Republicans Instructed Not to Talk About Abortion

If you’ve been following the reaction to the news that Roe v. Wade is likely about to be overturned, you might have noticed a consistent narrative from Republicans that has nothing to do with abortion at all. Here’s a good example from Arkansas Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge:


Let’s ignore the lunacy of this argument — that leaking a draft decision from the Supreme Court is comparable to the Jan. 6 insurrection — because the more important part is what Rutledge is NOT saying. She and other Republicans are largely going out of their way to avoid even talking about abortion, which is a bit odd considering that overturning Roe v. Wade would be a YUGE victory for the GOP base.

Republican leaders don’t want to talk about abortion, at all, because they know that the majority of Americans do not agree with overturning Roe v. Wade. Just last week, a poll from The Washington Post and ABC News found that voters support maintaining abortion rights by a 2-to-1 margin.

As Axios first reported on Tuesday, a memo from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) makes it explicitly clear that Republicans should focus on the “leak” and ignore the impact of a pending SCOTUS decision on abortion rights. Here’s the first “sample statement” suggested by the NRSC (click here to read the NRSC memo in its entirety):

“This is a draft opinion, so we will wait to see what the final decision of the Supreme Court is in the coming months. The leak of this document is troubling and is indicative of the Radical Left’s mission to undermine the institution of the Supreme Court and ultimately pack the Court with liberal judges who will rubber stamp the Democrats’ radical agenda. It’s wrong and the leaker should be found, fired and potentially prosecuted.”

Nowhere in that sample statement does it indicate that Republicans should support a potential reversal of Roe v. Wade or express agreement on rolling back abortion rights. In fact, if you just read that statement without any context or background information, it wouldn’t be clear what issue was even being discussed.

It speaks volumes that Republicans are taking such pains to avoid talking about something that they have told their base for decades that they are working to support.

9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowman says:

    Rest assured the recent RNC decision to end participation in upcoming Presidential debates is all part and parcel of the coordination. 

    No more gotcha divisive questions!!

  2. JohnInDenver says:

    Jenna Ellis, Constitutional lawyer at large, made an even MORE ludicrous statement:

    Jenna Ellis, a former legal advisor to former President Donald Trump, claimed that the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade constituted a bigger insurrection than the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. 

    "Democrats just want America the way they want it and they don't care who they have to hurt and punish on the way," Ellis told Newsmax.

    "And so what no one is saying about this is this wasn't just an act of civil disobedience, this is an insurrection. You want to talk about January 6, that's completely different, this is something that is actually trying on purpose to undermine the rule of law."

    Evidence this was Democrats leaking?  Nope, not a whit.

    Handing over a 3 month old draft is going to "undermine the rule of law"?  Explanation of how that would happen seems not to have made it into the presentation, either.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      Curious, John.  This leak: is it actually illegal (like breaking into a public building,destroying things and causing bodily harm) or just violating norms? (like BangBang giving tours of the premises to insurrectionists days prior to the insurrection).

      • spaceman2021 says:

        My understanding is that unless the leaker obtained the draft through illegal means (computer hacking, simple theft, etc.), that there is no crime here.  Breach of employment obligations, but not a crime.

        And while I don't condone the leak (as a former federal appeals court clerk), SCOTUS is far too opaque these days. Back in the early 20th century the Lord Chief Justice of England said, "Justice must not only be done, but must also be seen to be done."  SCOTUS needs to be more transparent (cameras at oral arguments, live broadcast).  It's completely tone-deaf to the rapidly deteriorating public perception of it as a trustworthy institution.  

        • MichaelBowman says:

          Thx. It's also entirely possible this leak didn't come from our side, possibly a zealous staffer who doesn't want to give the five justices any wiggle room to further amend their own findings?

          • spaceman2021 says:

            That's certainly possible.  It's certainly caused chaos internally and the Court will probably alter how it circulates drafts.  But the leak itself isn't the story, despite the RWNJs trying to make it the story.  

            One other comment, the fact that Justice Alito wrote the draft as the opinion of the Court indicates two things to me.  One, there are 5 solid votes to overrule Roe and Casey.  Two, I don't think Roberts is on board.  Had Roberts been in the majority on this, Roberts would have been the one to assign the opinion.  I can't imagine Roberts wouldn't have kept this opinion for himself to write.  So I surmise that Roberts was not in the majority when the opinion was assigned, which meant that Thomas would then be the one to assign the opinion.  And he would want to either assign it to himself or to the next most conservative justice, i.e., Alito.  


  3. JohnNorthofDenver says:

    Greg Lopez answered the question he's for a ban on abortion and beating his wife.

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