It’s probably good advice to take anything the media suggests with a grain of salt, especially if you’re in the pro-life movement. However, every now and again, the media can offer some insights that are worth our attention. A recent article from NPR on the 2024 election, and how abortion will play into it, fits that bill, as they said:
“As a result, Republican presidential candidates are attempting a balancing act: how to appeal to a party base that, to varying degrees, opposes abortion rights, without alienating moderates, independents and general election voters who favor fewer restrictions. The result has been many broad statements about “protecting life,” without a whole lot of specifics about exactly what restrictions candidates favor.”
The part about “broad statements” and clearly stating specifics is worth looking at first because there is some truth to it. Cue the meme.
In a previous blog, we analyzed a pro-life ad that was pushed by VA Governor Glenn Youngkin, noting that it got a few things right. It identified that Joe Biden’s Democrats wouldn’t endorse any limits on abortion because they don’t believe in any. And it offered to improve Virginia’s laws when it comes to abortion, which rank as some of the most permissive in the nation. It was specific in making exceptions for the life of the mother as well, something we routinely hear criticism for in the news.
Make no mistake: the pro-life position is to protect all life; the life of the mother and the life of the child.
But sadly, the VA political ad went too far, providing exceptions for rape or incest. As we’ve said before, Students for Life Action doesn’t believe that the circumstances of birth, dictate the value of that life.
Additionally, we don’t support 15-week limits, because more than 9 in 10 abortions are committed before 12 weeks.
These are the other messages that we need to be clearer about: the inherent value of life, when it begins, and when the majority of abortions occur.
Half of all states have laws on the books to protect preborn life, from as early as conception to as late as 12 weeks. We know the message works – but we can’t rest on the laurels of the victory over Roe.
The pro-life movement does indeed need to do a better job of clearly laying out where it stands on defending life, especially when we face an extremely well-funded abortion industrial complex fighting to save its for-profit business model. We can’t modify our messaging because the media says so – it needs to happen because we believe that women deserve to know the truth about the human rights issue of our time.