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The Republican party has officially adopted a pro-choice stance. How did we get here, and how can we fix this?

From The Gospel Coalition. This past weekend, men hoping to become Donald Trump’s running mate have vied to see who can be more pro-choice on abortion.

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Florida senator Marco Rubio previously cosponsored federal legislation that would ban abortion after 15 weeks. But when recently asked about whether the GOP platform should include a long-standing call to ban abortion, he said, “I think our platform has to reflect our nominee” (referring to, and aligning himself with, Trump’s objection to a federal ban on abortion). Not to be outdone, Ohio senator J. D. Vance says he supports access to the abortion pill mifepristone (referring to, and aligning himself with, Trump’s support for the abortion pill). They likely knew that by Monday, the GOP platform would be adopted and, for the first time in 40 years, reflect a pro-choice position on abortion.

In Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises, one character asks another, “How did you go bankrupt?” The other responds, “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.” The same answer could be given to social conservatives wondering how the GOP became pro-choice. It was happening gradually for some time. But then it happened suddenly. …

From Platform to Personality

The first gradual step was to align the political platform with the personal views of the party’s presidential nominee. …

In 1980, Republican nominee Ronald Reagan pushed to have the language on abortion in the GOP platform changed to be more pro-life. Although it retained some of the inclusive language added in 1976 that was intended to appease all sides, the plank supported an anti-abortion constitutional amendment and efforts to cut the flow of taxpayer money to abortion services. It also pledged to appoint judges who “respect the sanctity of innocent human life.”

Similar pro-life language was included in every platform up through 2016. But in the months before the 2020 convention, Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and top adviser, worked with campaign officials to overhaul the party’s platform. Kushner, a lifelong Democrat, objected to socially conservative language that offended homosexual Republicans, such as “We support the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children.”

Conservative activists were appalled by this move, so the Trump campaign took a different path and chose not to draft a new platform at all—they’d just reuse the 2016 document. Instead of listing what the party stood for, they issued a resolution stating “the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America First agenda.”

Does Trump’s “America First agenda” still oppose abortion? Yes, but only in the last stages of pregnancy. The full passage in the new GOP platform on abortion reads,

We proudly stand for families and life. We believe that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that no person can be denied life or liberty without due process and that the states are, therefore, free to pass laws protecting those rights. After 51 years, because of us, that power has been given to the states and to a vote of the people. We will oppose late term abortion while supporting mothers and policies that advance prenatal care, access to birth control, and IVF (fertility treatments).

This is pro-choice language, in keeping with Trump’s pro-choice position. The sleight of hand is that it seems to claim the 14th Amendment applies to the unborn. But if the GOP believes that’s true, then the federal government, not just the states, has a duty to protect life. The platform does no such thing. It gives broad support for IVF (even when it causes the death of a child) and only lists opposition to late-term abortion. …

Theorem That Explains Abortion Politics

In September 2023, Trump said about a bill in Florida banning abortion at six weeks, “I think what [Ron DeSantis] did [in signing the bill] is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake.” Then in April 2024, Trump declined to endorse a federal ban on abortion, saying the issue should be left to the states. To make sure voters knew where he stood, during the recent debate, Trump said he’d preserve access to the abortion drug mifepristone and that he doesn’t support criminalizing mailing abortion pills …

Trump might never have heard of the median voter theorem, but that’s the concept to which he’s appealing. This key concept in political science was first proposed by Duncan Black in 1948. The theorem claims that in a country where people vote and there are two main political parties, both parties usually try to appeal to the average (median) voter. They do this because they want to win elections. So instead of having extreme views, they often choose middle-ground positions most people can agree with. This way, they hope to get the most votes and win. …

What prevents both parties from converging on the median voter position? The primary check is for a sufficient number of single-issue voters willing to put principle ahead of a political party by defecting rather than compromising. …

Remember, though, that candidates and parties are typically less concerned about issues than they are about winning elections. They’re thus still incentivized to appeal to the median voter to win a majority of votes whenever possible. Their optimal strategy is to appeal to the median voter while preventing single-issue voters from defecting.

That’s what the GOP is successful in doing when it comes to abortion. They’ve made it possible for Trump to abandon his support for pro-life principles, while voters abandon their pro-life principles to support Trump.

