Fight Back Against ‘War on Women’ Attacks, RNC Resolution Urges

By Barbara Hollingsworth | January 23, 2014 | 2:00pm EST


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( – Pro-life Republican candidates can neutralize their Democratic opponents’ “war on women” attacks by fighting back, says Ellen Barrosse, author of a resolution unanimously adopted by the party's Resolutions Committee Wednesday.

The resolution was submitted by Barrosse, a committeewoman from Delaware, the same day the Republican National Committee (RNC) officially joined the annual March for Life in Washington for the first time.

Barrosse’s resolution states: “Candidates who stay silent on pro-life issues do not identify with key voters, fail to alert voters to Democrats’ extreme pro-abortion stances, and have lost their elections.”

It continues, “Staying silent fails because this strategy allows Democrats to define the Republican brand and prevents the Republican Party from taking advantage of widely supported pro-life positions… to attract traditional and new values voters.”

The resolution - which Barrosse called “blindingly obvious” - will be voted on by the full RNC Friday, Barrosse told She predicted that it will become accepted political wisdom “within the next three months.”

“It sounds so radical, but look at the Republican governors in the Midwest. They’re all pro-life, and they don’t get any of this ‘war on women’ guff because their opponents know that they’ll take it in the teeth if they try it,” Barrosse, who is also a board member of American Principles in Action (APIA), told

APIA issued a “GOP Autopsy Report 2013” that noted: “Social issues (especially the life issues) do not hurt GOP candidates…they help them win elections.” (See 190781232-GOP-Autopsy-Report-2013.pdf

“The Left punches on social issues, the Republican and conservative elites retreat and change the subject. The Left’s narrative therefore dominates,” the report stated, noting that “the most competitive 2014 Senate races are almost all in red states that are more conservative than the country as a whole.”

“A unilateral ‘truce’ on social issues turns into a political rout, failing in its alleged goal of ‘rebranding’ the GOP. Instead it allows the Left to brand a silent and therefore defenseless GOP based on leftwing views of what ‘pro-life’ or other values issues mean….The truce strategy is a way to guarantee you lose a political argument and the Democrats know it.

Barrosse says that despite the fact that the GOP is officially pro-life, many Republican candidates shy away from defending their position when under attack by pro-abortion Democrats. But doing so puts them at a political disadvantage.

“The Republican Party has a plank and the plank is pro-life. We are pro-life as a party. That’s not to say there aren’t members of the Republican National Committee who are pro-choice, or that there aren’t candidates who are pro-choice. That’s a different subject altogether,” Barrosse told

“But [what] my resolution talks about is how do we counter these extremely effective, if deceptive attacks by Democrats against pro-life Republicans and what is the best way to respond to those attacks?

“And the answer to that is you have to fight back. If you stay silent in the face of ‘war on women’ rhetoric, you are allowing Democrats – your opponents – to define your ground on the life issue. And that’s a losing proposition.”

A new Marist Poll found deep ambivalence among Americans on abortion since the Supreme Court legalized it 41 years ago in its landmark Roe v. Wade decision. (See Marist Poll.pdf)

For example, although 50 percent of Americans consider themselves “pro-choice,” 62 percent also view abortion as “morally wrong.”

According to the poll, only 9 percent of Americans believe “abortion should be available to a woman any time she wants one during her entire pregnancy.”

In contrast, 84 percent believe abortion should be not be permitted at all, or restricted to the first three months of pregnancy, or only allowed in cases of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is in danger.

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