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Rinke: GOP must change its abortion narrative | Opinion


Political TV ads are flooding the airwaves here in Michigan and throughout the country. Since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats have seized on a message that Republicans are anti-women. That could not be further from the truth.

But the Republican Party needs to change the narrative quickly as the midterm election nears.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham recently proposed a federal 15-week abortion ban. While I applaud the senator’s intention, we must remember the decision by the Supreme Court was correct and this is a state’s rights issue. Conservatives in Michigan can either let this election be a referendum on abortion or we can make it about the people of Michigan struggling to decide whether to put food on the table or gas in their cars.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has tried to distract voters from talking about her disastrous record on Michigan’s economy. Republicans should introduce an abortion proposal like the one implemented by Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida, who is pro-life, but understands he is the governor of the entire state of Florida, not just those who vote Republican.

He signed a statewide law that prohibits abortion after 15 weeks unless the life of the mother or child are in danger. Republicans know more than 90% of abortions in America occur during the first trimester, so why are they allowing the Democrats to define them as out of touch on an idea most Americans find to be a sensible approach?

Polling consistently shows that more than 60% of people think that abortion should be illegal in the second trimester. That number jumps to more than 80% when asked about abortion in the third trimester. It seems Democratic proposals on the issue of life are more out of step with the American public.

Look no further than their ballot initiative here in Michigan that they say will enshrine abortion rights. What it really does is create a Wild West scenario that takes away practical restrictions on abortion. This initiative will take away parental consent, which will allow children unfettered access to abortion because the language in the ballot question doesn’t differentiate between adults and minors. It could also arguably allow women to terminate a healthy child up until the day they are set to be born.

Not only do over 80% of Americans disagree with the Democrats on partial birth abortion, but they also disagree with the Democrats belief that the taxpayers, you, should be footing the bill for abortion — even up to nine months.

I am a proud Michiganian, and I am proudly pro-life with exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. One thing I know is that our state doesn’t want to be like California and New York, and I don’t want to see Michigan become a state comfortable with the idea of late-term abortion.

To me that is extreme and morally indefensible. And that is exactly why our Republican leaders across the state should come together and propose similar legislation to what Gov. DeSantis signed into law in Florida. It is a common sense approach and is supported by facts and public opinion.

It is our duty as conservative Republicans to act now and propose a solution on the issue of abortion to ensure we can get our state back on track.

Kevin Rinke is a former Republican candidate for governor and Metro Detroit businessman.