RNC urges GOP candidates to ‘go on the offensive’ on abortion in 2024


After the GOP’s underperformance in November’s midterm elections, the Republican National Committee is stepping up its anti-abortion stance, officially urging GOP lawmakers and campaigns to “take offense in the election cycle of 2024” and to pass the strongest possible anti-abortion legislation.

At its winter meeting, the RNC passed a resolution calling on Republicans to pass “laws that recognize heartbeats and pain experiences in the unborn,” referring to so-called bans on “heartbeat” on abortions, which would prohibit the procedure after heart activity is detected, at about six weeks pregnant – before many people realize they are pregnant.

The resolution, which passed on Friday, alluded to Republicans’ disappointing performance in November, months after the Supreme Court overturned. Roe v. Wade, but appeared to blame the GOP candidates for not making their anti-abortion views sufficiently known.

The Supreme Court ruled in June 2022 that a constitutional right to abortion, which had been in place for nearly 50 years, no longer existed.

“Instead of hitting back and exposing Democratic extremism on abortion, many Republican candidates have failed to remind Americans of our proud heritage of challenging slavery, segregation and the forces that erode family and the sanctity of human life, thereby allowing Democrats to define our longstanding position,” the RNC resolution said.

Democrats seize midterm abortion decision as Republicans tread cautiously

The resolution came as Ronna McDaniel won her fourth term as RNC chairwoman, fending off challenger Harmeet Dhillon amid calls for new leadership after lackluster GOP midterm results in an election year that would have generally favored the party that was not in power. Republicans, who had promised a “red wave” in the November election, won only a narrow majority in the House and lost a seat in the Senate.

Even before November, signs of a national reaction against the overthrow of deer had already begun to emerge after the Supreme Court decision. Candidates who supported abortion rights outperformed in special elections over the summer, while key battleground states saw an increase in the number of Democratic and independent women registering to vote.

Kansas voters have firmly rejected a referendum that would have allowed state lawmakers to regulate abortion, and Republicans in South Carolina have failed to win a near-total ban on abortion in the state. . And although Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.) introduced a bill in September banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy across the country, many Republican candidates have tried to avoid discussing a possible national ban on abortion during the election campaign.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, criticized these candidates for being reluctant to talk about abortion.

“The RNC’s pro-life resolution sends a bold message to GOP candidates, campaigns and consultants that to win in 2024, they must stay on the offensive by drawing strong contrast and exposing Democratic extremism,” said Dannenfelser in a statement Monday, a few days later. Republicans passed the resolution when they met in Dana Point, Calif., last week.

In 2022, too many GOP candidates used the “ostrich strategy” in which they stuck their heads in the sand, pretended the abortion issue didn’t exist, and let Democrats spend money. hundreds of millions of dollars to distort their pro-life positions and define them as extremists,” she added.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee seized on the RNC’s resolution on Monday, calling it “extreme” and “out of touch.”

“The Republican Party’s renewed promises to destroy reproductive freedom and threaten women’s livelihoods just raised the stakes for voters in 2024 and made every vulnerable House Republican more at risk of losing,” said DCCC spokeswoman Nebeyatt Betre in a statement.

Caroline Kitchener and Isaac Arnsdorf contributed to this report.


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