For much of the year, as Republican policymakers targeted reproductive rights with increasing enthusiasm, a new effort became a top GOP priority: the 20-week abortion ban. The measure has already passed the U.S. House, and may yet get a vote in the U.S. Senate.
According to the Republican National Committee, however, the proposal isn’t ambitious enough. Moving the legal line from 24 weeks to 20 weeks may be the short-term goal for GOP lawmakers, but according to Reince Priebus, the line should really be moved to 16 weeks (via Jamil Smith).
The RNC chair talked to MSNBC’s Chuck Todd this morning, and at around the 8:00 mark in the above clip, Priebus responded to a question about social issues this way:
“We believe in life; we believe in traditional marriage. Our platform is what it always was and I’ve never advocated changing our positions on these issues. But what I have advocated is making sure that we have a tone of grace, love, and respect in the way that we communicate.“But you know, 80% of the public and most – overwhelmingly most – women agree with our position that, you know, abortion after four months should be illegal.”
In terms of the polls, it’s entirely unclear why the chairman of the Republican National Committee believes 80% of the public agrees with him on reproductive rights. There are no public polls available showing that American women “overwhelmingly” support a legal ban on abortion after four months.
But even putting that aside, as recently as this summer, Republican policymakers were pushing a 20-week ban. Is the official position of the RNC that the new policy should be 16 weeks?
As we’ve discussed many times, when it comes to outreach to women voters, Republicans don’t have a rhetoric problem; they have a policy problem.