Abortion to play a key role in 2024 election

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News

 

Abortion is shaping up to play a pivotal role in the 2024 election, whether Republicans like it or not.

GOP candidates have largely shifted away from the pro-life message following the “red tsunami” that failed to materialize in the 2022 midterm elections. Exit polls showed that abortion rights in a post-Roe America galvanized young Democratic voters to head to the polls in droves. Democrats are banking on the same enthusiasm in this year’s elections. 

Less than 24 hours after thousands of pro-life advocates gathered in Washington, D.C., for Sunday’s 51st March for Life, the Biden-Harris campaign marked the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade with a series of actions aimed at framing the presidential election as a choice between “reproductive freedom” and “extremist” oppression. 

President Biden on Monday convened a meeting of his Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access. Speaking to reporters ahead of the meeting, Biden said that the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson ruling that overturned Roe put “the health and lives of women in this nation…at risk.”

“Today, in 2024 in America, women are turned away from emergency rooms, forced to travel hundreds of miles to get basic healthcare in another state that may have a different rule, forced to go to court to plead for help,” Biden said. 

The Biden-Harris campaign also launched its promised “reproductive freedoms tour” on Monday to underscore “what is at stake for reproductive freedom in 2024 — including the threat of a MAGA Republican-led national abortion ban,” according to a campaign announcement, as reported by CNN

Vice President Kamala Harris, the administration’s newly-minted abortion rights ambassador, kicked off the pro-abortion tour with a stop in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, on Monday, where she railed against “extremist” Republican efforts to “criminalize doctors and punish women,” according to PolitiFact.

“Freedom is not to be given, ” Harris told a crowd of mostly women. “It is ours by right, and that includes the freedom to make decisions about one’s own body without anyone telling you what to do.”

The campaign also began airing a series of ads in swing states that portray women as victims in a dangerous, patriarchal-inspired scheme by “MAGA Republicans” to rob them of their basic freedoms and reduce them to chattel.

In one such ad, a woman shares emotional testimony about being “forced” to travel out of state to abort her unborn child who was diagnosed with a “fatal condition.” 

 “In Texas you are forced to carry that pregnancy, and that is because of Donald Trump overturning Roe v. Wade,” the woman says to the camera.

‘WE CANNOT HIDE AWAY FROM THE ISSUE’

This is the sort of “fearmongering” Democrats excel at, according to E.V. Osment, Vice President of Communications for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Live America.

“In each election since Dobbs, Democrats have claimed that when laws protect unborn babies, women die,” Osment wrote in a recent op-ed published by The Washington Stand. Republicans, she said, are making a terrible mistake by failing to address this “misleading” rhetoric in an apparent effort to boost their electability.

Osment argued that conservative lawmakers “cannot hide away from the issue of pro-life” and slammed efforts by those who advocate for “common sense limits [and] things we can all agree on” instead of unabashedly standing up for the lives of unborn children.

“The logically inconsistent message of ‘sometimes you can kill a baby and sometimes you can’t’ just isn’t good enough,” she wrote. “Meanwhile, Republicans have tripped over themselves to convince voters that they are NOT trying to ban all abortions — they’re merely trying to be reasonable.”

Former President Donald Trump has been accused of flip-flopping on the subject of abortion. He received significant pushback from pro-life corners in May 2023, when he said during a CNN town hall that Florida’s six-week abortion ban signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, was “too harsh.” 

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a CBS News interview in May that a “national consensus” is the only solution to resolving the abortion fight. 

Both candidates have since expressed a willingness to sign some form of federal abortion restrictions while avoiding answering questions about what that might entail.

Osment pointed out that 66% of Americans in an April 2023 Marist poll said that they support abortion restrictions. 

Rather than shy away from the subject, pro-life conservatives must stop “generalizing” about abortion and clearly define the goals of the pro-life movement, Osment said. This should include sharing the powerful stories of abortion survivors and women who chose life. 

Osment said that pro-life candidates must also clearly state “who abortion kills.”

“Abortion brutally murders a baby — typically by either starving that child to death or tearing that child’s body apart limb from limb,” Osment wrote. “Democrats should have to answer for the people their legislation has allowed abortionists to kill.”

DEMS CALLED OUT OVER ‘CULTURE OF DEATH’

Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) recently offered similar advice to her fellow Republicans. Speaking at a press briefing earlier this month after the House passed two pro-life bills – one of which Hinson introduced – the Iowa congresswoman urged conservative lawmakers to call out the “culture of death” embraced by Democrats. 

“None of [the Democrats] will support any other option other than a pro-abortion agenda. And I think it’s important for candidates across the country to call them out on that,” Hinson said, adding that Republicans must counter this “culture of death” with a “culture of life” that includes policy initiatives to protect the unborn and help mothers and families.

Notably, Hinson, who refers to herself as “unapologetically pro-life,” saw her 2020 margin of victory widen in the 2022 midterms, according to the Washington Examiner

CHRISTIANS CAUTIONED NOT TO CONFLATE ABORTION WITH SOCIAL ISSUES 

As the 2024 election approaches, Dr. Robb Brunansky, pastor of Desert Hills Bible Church in Glendale, Ariz., warns Christian voters that abortion should be viewed as a stand-alone issue.

“Some professing believers, especially those in younger demographics, have mistakenly conflated the issue of abortion with social issues such as immigration, health care, and poverty alleviation,” Brunansky wrote in a commentary for The Washington Stand. “This conflation of issues has led to confusion about abortion and the necessity to oppose it for its inherent evil.”

Brunansky said that the Christian position on abortion should be informed by three irrefutable truths: abortion “attacks the character and nature of God;” abortion kills “those God cherishes;” and the Lord commands His followers “to defend the weak and vulnerable.”

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