Abortion groups ‘used the language of personal freedom to win over moderates’

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Abortion groups 'used the language of personal freedom to win over moderates'
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Pro-abortion groups have used quintessentially Republican arguments about individual liberty to convince many conservative and moderate voters to turn against pro-life measures in the midterm elections. Washington Post‘s Rachel Roubein reported on Friday.

Roubein detailed how left-wing activists crafted a Republican-inspired cautious language campaign to frame the abortion debate around “keeping[ing] government out of Americans’ private medical decisions” before voters decide for or against ballot initiatives in red and purple states like Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan.

“The notion of personal freedom is an important message for more conservative voters. Republicans have embraced anti-government messaging amid the pandemic, opposing vaccination mandates and lockdowns. A few years earlier, they used the language of government overreach to denounce Obamacare. This post is also intended to target those who may personally oppose abortion,” Roubein wrote.

In Michigan, for example, the Reproductive Freedom for All campaign ran an ad featuring a man telling viewers, “Let’s get the government away from our doctors.” A random man named Bill says:

We are fighters here. We know that it is important for our families and their freedom of decision. Lansing politicians want to ban abortion in Michigan, but we can stop them by voting yes on Proposition 3. No politician should tell my daughter what to do in a medical emergency. Let’s get the government away from our doctors and restore the rights we had under Roe v. Wade.

The group’s guide for Canvassers “also contained this message as a talking point for volunteers” who knocked on doors. These volunteers would also have stuck to talking points such as how the ballot measure was supposed to “aim to restore Roe and would be [have prevented] a 1931 near-total ban on abortion to go into effect.

The group never declared the extreme reality of Proposition 3, which should be passed. Opponents of the measure said it would allow abortion until birth, and it was drafted vaguely and confusingly, leaving room for dangerous interpretation.

Citizens to Support Michigan Women and Children states on its website:

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU amendment would dramatically twist the Michigan Constitution to create a new, unlimited right to abortion, which would spill over and affect many other issues. This poorly drafted amendment would repeal dozens of state laws, including our state’s ban on tax-funded abortions, the ban on partial-birth abortion, and fundamentally alter the parent-child relationship by preventing parents to have a say in the health of their children.

Protect Kentucky’s Access used a similar strategy, writing on its campaign website that “people’s right to control their own personal and private medical decisions is under attack across the country — it’s no different in Kentucky.” … Don’t let politicians restrict your freedom. Kentucky’s amendment did not pass, but would have removed all “abortion rights” protections from the state constitution.

In Kansas, grassroots organizers Kansas for Constitutional Freedom were even more devious, running a digital ad explaining that “Kansas doesn’t want another government term” without ever mentioning abortion. Kansas’ ballot initiative, which did not pass, would also have amended the state’s constitution to say there is no right to abortion in the state.

Robert Blendon, professor emeritus at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, said pro-abortion groups avoid confronting abortion on its scientific and logical merits and instead focus on the narrative of personal freedom, because issues such as gestational age limits are “an extremely controversial topic”. wrote Roubein.

“The wrong message to send is when an abortion will be available,” Blendon said. “The appealing issue is that a woman has the right to make the decision, it’s not the role of the federal government or the state to make my decision.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, told Roubein that despite efforts by pro-abortion groups to sterilize the issue for floating voters, “abortion is not like extracting wisdom teeth.” .

“In every pregnancy there are two patients, mother and child, and at least one of them is not destined to leave the abortion appointment alive,” Dannenfelser said.

Dannenfelser released a post-midterm election memo in which she noted that the pro-abortion movement poured “$391 million on abortion-focused TV ads alone during the general election, compared to just 11 million on the GOP side, an expense ratio of 35:1. ”

But rather than cower in the face of pro-abortion propaganda from the left after a blunt “red wave,” Dannenfelser argued for Republicans to “offend” the abortion issue to expose Democrats “as the real extremists.” She pointed to several successful GOP candidates, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) and Senator-elect JD Vance (R-OH), who have taken the abortion debate shamelessly and offensively.

“As we head into the 2024 presidential cycle, we have a clear message for GOP presidential candidates. The 2024 election must be about the GOP going on the offensive: exposing President Biden and the Democrats as the real extremists who support NO limits on abortion and contrasting it with a strong pro-abortion agenda. life of the GOP centered on national minimum protections for the unborn child and mothers, either at the time they are in pain or when their heartbeat can be detected,” she said. “GOP primary candidates may have different views on what is achievable, and we welcome that debate — and even more so the debate in the general election.”

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