Three Steps

Here’s why the GOP has been highly successful in applying that strategy.

1. The Dobbs decision shifted the median voter.

Currently, about 63 percent of Americans (including one in four white evangelicals) say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Only 36 percent of Americans say it should be illegal in all or most cases. The median voter position on abortion is for abortion to be legal in all or most cases. …

2. Major pro-life organizations have signaled they’ll endorse pro-choice candidates.

The polling shows few Americans will defect and refuse to vote for pro-choice candidates. But what about pro-life leadership? Unfortunately, a primary reason for the polls and the reason the GOP is able to shift to the left on abortion is that they’ve received cover from national “pro-life” organizations.

Many groups, . . . have all said Trump still has their full support, despite his embrace of abortion rights. …

The justification these organizations give for putting a political party ahead of their pro-life principles is to appeal to pragmatism. They fall back on the reasoning that since “the other side is worse,” they can’t afford to defect. Such political naïveté is astounding and a catalyst for political progressivism. By openly proclaiming the GOP will never lose their support (and votes) as long as the Democrats are marginally worse, they’re providing cover for Republican politicians to embrace pro-choice policies. …

3. The Democrats held firmly to their abortion extremism.

The Democratic Party platform holds the extreme position of opposing all federal and state laws that prohibit or restrict abortion. Ironically, this position helps to incentivize the GOP to be more pro-choice on abortion—as we see with the revised platform. The GOP can move left on the issue until they reach a point where the party is more in line with the median voter. We see this in their current position of only opposing “late term” abortion.

The result is that the GOP can continue in the future to shift further away from pro-life positions, if it helps them win elections. For example, imagine two single-issue voters, one who supports and one who opposes medication abortions (i.e., abortions that occur from taking abortion pills). …

Because the GOP’s official position is to support whatever Trump wants, the Republican Party now officially supports the legalization of abortion pills. The single-issue voter who supports medication abortion has two options—she can vote for the Democrats or Republicans. The single-issue voter who opposes medication abortion, though, has nowhere to turn. And if she defects (by not voting or voting third-party), she’ll be treated as a pariah and told she’s helping the Democrats win.

The reality, though, is that those who refuse to defect are tacitly endorsing the GOP’s shift to the political left. And not only on abortion. The GOP is quickly learning that “You can’t defect because the Democrats are worse” is a winning message that keeps social conservatives in line. …

Time for (Convictional) Inaction?

Perhaps I’m naive, but I still believe pro-life voters (and other social conservatives) will realize their choices are a political party that wants to embrace abortion, same-sex marriage, and transgenderism today and a political party that believes it’s electorally prudent to adopt those politics next week.

We still have the option to defect, temporarily, until we’re treated as voters whose views are valued. We can still embrace convictional inaction as the painful short-term solution to fixing the long-term problem. We can still prevent our political life from being a choice between two flavors of antihuman progressivism. We can, but the question remains whether we have the courage and political will to make such a choice.

Share your prayers for strong pro-life leadership in America below.

(Excerpt from The Gospel Coalition. Photo Credit: Aditya Romansa on Unsplash)

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Kelley
July 15, 2024

I respectfully disagree with the implication of advising voters to become silent and employ ‘convictional inaction’. In my opinion, silence is never an effective communication skill or a battle strategy. In most cases, silence is interpreted as agreement. As an horrific example: How many were silent during the Holocaust?? As a strong Believer in Jesus and a pro-life supporter, I refuse to go silent in one battle and potentially lose the entire war. Instead of ‘convictional inaction’, we should raise our voices even louder!
IFA – where are your ‘Take Action’ buttons pertaining to the RNC’s new platform that help our voice to be heard?? Surely, this issue merited this process of communication over recommending silence by not voting!
With conservative leadership of our nation, the opportunity to affect more needed change greatly increases. If we employ ‘convictional inaction’, I believe we stand to lose what ground has been gained in the protection of life plus other God-given freedoms…and our nation will not recover them.

