RNC embraces anti-abortion movement

The Republican National Committee passed a resolution Friday urging Republicans to speak out in opposition to abortion and actively combat Democratic charges that Republicans are engaged in a “war on women.”

The resolution passed the RNC’s Resolutions Committee unanimously on Wednesday, and supporters had expected it to easily pass on Friday.

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Some within the party have counseled Republicans to avoid controversial social issues like abortion and focus more on the GOP’s economic vision, concerned that the abortion issue turns off young, female and minority voters.

But the GOP took steps to embrace and promote the anti-abortion movement this week, with the approval of the resolution and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’s address to the March for Life gathering of anti-abortion activists on Wednesday.

The resolution declares the party “will support Republican pro-life candidates who fight back against Democratic deceptive "war on women" rhetoric by pointing out the extreme positions on abortion held by Democratic opponents.”

It also says the party “will not support the strategy of Republican pro-life candidates who stay silent in the face of such deceptive rhetoric.”

And it “urges all Republican pro-life candidates, consultants, and other national Republican Political Action Committees to reject a strategy of silence on the abortion issue, when candidates are attacked with "war on women" rhetoric.”

Committeewoman Ellen Barrosse told The Hill on Wednesday the resolution was inspired by the past two presidential elections and the Virginia gubernatorial elections, where Democrats charged Republican candidates with waging a “war on women” that Republicans admit hurt them in the end.

“The stakeholders at the RNC recognize that staying silent in the face of those horrific accusations is a losing strategy,” she said.