RMC Responds: The Importance of Pro-Choice RepublicansPosted: February 8, 2013
This week RMC National Co-Chair Candy Straight was featured in an article about her multi-faceted career. Candy’s story, and in particular pictures of Candy with former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and NJ Gov. Chris Christie, generated a lot of discussion on Facebook about the role of pro-choice Republicans.
Dwayne said, “This is the problem with the republican party. Grasping onto Liberal ideals that split the party. If he wants to support murder he needs to join the democratic party. Abortion is a fundamental belief of true conservatism…”
Steve said, “No, the answer is not for Republicans to become more like Liberals.”
RMC is a national organization of Republicans who adhere to the fundamental conservative principles of fiscal responsibility, individual freedom and limited government. We believe that these values should apply to our personal lives and not just our pocketbooks. The vast majority of our supporters are life-long Republicans who have contributed their time, effort and hard-earned money to countless GOP campaigns on the local and national levels. Though the label is often misconstrued, we, as pro-choice Republicans, are not pro-abortion. In fact, we don’t believe that anyone is pro-abortion. We are not supporters of more abortions; we are advocates for the right to minimal government interference in our personal lives. Most importantly, we promote access to preventative reproductive health care to prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the rate of abortion nationwide. Prevention-first policies reduce long-term costs, save taxpayer dollars and minimalize government interference in personal health decisions.
We accept and respect that members of our party can have differing views on these issues, but we also know that we have more in common than not. Our goal is to find the common ground that proves that the GOP is the common sense, limited government party that promotes sound family planning and healthy families.
The important idea to take away from this is that these are not liberal principles. In fact, these principles have deep roots within the history of the GOP. Title X of the Public Service Act, the only public family planning program in the United States, originally passed with broad bipartisan support and was signed into law by Republican President Richard Nixon in 1970. One of the chief co-sponsors of this preventative health care legislation was former President (then-Rep.) George H.W. Bush. These elected leaders understood, as pro-choice Republicans do today, that the best way to reduce the need for abortions is to increase access to all reproductive health services. Former President Ronald Reagan appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, despite staunch opposition from anti-choice groups. Both Reagan and the Republican Justice were personally anti-abortion, however O’Connor understood that the true role of the courts was to limit government intrusion and protect personal freedoms such as self-determination and personal privacy. Her opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992 stated that: “Some of us as individuals find abortion offensive to our most basic principles of morality, but that cannot control our decision. Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code.”
Millions of Republicans do not want the government to control personal medical decisions but the time has come to be more vocal and more active in our efforts. The current Republican platform advocates for a total ban on abortion without exceptions for rape, incest, or to save the life of a woman in danger. These policies go against the beliefs of the majority of Republicans and, indeed, the majority of all Americans. GOP candidates need to hear that you don’t support extreme platforms. We must respect differing views and focus on our common ground. We must find solutions to this debate rather than name calling and continuing pointless, partisan stalemates. Together we can promote healthier families, sound family planning policies and lessen the need and incidence of abortion. If more mainstream GOP donors speak up, the Party cannot afford to ignore us!