Emily Ching
July 15, 2024

What is the Father’s will?
1) For each individual to freely choose to follow Him.
2) For the government: “the one in authority is God’s servant for your good… agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4). God uses all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). His thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). We make plans, but He establishes the steps (Proverbs 16:9). Our current government is in rebellion against God, not serving His purpose. Be sure, He will punish the wicked (Proverbs 11:21). He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others (Daniel 2:21).
3) For the babies that die: someday they will be seen in heaven (2 Samuel 12:23). There is a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

So don’t conform to this world, be transformed, and you will see/test what the will of God is (Romans 12:2). Be strong and courageous, He will be with us; when we are careful in obedience, we will be successful (Joshua 1:8-9).

Father God, I pray firstly that more people would come to love and fear You so fewer would choose abortion. Please motivate more believers to actively be a witness for You. Convict believers to cast their vote as Jesus would. Remove wicked officials and abolish abortion in Your way and time just like You abolished slavery. Thank you for forgiving us of these sins through the blood of Jesus. I praise You because You are sovereign over all. Nothing is impossible for You! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Truth4Him
July 11, 2024

Very misleading – especially given that the 14th amendment’s protection of life is emphasized in the platform. Even Reagan’s political stance was not fully pro-life, wanted several exceptions for a wider vote potential. Trump and all GOP who crafted this current platform are being strategic, otherwise the more murderous alternative will prevail in November. Let’s pray for a secure election rather than hand-wringing over details. May the Lord’s will be done for America’s utter survival and spiritual awakening. Pray most for the narrow-minded in these threads who strain out gnats to swallow camels by abandoning the GOP!

Hj
July 11, 2024

Trump sold out.

Joe
July 11, 2024

I may likely still be voting for the lesser of two evils, but I will not be supporting them financially. I can send those dollars to pro-life groups or directly to strong pro-life candidates. Nothing to the RNC.

1
Karen Castillo
July 10, 2024

Let us remember that Donald J Trump chose three Supreme Court Justices who ultimately overturned Roe v Wade. Can you not give Trump a little credit for this massive pro-life victory? Or have you forgotten already? How foolish and short-sighted. That victory took 50 years! And now you want the whole matter back in the hands of the feds? Putting the decision back to the states places the responsibility back on the voters where it belongs. The federal government already has too much say in our personal lives.

7
Sheridan
July 10, 2024

Regarding Donald Trump himself (not RINOS!) I honestly believe that he believes he did his job regarding abortion with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, i.e., returning the issue to the states, where it should have been since it was suddenly foisted upon all of us by the 1973 Supreme Court.
The RINOS, on the other hand, very possibly have other motives for downgrading the significance of abortion in the RNC platform. Most likely, their motivation for their stance on abortion comes from the fact that they are Uniparty. These people need to be identified to the base and voted out of office.
Finally (and rightfully) it is now up to the individual states to do the right thing. And, the right thing is to end abortion.
Trump has been vocal in these last years about his anti-abortion stance. I believe he has backed up that stance with the evidence of the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Well done, President Trump!

Believers/voters in your respective states, the ball is in your court.

8
Brian Lynch
July 10, 2024

The SCOTUS ruling that cancelled Roe v. Wade had one purpose- to un-federalize whether abortion was still considered legal by the U.S. government. Since it is no longer a federal mandate, it is up to the individual states to decide whether abortion is legal in their states, or illegal. What the RNC is doing is totally consistent with how abortion is now adjudicated on a state by state basis. In my opinion, it is good that the federal government no longer has a say in the matter. They already have enough powe5r.

7
Patti Yasuhara
July 10, 2024

Lord I pray the title of this article would be changed, it looks like gaslighting to separate more Christian votes from the Republican Party candidate. The Republican Party still stands for life! Softer than last platform but still Pro- life.

10
    Truth4Him
    July 11, 2024

    AMEN – they are putting us in dangerous waters politically – which gives the evil one a foothold. We must realize that failure to support the GOP would inevitably lead to much more child sacrifice. Change the title IFA!

