OpinionTrending Commentary

GOP’s Incoherence On Abortion Is Electoral Poison


Here is the Republican message on abortion:

“Gthywd frwemkop nasedty deeertyp dhrgt, jtypyu aslpomcert bdhgtyog.”

Why aren’t voters lapping this up?

The GOP’s post-Roe v. Wade incoherence triggered losses in Nov. 7’s off-year elections. Democrats’ crystal-clear battle cry — “Abortion!” — electrified their voters. Like North Korean soldiers, they marched lockstep to the polls.

Thus, Republican aspirations to win Kentucky’s governorship floundered.

Despite Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s plan to secure Virginia’s legislature, Republicans failed to gain its Senate or hold its House. Youngkin’s embrace of Democrat-style early voting flopped. This confirms that Republicans should scuttle this and other COVID-era Democrat vote-rigging schemes, not surrender to them.

Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves survived, but with 52.3%, while President Donald J. Trump won 57.6% in 2020.

GOP school board results were mixed, at best.

With Democrat policies imploding and Joe Biden sinking rapidly, Republicans should have romped. Instead, abortion-loving Democrats pummeled them at the polls.

Republicans might have prospered had they offered clarity on America’s most controversial issue: They could have advocated:

  • Streamlining adoption.
  • Making childbearing more affordable for the 40% of women who abort their babies for financial reasons.
  • Supporting crisis pregnancy centers.
  • Condemnation of extremist House Democrats’ near-unanimous vote to let babies die, if they happen to survive abortion. (This happens.)

Instead: Babble.

The GOP dog finally caught the car. Alas, its lips are locked on a blistering tailpipe, with no exit strategy.

How infuriating.

For 49 years, Republicans correctly denounced Roe v. Wade. Last year’s Dobbs v. Jackson answered their prayers.

But then, despite a half century to decide what to say post-Roe, the GOP response made a whoopee cushion sound eloquent.

Republicans previously cheered: Get abortion out of Washington. Let the states decide. And they have. Florida, Idaho, Texas, and other states tightened abortion restrictions. Colorado, Michigan, and (on Nov. 7) Ohio are among those that loosened abortion rules.

Republicans got what they wanted and should be thrilled. Abortion policy increasingly looks like America: Conservative states curb abortions. Liberal states celebrate them. Want an abortion? In Alabama, good luck! In Oregon, step right up!

Love it or hate it, this was the gorgeous mosaic that Republicans promised. Now, they behave as if they never really meant it.

  • Seventy-four House Republicans want to impose — from Washington — the Heartbeat Protection Act, a de facto six-week abortion moratorium.
  • Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott favors a federal blockade on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, down from 20 weeks last April.
  • Just 11 weeks after Dobbs, South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham demanded his own 15-week federal abortion embargo. “This is not a state’s rights issue,” he told “Fox & Friends” on Sept. 20, 2022.

Federal bans? What happened to letting 50 abortion policies bloom?

“I believe… states should decide the issue of abortion,” said none other than Lindsay Graham on Aug. 7, 2022.

Republican support for Washington-based abortion injunctions is the biggest bait and switch in recent political history.

If Republicans wanted a post-Roe federal abortion blockade, they should have promoted one. If that were the right policy, Republicans should have run on it. And — who knows? — they might have won on it.

Instead, from 1973 to 2022, they explained that letting states choose was the federalist, conservative and Republican thing to do.

Republicans now tell the American people that they lied: Wisdom, truth and beauty on abortion rest on the north bank of the Potomac.

Renouncing such a cornerstone principle after preaching it for decades would be like today’s GOP endorsing an across-the-board tax increase.

This is as jarring as President Abraham Lincoln announcing in 1861 that, upon reflection, the Grand Old Party suddenly wanted states to craft their own slavery laws.

“A house united within itself cannot stand,” Lincoln might have declared, plunging jaws from Buffalo to Birmingham.

Republicans spent 49 years making the “Let the states decide” bed. Now, they need to lie in it for more than 49 weeks.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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