FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has a plan for a Republican Party struggling to message on abortion post-Roe v. Wade.

“Pro-life Americans, leaders, and elected officials should consider three distinct, but related, steps to reverse course,” Rubio writes in a memo first obtained by The Daily Signal. The senator plans to share the memo with his colleagues in Congress this week ahead of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, The Daily Signal has learned.

“First, we need to develop and fight for a compassionate, pro-family agenda that counters caricatures of our beliefs and makes life easier for mothers and their children,” he writes. “Second, we need to put Democrats on the defensive about their extreme support for abortion. Third, we need to tell the truth about what abortion is—the taking of innocent life—and advocate limits to the practice.”

The senator told The Daily Signal that although the abortion landscape may have shifted, the stakes have not. “Our mission remains unchanged: Building a nation where every life is cherished and protected,” he explained.

“We must be compassionate and stand with families in crisis, offering support, not judgment, for every life that is brought into this world, and dismantling the false choice between motherhood and opportunity,” Rubio stressed. “We will expose the truth about abortion, from the horrors of late-term abortion to the lack of basic protections for the most vulnerable. Finally, we will rely on common sense, finding areas where even those who disagree can stand together for the sanctity of life.”

“Every life saved, every family supported, every law rewritten is another step toward a future where every beating heart finds refuge in the law and compassion in our hearts,” he added.

The Landscape

The Florida senator addressed the challenging landscape the pro-life movement faces. In spite of a massive victory in overturning Roe v. Wade, pro-life lawmakers and activists now must grapple with near-record high support for abortion, accelerated by Democrats’ “apocalyptic visions of what a supposedly pro-life future would look like.”

A key part of Democrats’ strategy to increase support for abortion is the lie that pro-life laws criminalize treatments for miscarriages, stillbirths and ectopic pregnancies,” he said.

That strategy of “fear and control” has been effective, Rubio told his peers, particularly when it comes to ballot initiatives, such as “Issue 1″ in Ohio, an amendment enshrining abortion into the Ohio Constitution.

“The pro-life side has lost seven out of the past seven ballot initiatives at the state level—a perfect record of failure,” he said. “This failure is starker because some of the initiatives concerned pro-life policies that strong majorities of Americans support.”

The senator’s memo notes that “some have looked at these losses and concluded that being pro-life is a losing position,” while others have “fallen silent” or “punted to the states, claiming that Congress has no authority over the matter—a claim that is wrong on the merits, as well as a disservice to voters.”

Abortion-rights activists argue with pro-life activists in front of the Supreme Court on June 26, 2022. (Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

“Each of these positions amounts to abandonment of the unborn, mothers and families,” Rubio said. “It cannot be our solution.”

“At this moment, Democrats largely control the narrative about abortion, and that means they control the
narrative about us and our policies,” he told his colleagues. “Consequently, despite voters’ deep unease about abortion and revulsion at such barbaric practices as late-term abortion, they do not trust Republicans to lead on this issue. This image problem has devastating policy results. Action is needed, or worse outcomes will follow.”

Rubio’s Solution

Rubio’s three-part strategy—to fight for a pro-family agenda, to highlight Democratic extremism, and to tell the truth about the horrors of abortion—includes a point often lost in translation on Capitol Hill: Republicans have the moral high ground on an issue dealing with the killing of an unborn child.

“Pro-lifers should recall that protecting unborn human beings is the moral center and purpose of our movement—and we cannot be shy about saying so,” he noted. “No pro-life strategy deserves the name without advocating just limits on abortion.”

“This moment is an opportunity for Republicans to refocus and remember who we are,” he writes. “Our party believes in the dignity of the human person, the importance of family, and the unalienable right to life. There is no cause that unites those beliefs more perfectly, and that motivates tens of millions of our party’s supporters more fully, than the pro-life cause. We have a responsibility to advocate effectively for that cause.”

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