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VICTOR JOECKS: How Republicans can win on abortion

Crying “run away” is amusing when done by Monty Python. But it’s a terrible strategy for Republicans on abortion.

On Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that an abortion ban on the books from 1864 is enforceable. The law won’t go into effect immediately as other legal issues work their way through the court system.

Democrats rushed to denounce the decision.

“This ruling is a result of the extreme agenda of Republican elected officials who are committed to ripping away women’s freedom,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.

Good luck figuring out how today’s Republicans enacted a law in 1864. But Biden’s strategy is obvious. His presidency has been a dumpster fire of runaway inflation, illegal immigration and global chaos. He and other Democrats want to campaign on their willingness to allow the murder of preborn babies.

Former President Donald Trump doesn’t want to engage on the issue. On Monday, he released a video laying out his position on “abortion rights.” He said that states should decide and that people should “follow your heart.” After the Arizona decision came down, Trump didn’t praise the state. He said that Arizona went too far and that it will “be straightened out.”

Let’s acknowledge some conflicting realities. First, preborn babies are human from the moment of fertilization. If you don’t think so, please let me know what’s created at conception. An elephant? A rose? A bicycle that magically becomes a baby only if a mother is happy she’s pregnant?

Second, it’s morally wrong to intentionally take an innocent human life.

Third, that makes abortion morally wrong, unless done to save a mother’s life. For instance, the primary goal of an abortion done to remove an ectopic pregnancy is saving a woman’s life. The death of a preborn baby is a tragic byproduct, not the intended result.

Fourth, surgical abortions are violent acts. Abortionists suck preborn babies out of vacuums. Or they use a Sopher clamp — a foot-long pair of scissors with metal teeth — to rip a preborn baby apart limb by limb.

Fifth, outlawing abortion isn’t a politically plausible position in most states. Abortion has won at the ballot box even in red states, such as Ohio and Kansas. In Nevada, abortion supporters want to put abortion until the point of birth in the state constitution.

This means Republicans such as Trump and most of those running in Nevada will have to acknowledge that voters currently want some abortion to remain legal. But they shouldn’t accept the left’s premise that abortion is a right or freedom. Politically speaking, that’s a losing proposition because you’re saying you want to restrict rights.

Instead, Republicans should work to shift the public’s view. A couple of ideas can change the narrative.

Pro-life candidates should say they support every abortion that doesn’t intentionally end an innocent human life. Let abortion supporters explain the contradiction.

When asked about abortion, GOP candidates should hold up a picture of a 7-month-old preborn baby missing part of her skull or one ripped apart limb-by-limb. Candidates should say they understand the public supports first-term abortion, but they oppose what’s in those pictures.

Public opinion can and does change — especially when leaders lead, instead of running away.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on X.

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