Anti-abortion groups are calling for the Republican Party to stop avoiding the issue of abortion and make it clear where they stand. For months, Democrats have pummeled their Republican opponents on abortions.
As the November midterm election reaches its final stretch of the campaign, groups against abortions are demanding Republican candidates to go on the offense. Or at least to speak about it as opposed to ignoring it as an issue altogether.
Experts say that many Republicans have avoided the issue in their rhetoric for fear of losing ground, and pushing more voters to choose Democrats in the midterms.
The anti-abortion groups hope that they could gain an upper hand in the debate by calling their positions on reproductive rights extreme, even though widespread polling has shown that the majority of Americans support abortion rights.
Groups standing against abortion rights are fearful of ceding the issue to those advocating for the healthcare right. These groups are encouraging Republicans up and down the ballot to highlight policies that help new parents, including paid parental leave and lactation rooms.
Anti-abortion group leaders say it is politically naive for candidates to think they can ignore the issue of abortion, and that it is an issue whether they want to discuss it or not.
There is growing frustration among anti-abortion groups with GOP strategists who have cautioned candidates not to talk about abortion.
Some Republicans have rallied around Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) bill to prohibit most abortions at 15 weeks and similar state-level proposals, arguing they are a sensible compromise between a total ban and full protections for the procedure.
Despite the push from anti-abortion groups, Democratic strategists feel on firmer ground when talking about abortion and argue voters became less receptive to Republican messaging once Roe was overturned.
Democratic candidates often point to Roe, which was overturned by the Supreme Court in June, unraveling half a century of abortion protection as a constitutional right. Roe allowed states to impose restrictions on post-viability abortions, and Democrat candidates say this is their standard, and abortions should only happen late in pregnancy when there are life-threatening issues.
But anti-abortion-rights advocates are attempting to move the conversation away from the broad contours of Roe to the specific question of legal limits.