Jessica Renshaw
July 10, 2024

What a dilemma! Before Almighty God I CANNOT and NEVER WILL support any candidate who is not pro-life! How can any Christian in good conscience vote for anyone who supports what God says in Proverbs 6:16-22 is an abomination to Him, one of the seven things He hates, that is, “HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT BLOOD!” Even if it is President Trump! The only solution I can see is for all those of us who want him in the White House for so many other reasons to FLOOD TRUMP WITH OUR VOWS NOT TO VOTE FOR HIM UNLESS HE FULLY SUPPORTS LIFE. To make Trump and the Republican platform change, this must be a massive response from even the most die-hard MAGA supporters.

9
    Truth4Him
    July 11, 2024

    Pray for the Lord to help you recognize that this is a political platform, not a religious leader being elected. Therefore, it is crucial to broaden the voting base. If Trump loses because of those deceived into choosing the far more murderous party by default, may God have my mercy upon those stubborn souls who would completely throw away human life and liberty in America!

Geneva Wilkerson
July 10, 2024

Lord, I pray for those that have conviction in our government that want to protect the life of the unborn, that you will hard their convictions. but I also pray for the hearts of men and women everywhere, particularly women who do exercise that control “over their body” in an ungodly way that You will convict their hearts, that those women will be turned in their hearts., Father, our leaders are only responding to what they see in the populace. Our leaders can only do so much. A godly government cannot govern those that do not wish to be governed. I pray for children whose lives are hanging in the balance that you will cause a strong shift to the right for this Republican platform in Jesus amen

14
lee scheele
July 10, 2024

However bizarre this Biden debacle continues to be, the primary question for voters is this:

Can Patriots be trusted with beginning the true restoration of our country this time, or will millions of us again be talked out of voting and out of demanding that existing laws be upheld and enforced and that every causation of our tragic demise be reversed and course-corrected?

Are you determined to play a meaningful role in how this Administration ENDS?
Or will it be allowed to continue, with very slight changes to the cast of characters ?

Yes, it is true that what ultimately happens in the Final Scene of Biden’s drama and in his Curtain Call is still in God’s hands.

But, 4 years ago, God seemed to entrust that decision to OUR priorities.
Sadly, the top priority of millions was to make a statement against Trump’s personality flaws, by NOT voting and by not demanding the prevention of flooding the system with illegal ballots.and other voting irregularities. How did that work out for us?

This November, our failure to compromise a bit, after having made miraculous historic gains in ProLife matters, will render the same result.
Please pray for God’s Wisdom and Mercy.

20
    Nenette Lizaso
    July 10, 2024

    This headline prayer is not about Biden. This is about the Republican Party being a pro -Choice party now. I am totally shocked and I think I am having a panic attack . Many years ago , Trump’s reputation is the most pro life president . What happened to him ? Why does he support the abortion pill ? We heed to pray for him & the Republican Party asap .

    11
    Nenette Lizaso
    July 10, 2024

    This headline prayer is not about Biden. This is about the Republican Party being a pro -Choice party now. I am totally shocked and I think I am having a panic attack . Many years ago , Trump’s reputation is the most pro life president . What happened to him ? Why does he support the abortion pill ? We heed to pray for him & the Republican Party asap. Deer Anba Father in heaven Lord God of Israel , we lift up and come to You for this shocking news. Please help us oh Lord. There must be a mistake . Trump is the most pro life person & key it be that way for him & the Republican Party. We praise You and Your Holi Name, in Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen. .

    2
Mary D
July 10, 2024

Are We looking to Someone to save us No Matter What? I sense a door equally dangerous! . It is time to change it up. No Human Being can fill that role! We not only need a great change of mind but to desperately cry out for Gods Wisdom. What does IFA say? What about those standing for Life? What about those Church Leaders, Pastors, Teachers, and Prophets!
Lord God, We need You!

14
bobhuseby
July 10, 2024

I’m anxious to hear more from IFA regarding this issue…. Do we abandon our pro-life stance to support Trump ????????
I’m brokenhearted.. supporting the lesser of two evils seems faithless.
Father God all we can do is turn to you and plead “Thy Kingdom come and Thy Will be done “ in our savior Jesus name.

18
    Truth4Him
    July 11, 2024

    No, abandoning Trump will only lead to much more child sacrifice – and quite likely the complete destruction of America. Please pray for discernment to see the bigger picture – and let the 14th amendment suffice for now in its guarantee of life and liberty. The evil alternative is beyond our imagination!

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