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Top 3 Abortion Lies in and around the GOP Primary Debate

August 24, 2023

Democrats have long relied on lies in an effort to push the slaughter of the unborn, but Wednesday night’s GOP primary debate saw even some Republicans muddy the waters. Here are the top three lies told about abortion in and around the debate.

1. “Abortion Is a Losing Issue”

Fox News host and debate moderator Martha MacCallum told candidates, and everyone who was watching the debate, “Abortion has been a losing issue for Republicans since the Dobbs decision.” In an effort to bolster her point, she referred to several recent state referendums on abortion. While the six states MacCallum noted might have voted either to endorse abortion or to kick the can down the road on the question, 25 states — that’s half the country, for those who are counting — have enacted pro-life legislation since the Dobbs decision in order to protect the unborn. Furthermore, every single governor who backed pro-life legislation has maintained his gubernatorial seat — including some, like Florida’s Ron DeSantis (R), Ohio’s Mike DeWine (R), Georgia’s Brian Kemp (R), and Texas’s Greg Abbott (R), who all made significant gains in the 2022 midterm elections after signing heartbeat bills into law.

MacCallum’s analysis also contradicts the strategies laid out by Republican leaders. For example, Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel urged Republicans earlier this year not to shy away from discussing abortion. She told candidates, “Let’s talk about abortion, which has become a huge issue coming after the Dobbs decision. When you don’t respond, the lies become the truth.” McDaniel also pointed to polling statistics, which show that Democrats who support unrestricted abortion lose by a national average of 22 points against Republicans with pro-life policies.

Even more recently, former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany issued similar guidance, telling GOP candidates at all levels not to ignore the abortion issue or relegate it to a “states’ rights issue,” but to push forward with it and especially to expose “the extremism of Democrats.” She quipped, “I’d love to see a presidential candidate look at Joe Biden and say, ‘President Biden, when does [an unborn] baby feel pain?’ I don’t think he could answer that question. Why isn’t every Democrat in America being asked that question?”

This leads us to the second big lie of the night…

2. “No One Supports Abortion up to Birth”

Remember when Bill Clinton said that abortions should be “safe, legal, and rare?” Well 31 years later, the Democrats are still trying to push the myth that it is, but only when confronted with the barbarism of their policies.

During the debate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis touted his own pro-life credentials, including signing into law a six-week abortion ban. He said, “I believe in a culture of life. I was proud to sign the Heartbeat Bill. … What the Democrats are trying to do on this issue is wrong, to allow abortion all the way up to the moment of birth.” Biden’s former White House press secretary Jen “Circle Back” Psaki took to Twitter to contradict the pro-life governor. She tweeted, “No one supports abortion up until birth.”

First of all, seven states currently allow abortion up to the point of birth: Alaska, Colorado, New Jersey (where Psaki’s one-time boss, Joe Biden, stumped for pro-death governor Phil Murphy in 2021), New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Vermont. Ten more allow it with a flimsy “health exception” (a doctor can cite mental distress, for example): Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington.

Secondly, Democrats have long pushed for unrestricted abortion up to the very point of birth. The DeSantis War Room account responded to Psaki’s tweet with a five-minute-long video compilation of Democrats endorsing abortion up to birth. The compilation includes Joe Biden and Kamala Harris endorsing unrestricted abortion and even a clip of Psaki herself responding to questions on the subject in the White House press briefing room.

As Brent Keilen, vice president for FRC Action, told The Washington Stand, “Democrats are increasingly aware of just how unpopular the standard position of the party is on the life issue: abortion for any reason up until the moment of birth at taxpayers’ expense. This stance is one that very, very few Americans support. While some may be saying this isn’t their standard position, the reality is, their party platform, proposed bills, and even legislation we’ve seen at the state level say otherwise. Most of the party’s federal representatives have even opposed the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. If you can’t support that, what limitations can you support?”

But the madness doesn’t end with killing babies seconds away from emerging from their mothers’ wombs: Democrats have actually voted to let unwanted babies die even after they’ve been born. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which simply requires medical care for a baby who survives an abortion attempt and is born alive. Only one Democrat voted for the legislation. The rest voted to allow a baby to die on an operating table or in a wastebasket.

Inspired by Psaki’s famous catchphrase, let’s “circle back” to the next lie on the list…

3. “Abortion Is a States’ Rights Issue”

All the candidates on Wednesday night’s debate stage were asked if they would support a national ban on abortion. While all candidates purportedly identify as pro-life, several refused to back a national abortion ban. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum expressly opposed any such measure, saying, “The feds are stepping into people’s lives and stepping into people’s businesses over and over. If we say the fed should be in this, where do we stop?” Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) shot back, saying, “We cannot let states like California, New York, and Illinois have abortions on demand up until the day of birth. That is immoral. It is unethical. It is wrong.”

One-time South Carolina governor, former ambassador to the United Nations, and current RINO Nikki Haley also refused to commit to a ban. She argued that such a measure would be unlikely to pass in the Senate (forgetting, perhaps, that there is an election in a year, which may very well yield a new Senate makeup) and relegated it to a states’ rights issue only, saying she would instead focus on narrower restrictions, instead of a blanket ban. Haley was shamed by former Vice President Mike Pence, who pledged to sign a national abortion ban should he take office, saying, “It’s not a states-only issue. It’s a moral issue.”

Fortunately, others endorsed a national ban. When asked if the six-week abortion ban he signed in Florida would be a “tough sell” on the national scale, DeSantis pointed to his major midterm victory last year, quipping, “I would say we sold the biggest election landslide victory in the history of the Republican Party in the state of Florida in 2022.”

In his opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, nowhere did Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito relegate abortion regulation to the states or bar the federal government from becoming involved in the issue. Alito wrote simply that abortion regulation belongs “to the people’s elected representatives.”

Biden’s reelection campaign decided to run pro-abortion ads on Fox leading up to, during, and even after the debate, featuring the president’s demonic, laser-eyed alter ego “Dark Brandon” grinning over the slogan “Listen up, Jack. I’m bringing Roe back.” The Democrats have poured obscene amounts of money into abortion messaging and have mobilized at the state level to legally declare the slaughter of the unborn a human right. Whoever ends up as the Republican presidential nominee — whether he was on the stage Wednesday night or not — needs to be committed to fighting this savage barbarity, not just playing politics.

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.