Republicans don’t want to keep quiet about abortion anymore.
A resolution set to be introduced by members of the Republican National Committee Wednesday confirms what legislative trends have indicated in recent months: The GOP actually wants to keep abortion as a prominent election issue.
The “Resolution on Republican Pro-Life Strategy” was drafted by Delaware National Committeewoman Ellen Barrosse, and cosponsored by 15 of the RNC’s 168 members.
Abortion is generally sticky territory for Republicans, and their staunch opposition has prompted Democrats to paint the party as out of touch with women. Accusations of a GOP “war on women” — as well as Missouri Republican Senate Candidate Todd Akin’s campaign-dooming “legitimate rape” comments in 2012 — have made many Republicans uneasy about addressing the issue at all.
The coalition of RNC members aims to change that narrative.
The resolution, first provided to CNN and confirmed by National Journal, calls on GOP candidates to stop avoiding the issue and embrace their antiabortion stance.
“The resolution is about how to talk about our pro-life agenda,” says Kirsten Kukowsi, an RNC spokeswoman. “After spending last cycle watching Democrats make false claims on the so-called ‘war on women,’ this is an acknowledgement that we need to take back the messaging and positively promote our pro-life agenda.”
The RNC intends to counter what it calls the “extreme positions on abortion held by Democratic opponents.”
“The Republican National Committee urges all Republican pro-life candidates, consultants, and other national Republican Political Action Committees to reject a strategy of silence on the abortion issue when candidates are attacked with ‘war on women’ rhetoric,” the resolution reads.
Republicans have appeared to be more eager to address the abortion issue recently. An onslaught of restrictions on women’s reproductive freedom has passed in the states this year, with 24 states enacting 53 antiabortion measures in 2013. On a federal level, the House Judiciary Committee advanced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act last week, which would ban federal funds from going to any health plan that includes abortion coverage.
The RNC is meeting in Washington to discuss strategy and rule changes. The resolution will be introduced to the resolutions committee and will move to the full committee for a vote Friday, according to CNN.
The RNC gathering coincides with the annual March for Life, taking place on the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision this year. The committee pushed the meeting back to allow members to attend the antiabortion demonstration scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
Kukowski says the the organization plans to discuss the resolution over the next few days at the winter meeting, with new female messengers to talk about the issue.