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Advice for Pro-Life Candidates
Since the fall of Roe, candidates have struggled to articulate their positions. My USA Today column offers some advice:
I’m in USA Today Today giving advice to pro-life candidates post-Roe:
In the wake of the historic Supreme Court decision that reversed Roe vs. Wade, candidates who champion life are having a difficult time talking about abortion. With few exceptions, journalists ask the toughest questions of politicians who supported overturning Roe, putting many on the defensive.
The environment is decidedly hostile, but this should not be an excuse for a failure to articulate beliefs about an issue that divides Americans. You’d think that after nearly 50 years of national debate, and months after Justice Samuel Alito's leaked draft opinion, candidates running for office would be prepared. But it’s not too late to get the message right.
Candidates should be clear that those of us on the side of life have always advocated for protecting the life and health of the mother in crisis situations. According to the Guttmacher Institute, these situations represent a miniscule percentage of abortions.
Even so, candidates should stress that those who advocate for life also advocate for care for women in crisis, including the life of the mother.
The news media has wrongly associated care for ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages with abortion, which is not the position of any major group that supported overturning Roe. As Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review has reported, in a thorough research of state level legislation, there are zero laws on the books that fail to make provision for this kind of care.
Candidates also should highlight the extremism of the abortion rights movement and, in most cases, the Democratic candidates they face. For example, Senate Democrats refused to vote for, three years in a row, on a simple measure that would require doctors to deliver care for babies who survive abortions.
The so-called Women’s Health Protection Act, recently passed by the House and which failed in the Senate, would obliterate every state-level restriction on abortion. Even Rep. Tim Ryan, the moderate Democratic candidate running for Senate in Ohio, struggled to articulate any restriction on abortion at any stage.
Candidates who support life should highlight this extremism that is out of step with the American people. Multiple surveys show that a majority of Americans, including many Democratic voters, favor restrictions after 12 weeks. Surveys also show that Americans oppose elective abortions based on financial or career constraints, or based on the gender of the baby.
Candidates who support restrictions on abortion should not be on the defensive, but should point out the way in which many candidates who support abortion rights are out of step with Americans on this issue.
You can read the whole thing here
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