Earlier this month NBC News reported that the GOP held a 'conversational meeting' to explore ways to move away from the 'Pro-Life' messaging for the last 50 years. That messaging started after Roe V Wade gave women the right to abortion. Dobbs left that right to the States.
When reproductive rights are on the ballot, things don't go the GOP's way
At a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans this week, the head of a super PAC closely aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., presented poll results that suggested voters are reacting differently to commonly used terms like “pro-life” and “pro-choice” in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, said several senators who were in the room.
“Many voters think [‘pro-life’] means you’re for no exceptions in favor of abortion ever, ever, and ‘pro-choice’ now can mean any number of things. So the conversation was mostly oriented around how voters think of those labels, that they’ve shifted. So if you’re going to talk about the issue, you need to be specific,” Hawley said Thursday. “You can’t assume that everybody knows what it means,” he added. “They probably don’t.”
Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., summarized Wednesday’s meeting as being focused on “pro-baby policies.”
Asked whether senators were encouraged to use a term other than “pro-life,” Young said his “pro-baby” descriptor “was just a term of my creation to demonstrate my concern for babies.”
Senators who attended Law’s presentation said he encouraged Republicans to be as specific as possible when they describe their positions on abortion, highlighting findings that he said could have a negative impact on elections. Many senators in attendance represent states where Republican-led legislatures are pursuing abortion restrictions.
Truth is, abortion is banned in 14 states right now. 11 states have no exceptions for rape and/or incest. Missouri, (Josh Hawley's state) is one of those 11. I think we know exactly
what his position is - he just won't say it. Instead, they want to re-market their stance. It's important to note, they are not talking about changing policy or platforms. They are simply looking for a better lipstick for the pig. Good luck with that.
This is the biggest problem that those who are so desperate to “rebrand ‘pro-life’” face right now: This is a movement that’s largely defined by the zealots in its ranks. You’re not going to be able to exert control over a nation of anti-abortion radicals with a Central Committee to Temper Our Excesses and Lessen the Completely Foreseeable Consequences of Our Actions. Wherever those fanatics hold a little bit of untrammeled power, they’re doing headline-grabbing things to get attention and advertise exactly what they want the post-Roe landscape to look like.
Take, for example, the extremists who’ve brought so-called “abortion trafficking” laws to several counties in Texas. As TNR’s Melissa Gira Grant recently reported, political leaders in these jurisdictions have breathed new life into laws over a century old, in the service of incentivizing vigilantes to patrol Texas highways, looking for women who might be seeking to leave the state to receive abortions, in order to detain them for cash rewards. Or take the “pro-lifers” in Oregon who, far from getting their cues from Washington elites urging circumspection for the sake of winning elections, are plowing ahead to the next frontier and looking to ban contraceptives next—just as one could have predicted (and did).
This is the party that wants to further cut SNAP and WIC benefits. They are against free lunch in schools. They are against universal Pre-K. They are banning educational materials. They refused to extend the refundable child tax credit and we saw child poverty jump.
In 2022, nearly 9 million children — or 12.4% of all U.S. children — lived in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), a 7.2 percentage point increase over the previous year. The SPM includes government assistance such as tax credits, income support and nutrition assistance. In 2021, such support drove child poverty in the U.S. to its lowest level in history. Today’s Census figures estimate that refundable tax credits lifted 3.5 million children out of poverty in 2021.
They are not pro-life and they are not pro-baby. They pander to an increasingly radicalized base that endangers babies, children, and parents. How do you rebrand all that?
Karl Frisch said it perfectly last week. "You can't rebrand a back alley."