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The Right Resistance: Kristi Noem’s abortion stance reignites new focus on Trump’s veep choice

Though those rumored to be involved would never admit it, there’s a full-on campaign taking place right now to win consideration for Donald Trump’s running mate.  Most times the sophisticated sell-job is completely behind-the-scenes, but on other occasions, it’s out

in the open and plain as day.


One such overt plea took place last week, when South Dakota governor – and long rumored possible Trump running mate – Kristi Noem got off the relatively quiet and safe sidelines to stir the speculation pot by confronting the ultra-hot-stove issue of abortion. 2024 Republican primary candidates didn’t exactly sprint away from the subject during the months of campaigning, but discussions were typically terse – and measured.


By the same token, several of the Republicans appeared to fully embrace the life cause in their campaigns, unafraid that any wrong statement could rouse the ire of the atrocious feminist left against them.


In an unsurprising announcement yesterday, Trump himself set the abortion policy for his campaign, basically opting to leave the issue up to the individual states to decide. Some conservatives were satisfied; others weren’t, feeling the GOP nominee left the door open for senile Joe Biden and the Democrats to try and manipulate codifying legislation in future Congresses.


It's safe to say conservatives and Republicans have struggled over the years to nail down a united message that encompasses life and still remain politically viable in a country where a majority of the population favors preserving some iteration of access to abortion. It’s never been enough to simply declare oneself pro-life – singular certainty has opened said individuals to slanders and untruths by Democrats.


So what was Noem doing by commenting without being prompted? In a guest opinion column titled “Compassionately Communicating Life”, the South Dakota chief executive -- and leading Trump potential running mate wrote at Real Clear Politics last week:


“There’s more to do, but South Dakota stepped up and protected mothers and their babies with significant policy prescriptions designed to address many concerns. I’m a pro-life governor, and I’m proud of what we’ve done in my state. But what we support in South Dakota may not have support in South Carolina. That’s what the Supreme Court decision actually did – turn those issues back to the people in each state so they can decide. 


“I realize many in my own party don’t want to talk about this issue. However, the national conversation about abortion will only increase as we approach the November elections. Republicans should not and cannot be afraid to defend our position to protect mothers and their babies, expose lies from the left, and go on offense to expose the radical left’s extreme position on abortion...


“Simply put, the America First Conservative policies are proven to be successful – and represent the best hope for a healthy, happy, and prosperous life for Americans who are born and unborn. This is the fight, and if we’re going to win hearts and minds, we can’t be afraid to enter the ring.”


Very nicely put. Here, Noem either demonstrated that she’s got a firm grasp on the issue and messaging for it, or she’s hired capable writers to present it for her in op-ed form. Either way, here’s thinking Republicans are much more prepared to tackle the evil Democrats over the right-to-life of the unborn in today’s culture, essentially agreeing in advance to fight the good fight with the goal that it can be won.


Nothing in her view directly contradicts what Trump announced yesterday.


I found it interesting how Noem contrasted her policy in South Dakota with South Carolina’s, however, apparently setting a marker between herself and 2024 candidate Nikki Haley, a woman who won accolades and praise from many for her “we need a political consensus before going forward on national abortion policy” compromise position during her year on the campaign trail. In doing so, Noem doesn’t ask to be lumped in with Haley’s wishy-washy establishment group. Good for her.


Beyond this, at first glance, it may not seem like a big deal that an admittedly pro-life governor of a conservative midwestern state felt compelled to take to the editorial page of a national publication to explain her views on the hotly controversial abortion topic, but by acting now, Noem opted to put herself on-the-record in a way that could easily make or break her as a Trump vice president possibility.


I found Noem’s arguments to be both persuasive and tailored in a way that would help Trump, were he to select her, win the presidency. Gov. Kristi is obviously female, so theoretically women would have to at least listen to what she has to say rather than automatically dismissing her as an apologist for knuckle-dragging cavemen whose only mission in life is to sidestep the consequences involved with conceiving a child in an inopportune situation.


Everyone realizes the abortion issue dips much deeper than this, but only one side acknowledges that it isn’t so cut and dried. Noem appears to comprehend this.


