Conservative base implores Republicans to go all-in on pro-life

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Pro-life groups are urging conservative lawmakers to stand firmly for life ahead of the November election.  

Weak-kneed Republicans have been waffling on the party’s historic pro-life platform since the bruising 2022 midterm elections, either minimizing their pro-life positions or declining to discuss abortion altogether.

This shift was glaringly apparent during a November NBC Republican primary debate. CNN Analyst Stephen Collinson wrote, “The five candidates on stage…came up with at least five different positions about the extent to which abortion should be allowed and over whether the federal government or the states should adjudicate the issue. The mess of approaches underscored how Republicans… now lack a single compelling position to combat political messaging from Democrats and pro-abortion rights groups.”

CNN’s KFile recently underscored the pro-life defection in an analysis of more than a dozen competitive 2024 races.

“Ahead of this year’s election, some of those losing candidates are trying to rebrand themselves by moderating their positions on abortion,” KFile said in a summary of the findings. “Others…are avoiding the issue entirely as anti-abortion rhetoric and policies are seen as politically toxic.” 

The investigative team also found that the majority of candidates who have “moderated” their positions on abortion are in states where the life-ending procedure remains legal.


The trend has alarmed pro-life groups who increasingly fear that, if it continues, unborn children will eventually be left with few advocates in Washington. Several are calling on the GOP to get back in the fight for life or risk losing a powerful voting bloc.

Students for Life Action (SFL Action) launched an initiative this week to compel Republican leaders to recommit to the pro-life, pro-family movement.

The group’s “GOP for Life” campaign focuses on holding Republican lawmakers accountable for preserving the party’s historic pro-life platform, including signing a pledge to “personally commit to protecting life in law and in service of the GOP Platform”

Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins launched the campaign on Monday with an open letter to RNC leadership reminding them that advocacy for the unborn is what sets Republicans and Democrats apart. The letter also included a subtle warning. 

“To give social conservatives a reason to vote, we want to ensure that those [pro-life] ideals are not thrown away or weakened based on the mistaken view that voters won’t notice if no pro-life choice exists,” Hawkins wrote. “As I’ve written in the Washington Times, ‘the Republican Party lately makes a risky bet – that undercutting the principled position on human life will appeal to moderates who favor abortion access or independents who will never turn out in numbers to vote for the GOP on this issue.” In doing so, she continued, “[t]he party loses voter enthusiasm, loses the moral high ground, and loses credibility.’”


National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) made a similar argument last month in comments to the National Review.

“It’s important that voters know where the candidates stand, and to not run away from the issue,” Daines said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) recently sent an internal memo to GOP candidates exhorting them to “confidently articulate” their positions on abortion rather than shy away from the issue, as reported by The Washington Stand.

The NRCC cautioned that an unwillingness “to stake out a clear [stance] with voters” is the “worst possible” response to the left’s pro-abortion agenda.

Washington Stand senior editor Suzanne Bowdey noted in the article that former RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel repeatedly warned Republicans that their silence on abortion helps Democrats by allowing the party’s lies about the GOP’s pro-life agenda to go unchallenged.

Indeed, the GOP’s cowardice in confronting the horror of abortion head-on has been a boon to the left.

Democrats see abortion as the linchpin to their success in November, hoping for a repeat of the 2022 midterms that saw pro-abortion progressive voters carry the limping party across the finish line amid historic inflation and an equally historic border crisis.

Axios reported this week that Democrats are preparing to launch a legislative abortion “blitz” in Congress next month. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to introduce several pro-abortion measures to force Republicans to vote on hot-button topics like contraception and in vitro fertilization, ostensibly to underscore the left’s narrative that the GOP is the only thing standing in the way of a woman’s right to “reproductive healthcare.” 

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said that her party is “certainly going to be talking a lot about [abortion]” in the coming weeks and months. Meanwhile, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, said that he will use his position to push abortion rights around the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. 


Family Research Council Director of the Center for Human Dignity Mary Szoch called on Republicans to stop cowering in the corner and take a stand against abortion.

In comments to The Washington Stand last month, Szoch suggested that this starts with “saying what they’re for.”

“Babies are beautiful gifts to our world and, often, moms are superheroes who can overcome overwhelming odds,” she said. “Republicans need to talk about the ways they are working to protect babies while empowering and supporting moms.”

Szoch also urged the GOP not to equivocate when discussing abortion, but to call it out for what it is: the murder of an innocent, living human.

“Unborn children and their mothers deserve to have someone stand up for them,” she said. “Now is the time for Republicans to do it.”