Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus suggested Wednesday that Democrats "endorse infanticide" by supporting women's health provider Planned Parenthood.
The op-ed cites a Florida legislature hearing last week on an effort to create legal protections for aborted fetuses that show signs of life. Priebus highlights testimony from a Planned Parenthood representative.
Under questioning from Florida legislators about the necessity of treatment for an aborted fetus showing varying signs of life, the Planned Parenthood representative declined to offer a clear yes-or-no answer, suggesting that the decision on whether to provide treatment "should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.”
Priebus said the response indicates "Planned Parenthood doesn't believe [babies] have rights" and said voters should hold Democrats to account for their support of the group.
"The President, the Senate Majority Leader, the House Democratic Leader, and the Chair of the Democratic National Committee (in whose home state this hearing occurred) made funding Planned Parenthood an issue in the 2012 campaign," Priebus writes. "They should now all be held to account for that outspoken support. If the media won’t, then voters must ask the pressing questions: Do these Democrats also believe a newborn has no rights? Do they also endorse infanticide?"
North Dakota became the nation's most restrictive state on abortion rights last week, when Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) signed a series of laws banning abortions based on genetic defects, gender selection and if a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
Abortion-rights advocates have opposed measures like Florida's because they would make doctors criminally liable for any fetus too underdeveloped to survive outside the womb.
Funding for Planned Parenthood became a focal point in the 2012 election for both parties as they looked to sway female voters. Obama ultimately won the women's vote by 10 percentage points.
But with new efforts to restrict abortion rights cropping up in a number of states, the GOP sees opposition to Planned Parenthood as a potentially winning argument this election cycle.
Priebus said Republicans should hold Democrats accountable for their support of abortion rights.
"In the last election, Republicans were repeatedly asked about whether they supported cutting funding to Planned Parenthood. It’s time Democrats are asked whether they still support funding an organization that refuses to care for a newborn," he said.