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July 3, 2024

The Media is Noticing Our Pro-Life Platform Push – And the GOP Should, Too 

This week, Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma joined Students for Life Action (SFLAction) President Kristan Hawkins and SFLAction Vice President of Media and Policy Kristi Hamrick to discuss the ongoing push to protect the pro-life policies within the Republican platform. This webcast was part of the ongoing GOP FOR LIFE initiative, which calls upon GOP leadership to stand with women and preborn children to stay firm on the human rights issue of our day – abortion.  

“This is in part a get out the vote effort – every vote will matter,” said Hamrick. “But this is also a clarion call to the Republican Party that we want a home for the pro-life vote. We are not voting ‘R’ first – we are voting ‘P’; pro-life first.” 

During the webcast, Sen. Lankford who scored in the top 10 pro-life senators in America in our most recent annual Pro-Life Report Card, laid out what he sees as a critical issue the GOP is facing when it comes to standing for Life. 

“There are Republicans right now saying this is only a state’s issue, we shouldn’t talk about it on the Federal side.,” said Lankford. “When I talk to several of those Republicans, I think their core issue is why are we fighting this on a national level? We don’t have the votes to win it. We don’t have 60 votes in the Senate, the majority we need to win this big of a vote in the House to change things, so let’s not discuss it all.  

My push is that this is exactly the time to keep talking about it, and I am keenly aware we don’t have the votes in the Senate. But the worst thing we can do is not talk about it all and somehow make people presume that this is value – that we don’t care about children anymore. We do care passionately about children. The way you win the argument is to keep talking about it, not talk about it less.” 

WATCH THE FULL WEBCAST WITH SENATOR LANKFORD (R-OH) HERE 

Sen. Lankford is of course correct. Ignoring the issue of abortion, the number one issue Democrats are laser focused on for the November 2024 elections, won’t help the Republican Party win. In fact, it’s likely to do great damage to the longtime pro-life voting base that only has one home left: the GOP. 

READ: The Democrats Will Gladly Blow Up the Institutions and Norms of American Democracy if it Means More Abortion 

As part of the GOP FOR LIFE campaign, SFLAction has been reaching out to the RNC Party leadership nationwide for weeks now, leading up to the GOP platform committee debates expected to happen the week of July 8.   Our ask is simple: Let pro-life voters know they have a home with the GOP, and to get a pledge for them to commit to protecting life in law and service in the GOP Platform.   

Fundamentally, what the Pro-Life Generation is looking for is no different than what we got previously. In a recent New York Times article, SFLAction President Kirstan Hawkins said “In 2016, we had a deal from the president that he would appoint pro-life judges and he kept his word. It is time the pro-life movement has a new deal.” 

READ: Tell Republican party leaders: Keep the GOP Pro-Life 

The media is doing a great job of covering this important conversation as it’s unfolding.  

Memo Reveals Trump’s Plan to Slash the Size of the G.O.P. Platform” read one New York Times headline. “Republicans brace for fight over party platform on abortion” read one from the Washington Examiner, and “Trump advisers seek to simplify Republican Party platform, memo says” was another from The Washington Post.  

And it’s very possible that the GOP’s policy platform does need to be simplified – but it’s no reason to cut pro-life policies from the platform, which have been a critical cornerstone of the GOP for decades. Unfortunately, it looks like at this juncture it could occur, given reporting from POLITICO: “Two [pro-life] delegates to next week’s GOP platform committee have been stripped of their positions, according to several members of the Republican National Committee, underscoring a broader fear among evangelicals and other social conservatives that the party is poised to moderate its stance on abortion at the direction of former President Donald Trump.” 

The Republican Party, whether it likes it or not, has a choice to make. The modern Democrats believe running on limitless abortion is a political winner and are extremely focused on the issue on their campaign stops. Ignoring this reality will not make the issue go away or the rhetoric around it change. 

The are trying to go way beyond restoring Roe, as a recent Bloomberg op-ed shows very clearly: “The problem is that Roe never granted women ‘reproductive freedom.’” It’s something we’ve written about extensively at SFLAction . The Democrats signature piece of healthcare legislation, the Women’s Health Protection Act, would not only allow abortions to be conducted up until birth nationwide, without any ability for the states to push back, but it would demand taxpayer funding and trample on the conscience rights of medical professionals.   

The GOP getting soft on the issue of abortion won’t result in an animated or motivated pro–life voting base on election day – quite the opposite.   

The ball is in the Republican Party’s court.  

READ: Of Course the Democrats Hated Roe – It Didn’t Go Far Enough