An anti-abortion group sent a memo to GOP members of Congress urging them not to leave abortion to the states and outlined talking points to 'keep pro-lifers on offense'

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Protesters on both sides of the abortion issue gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, during the March for Life.
Protesters on both sides of the abortion issue gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, during the March for Life.Susan Walsh/Associated Press
  • The Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America nonprofit sent talking points to GOP lawmakers.

  • The messaging included focusing on Democrats' "extremism" and the "humanity of the unborn child."

  • The memo also said the issue should not simply be "left to the states."

A major anti-abortion rights group sent a memo to Republican members of Congress last week saying they should not leave the issue to the states and outlined talking points on how they should "keep pro-lifers on offense."

The memo, which was obtained by Axios, was sent by the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America nonprofit on Monday and was addressed to "Pro-Life Members of Congress."

The memo advises Republican lawmakers to avoid "traps" set by Democrats "to try to get pro-life Members of Congress to say damaging things" and instead focus on "exposing" the Democrats' goal of passing the Woman's Health Protection Act.

The WHPA, which would codify federal abortion rights, was one of two abortion bills passed in the House on Friday and now advances to the Senate, where Democrats do not have the votes to pass it. The memo refers to the bill as the "Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act," a title that has also been used by some Republicans.

The memo said in addition to highlighting "the abortion extremism of Democrats" it's also important for anti-abortion voters to know how a GOP-controlled Congress would handle the issue.

"The rights of fragile unborn children cannot simply be 'left to the states,' especially considering that at least 20 states or more are expected to continue to have policies of abortion on demand," the memo reads, adding: "That's why pro-life Members of Congress have a duty to advocate for legislation recognizing the rights of unborn children."

It urges Congress to pass a federal gestational limit, or a point in a pregnancy when an abortion would not be permitted: "SBA Pro-Life America supports the most ambitious legislation that can achieve consensus, whether it may be a heartbeat limit, a pain-capable limit, or a similarly protective gestational limit."

It also pointed to polling that suggested voters would support limits on abortion past 6 or 15 weeks of pregnancy, as some worry Roe's reversal and recently passed state-level abortion bans could hurt Republicans in the midterms.

The memo includes the group's "top four messages to keep pro-lifers on offense," including that the Roe reversal does not mean a nationwide ban, hammering Democrats for "extremist" abortion views, and focusing on "the humanity of the unborn child" rooted in "modern medicine and science."

The last messaging point says: "Demonstrate that the pro-life movement cares not only about the unborn child, but about the mother as well and providing the resources necessary for her to choose life. "

Since the reversal of Roe v. Wade last month, some Republicans who celebrated the ruling have said the issue would now go back to the states, where they believe it belongs. Others, including Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Joni Ernst of Iowa, have expressed interest in passing federal restrictions on abortion.

Republicans have also faced pressure to pass legislation supporting mothers and families.

SBA Pro-Life America did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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