Beyond mere votes and campaign materials, conservatives have a long way to go to win the war to save unborn babies, regardless of Trump’s – or Noem’s -- position. In no particular order, conservatives must:


First, close the fundraising gap between the two sides on abortion. The left has never had difficulties extracting checks from big liberal donors and activists who would purportedly walk over broken glass for “women’s rights” – and the dark forces have the organizational might to exploit the advantage, too. Millions of dollars are all that’s needed to convince young, unmarried women of the desirability to spend their votes on liberal, abortion-perpetuating politicians.


Conservatives must close the vast dollar and resources difference and put money where their mouth is. There’s too much at stake to lose in this contest.


Second, conservatives are perhaps winning the war on abortion legality in many places while still losing the messaging war. The Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision gave pro-lifers what they’d been after for over a half-century – the overturning of the horribly erroneous Roe v. Wade decision, kicking legality of abortion back to the states themselves to decide – but the Court didn’t solve the real impasse. No longer would conservative life-protecting jurisdictions be forced to provide abortions by federal fiat alone.


By the looks of it, the Pro-life cause had spent so much time praying for the end of Roe that they failed to adequately prepare for what would happen afterwards. What we’re seeing now is the result of that failure to anticipate the left’s hysterical reaction – and them relentlessly using it to edge out everything else in swing voters’ minds.


We shouldn’t blame the ardent pro-lifers for their unpreparedness, nonetheless. All conservatives were caught unaware, but we’ve had a couple years now to assess the political fallout and adjust accordingly, raise money and work with candidates on a politically palatable message that will move the ball forward – save as many babies as possible in these tumultuous times while educating Americans on where the parties truly stand.


Third, highlight the heroes who are speaking out and making a difference now. Former Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh (who won the college national championship and has since left for the NFL) famously offered to raise children of players who were faced with unwanted pregnancies (their girlfriends, of course – no transgender crapola here).


Harbaugh must have recognized his very human offer would be met with contempt by the kill ‘em all (babies, that is) left – and it was. But this wealthy, successful public figure was willing to endure the sleaze and unfair accusations to save lives. More Americans with means and principles need to similarly step up.


Fourth, the pro-life message is not necessarily a loser politically; allowing the left’s lies to spread and swell to the point of crowding out commonly accepted truth is not only a loser, it hurts the cause.


The left portrays the pro-life cause as propelled by a bunch of religious freaks who camp out in front of abortion clinics and thrust incendiary literature (such as photos of aborted babies) to would-be abortion-seekers whose main hope is to slink inside the doors to the abortion factory unmolested or unchallenged in order to pursue the “care” they desire. As has been said in the past, the scorecard then reads one killed and one wounded.


This condescending portrait of pro-lifers isn’t accurate. But leftists have never been above deploying ghoulish terror tactics to scare gullible people into voting for Democrat candidates. Having broached the subject a number of times over the years, the people/women themselves break down into a few categories, none of which I’ve found outwardly support providing abortion-seekers the unfettered “right” to walk into a sanctioned office to snuff out the growing being up until the moment of birth.


Put it this way. I doubt there are many pregnant women experiencing labor pains who opt to flip a coin as to whether they’ll go to the hospital or a Planned Parenthood practitioner. Late term elective abortions are rare and hardly in demand, yet Democrats defend the “right” to them as though their lives and political power depended on it.


I myself recall years ago that a local pro-life group routinely picketed in front of the last functioning abortion clinic in the region (might have even been the state of Virginia). Their peaceful protests/demonstration sent the right message. Visibility matters – and saves lives, both mother and baby.


Donald Trump has said many times – and he has a point – that nothing good will come to the pro-life movement without first winning the political offices necessary to impact public policy. Trump himself is a rather odd person to be seen as the one to steer the pro-life public debate, but he’s the best situated to do it. Grandstanding and fruitless windmill-chasing won’t get it done in this realm.


One can’t help but think that a practical approach to abortion is the most appropriate way to look at it this year. Governor Kristi Noem treated the issue with firmness and a principled stance that will at least begin the conversation on a topic that fires up both sides of the political spectrum. Trump needs a spokesperson on abortion; is Kristi Noem the best one to fill the role?

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