Pro-life group celebrates Rubio as ‘hero,’ decries ‘ostrich strategy’ from other GOP candidates

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America is celebrating Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen.-elect JD Vance of Ohio, and others for their “articulate” and “prepared” arguments against abortion.

SBA Pro-Life America, one of the largest pro-life organizations in the United States, championed Rubio during a press conference Wednesday as one of their “heroes” in the 2022 election season, saying that the Florida senator was “singularly articulate” in saying what he believes about abortion policy.

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., walks to the Senate subway after a vote in the U.S. Capitol, May 26, 2021.
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

SBA cited many Republican candidates who pushed pro-life messaging effectively in their bids for office, name-dropping Rubio, Vance, Ted Budd, Kristi Noem, Brian Kemp and others.

Some Republicans suffered from a lack of conviction or confidence in the 2022 race “because they hoped the issue would go away,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America. She added that such Republicans, when grilled on abortion, would “quickly say something, anything, and then move on.”

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Republican Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance participates in the Fox News Town Hall on Nov. 1, 2022.
(Fox News Channel)

“We have a popular position,” Dannenfelser said, citing polling data showing large support for a 15-week ban, “but no leadership at the top.”

These candidates “weren’t prepared or didn’t care to prepare,” said Frank Cannon, political strategist for the organization. Cannon went on to claim advising the “ostrich” or “opossum strategy” — dodging concrete answers for fear of upsetting voters across the aisle — was borderline political malpractice.

Citing Vance’s campaign, the SBA Pro-Life president said, “He answered directly, and he spent some money on it.”

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Republican Kristi Noem speaks after winning re-election for governor.
(KDLT)

Voters across the country backed a series of ballot initiatives on Tuesday protecting access to abortion.

The results were largely uniform from California to Montana to Michigan. Voters backed proposals to enshrine abortion rights into law, while simultaneously striking down efforts by conservatives to restrict the practice.

In Michigan, voters passed a ballot initiative creating a right to abortion within the state’s constitution. The initiative, which passed by roughly double digits, according to the Michigan Board of Elections, also strikes down a 1931 law that bans abortion.

While not thrilled with the pro-choice movement’s progress on the state level, pro-life organizations see the more localized debates and initiatives as a better opportunity for progress after the overturn of Roe v. Wade earlier this year.