There are many thorny issues Republicans must deal with if we want to win next year, but perhaps the most difficult one is abortion. Abortion is a topic that pundits told us not to talk about – and that is essentially what some Republican candidates did in 2022. But not the Democrats.
In fact, Democrat groups spent over 360 million dollars on distortions and outright lies about abortion. It seemed nearly all of their political ads targeted the topic of abortion! The most common lie was that Republicans did not believe in providing lifesaving care for a mother during pregnancy, miscarriage, or ectopic pregnancy.
In Illinois, as in most states, abortion rights are codified into state law, but the left said Republicans would undo those state laws or even prosecute people for having an abortion. This cannot be done, but that did not stop Democrats from saying it. The problem is, when lies are heard often enough they become the truth.
Democrats won by spreading lies about abortion in 2022. Make no mistake – abortion will be the number one topic in their playbook for 2024. We ignore the issue at our own peril! We must put Democrats on defense on abortion while we remain positive and compassionate.
Let us turn the argument around. Democrats: do you support a limit on abortion? 8 months? 7 months? Is there a bad abortion? Do you believe in gender selection?
Most importantly, though, we must remind voters that the Supreme Court returned the issue of abortion back to the states, where state legislatures can determine the best course of action for their state. Abortion is not a federal issue – it is a state issue.
I had the honor of being a guest lecturer at the University of Illinois, Chicago, right before the leak of the abortion decision. My lecture was supposed to be a non-partisan presentation on how political parties in Illinois are organized and work.
After the lecture I opened it up for questions – and voila – the first question was, “What will happen if Roe vs Wade is overturned?” I responded that it was more than likely the Supreme Court would return the question to the states for legislators to decide. I explained that in Illinois, abortion access was codified, allowing abortion for virtually any reason through the 9th month. I answered a few more questions and did my best to remain opinion-free. In closing, I asked, “May I ask you a question? When the abortion decision came down in 1973, it was said that abortion should be safe, legal and rare. My question for you is, how many legal abortions have there been since the 1973 Roe decision?” They didn’t answer right away. Some guessed half a million, 1 million, 1.5 million. The answer was over 64 million.
You could hear a pin drop…
When the lecture was over, I got applause from the students and the professor emailed me afterwards saying the students said I was “thoughtful and very nice.” You see, if we ignore issues, we allow Democrats to get away with their lies and shape the discussion, and then it may be too late.
When confronted with liberal lies, Republican candidates must be ready to share the truth. Republicans are in agreement with the majority of Americans. Each candidate should confidently let voters know where they stand and outline Republicans’ compassionate pro-women, pro-child, pro-family policies. Republicans must also stand ready to ask what limit Democrat extremists support (if any limit at all). While Democrats refuse to reveal the truth, we must shed light on their support for limitless, government-funded abortion, which is far outside the mainstream and not supported by the majority of American voters.
To win in 2024, Republicans cannot afford to stay silently on the sidelines. We will need each other, and we will need independent voters, too. In this fight, let us be happy warriors. Now, let’s go win!
Demetra DeMonte is the Republican National Committeewoman for Illinois, first elected in 2008, and serves as the RNC Vice Chairman of the Midwest Region. She and her husband Tony reside in the Chicago area, have two grown married daughters, and are the proud grandparents of two grandsons.
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