Sponsor: Ellen Barrosse, NCW, DE

Co-Sponsors:
Debbie Joslin, NCW, AK
Ed Martin, Chairman, MO
Morton Blackwell, NCM, VA
Kathy Hayden, NCW, VA
Donna Cain, NCW, OR
Solomon Yue, NCM, OR
Demetra DeMonte, NCW, IL
Melody Potter, NCW, WV
Kris Warner, NCM, WV
Ron Philips, Chairman, DC
Pat Longo, NCW, CT
Bruce Ash, NCM, AZ
Steve Scheffler, NCM, IA
Dave Agema, NCM, MI
Robin Armstrong, NCM, TX


Filed under: Abortion • RNC
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. JohnRJohnson

    Polls on this issue are very misleading. If a polls asks respondents, "Do you support abortion?" a lot of responders will answer "no" because nobody is actually pro-abortion. On the other hand, if the poll asks "Do you think that abortion should be legal", most people will answer "yes" because they believe women should have control over this issue rather than government. The bottom line is, this issue has already been litigated - more than 35 years ago. Abortion is legal and there are controls in place which already limit that right. This issue has been used as nothing more than a political tool to incite the conservative base and the agenda behind it has very little to do with morality. It's much more about winning elections at any cost.

    January 21, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. nunya

    >"It provides guidance on messaging, on how to do that, and how we can positively promote our social agenda using facts,"

    I saw nothing of the sort in the 'full text' as quoted in the article...
    All I saw was a threat of not helping any candidate who wasn't vocal about adopting their version of polls on the matter...

    January 21, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Dan Reynolds

    It's not a human being until the mother says it is, be that conception of junior in high school.

    January 21, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Jon

    I thought this whole abortion deal was settled by the Supreme Court about 40 years ago. It never seems to end.

    January 21, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. The REAL Truth...

    @Guest – really?
    when exactly is it that a zygote becomes a fetus that becomes an "unborn baby"..
    But it's OK to go out and drown the extra puppies/kittens when ya don't want them.. Bwah!

    January 21, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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