The overturning of Roe was a huge policy “win” for Republicans, but it had the unfortunate impact of revealing what the pro-choice side had been warning about for years: Abortion is life and health saving care for women and girls. It is not, actually, a religious issue but rather a medical issue.

New polling reportedly revealed to Republican Senators showed that “pro-life” is not resonating with voters anymore (now that they know what it actually means in effect).

So now Republicans are considering rebranding “pro-life” as “pro-baby.”

“Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., summarized the closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill as being focused on ‘pro-baby policies,’” NBC reported.

“At a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans this week, the head of a super PAC closely aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., presented poll results that suggested voters are reacting differently to commonly used terms like “pro-life” and “pro-choice” in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, said several senators who were in the room.”

In the 2022 midterms, abortion and election denial beat Republicans into the ground as their red wave dissolved into a barely red squeak in the House. What will Republicans do about this problem? Will they examine their policies to see if maybe being anti-life for women and girls and anti-democracy in a democracy are not great ideas?

No. Republicans will simply RENAME their bad policy. They’ve been doing this for over a decade now every time a bad idea gets outed in an election post mortem.

“What intrigued me the most about the results was that ‘pro-choice’ and ‘pro-life’ means something different now, that people see being pro-life as being against all abortions … at all levels,” Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. is reported to have said in an interview with NBC.

Cramer is almost there but missing the actual point. Abortion is simply a matter of human rights. It is medical care. Republican anti-choice laws that are currently in place have deprived women and girls of life and health saving medical care, impacting their future fertility and at times imposing torturous pain and emotional distress. There is no need for any of this because again, abortion is a medical issue. It is not an issue to be legislated by people who clearly do not understand the basics about it and if they do, are denying the reality of their policy on real women and girls.

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), most known for fleeing from the insurrection he helped to egg on, thinks the problem is that most voters don’t understand what pro-life means, when the problem is actually that many people supported pro-life in theory but do not support it now that they see what it actually means.

“Many voters think [‘pro-life’] means you’re for no exceptions in favor of abortion ever, ever, and ‘pro-choice’ now can mean any number of things. So the conversation was mostly oriented around how voters think of those labels, that they’ve shifted. So if you’re going to talk about the issue, you need to be specific,” Hawley said on Thursday, as reported by NBC.

The head of the Senate Leadership Fund Super PAC claimed that this was not a strategy session, per se, but just a discussion. Yes, a discussion about how polling shows that their messaging on “pro-life” is an election killer and an attempt to rebrand this now busted messaging.

The pro-choice message is now so impactful Ohio voters rejected a Republican-led proposal to make it harder to protect abortion rights. Brookings Institute wrote, “Issue 1’s voter approval requirement was unusually high, and the proposed signature requirement was also singularly onerous.”

This rebrand effort should be laughable given Republican policies for actual babies, which is to say they are against healthcare, food, shelter, and any basic help for babies. This is an empty promise and dare I say, a lie.

In the New York Times, the Republican protection of children was explored by Jamelle Bouie who wrote in an opinion piece that while Republicans were willing to ban drag shows and keep children from leaning about our real history, they would not take steps to help hungry children. “The Republican Party will not, for example, support universal school lunch to protect children from hunger. When Minnesota Democrats pushed the measure in the most recent session of the state’s Legislature, for example, one of their Republican colleagues strenuously objected. “I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that says they don’t have access to enough food to eat,” Steve Drazkowski, a state senator, said. He, like most Republicans in the Legislature, voted against the bill.”

This Republican has yet to meet a person who doesn’t have enough to eat? He needs to get out more, obviously.

Bouie continued noting the many Republican-led states that refused to expand Obamacare, which deprives millions, including children, of healthcare.

We could also touch on the Republican refusal to regulate guns and how children face mass shootings in schools and public events now all too often or how guns impact children in the home. The list of how Republican policies punish babies as “takers” and “welfare leeches” is too exhaustive to innumerate in this piece.

The bottom line is “pro-baby” is just another empty promise on par with “my wife doesn’t understand me” and “the check is in the mail.”

It’s just words. Pretty words that sound good but have very ugly, dangerous impact on women, girls, and babies. A party that wants to force births to the point of harming pregnant people and endangering their lives should at the very least be pro-baby, but the Republican Party is not pro-baby.

It turns out that a majority of Americans support pro-choice now that they understand what it means. There aren’t many people who will agree that the state should force women and girls to carry a pregnancy even when it puts their lives at risk. And while Republicans deny that this is their intent, it is the impact of their “pro-life” laws.

And lastly, what the overturn of Roe has done is cause many who are anti-choice themselves to realize that they do not feel entitled to force others to comply with their religious beliefs over a medical professional’s best recommendation for their patient. No one wants to stand by laws that force a ten year old rape victim to carry a pregnancy, but that is what “pro-life” means.

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