Advocates warn GOP not to neglect social issues

Former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (Colo.) warned her fellow Republicans not to get distracted by controversies like the planned Muslim center near New York's ground zero at the expense of abortion and other social issues.

"My party would be very foolish to ignore social issues, ignore the life issue," said Musgrave, who served three terms in the House before losing to Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Colo.) in 2008.

Musgrave has continued her anti-abortion advocacy with the advocacy group Susan B. Anthony List. This week she completed an SBA-sponsored bus trip through the districts of Democrats who oppose abortion rights who voted for the healthcare reform bill.

The tour was meant to provide a rallying point for anti-abortion advocates angry over provisions in the bill they say allows taxpayer money to subsidize insurance policies that cover elective abortions. 

"I believe [Republicans] need to reach out to the social conservatives in this country," Musgrave said. "I believe there were many good people in Congress who will make that happen."

She cited Republican House leaders Mike Pence (Ind.) and John Boehner (Ohio) as two examples. "They're not going to let the social issues be neglected."

Grassroots activists are currently waiting on the GOP leadership to deliver a policy blueprint similar to the 1990s-era "Contract with America." It's expected out after Labor Day.

Voters concerned about abortion are highly motivated this cycle, but they're waiting to see leadership from the GOP, Musgrave said. "We are expecting them to address the social issues," she said. "We’re looking for pro-life leadership."