GOP Debate and Abortion: Despite Mixed Responses, a Culture of Life Should Be the Goal


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While this first GOP presidential debate did not move the needle on many of the issues and made others even more murky, on the issue of abortion post-Roe v. Wade, we saw Republicans define and distinguish themselves by their responses to the question asked by the Fox News moderators on a federal abortion ban.

The candidates argued over what the federal government’s role should be in deciding access to abortion. All agreed they were “pro-life” but tried during the debate to differentiate themselves on issues such as a national abortion ban.

The candidates that shed greater light and defined their views most articulately are the ones who spoke from a personal perspective and not just from canned talking points or a party line.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ very personal response to the question helped lay the framework.


You gotta do what you think is right. I believe in a culture of life. I was proud to sign the Heartbeat bill. One of the most impactful moments of my life was when I heard the heartbeat of my oldest daughter in my wife’s womb and saw the sonogram of all my kids. 

When moderator Bret Baier pressed further, asking if he would sign a federal abortion ban, DeSantis responded, 

I’m gonna stand on the side of life[…]. I will support the cause of life as governor and as president.

Culture of life for the win, and some solid points for Governor DeSantis.

Former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s response involved much truth.

Can’t we all agree that we should encourage adoptions? Can’t we all agree that and nurses who don’t believe in abortions shouldn’t have to perform them? Can’t we agree that contraception should be available? Can’t we all agree that we are not going to put a woman in jail or give her the death penalty if she gets an abortion?

Let’s treat this like the respectful situation that it is.

Because her answer required a deeper dialogue than the few minutes given for the question, it left her in high weeds. Haley made some solid points in her back and forth with former Vice President Mike Pence about needing to become honest about the conversation, find consensus, and not criminalize women and demonize the situation. However, the locus of her points was pretty much lost on the audience.


One surprising response came from North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. Erring on the side of federalism, Burgum made the point that the pro-life community did not fight for the legislative groundwork for abortion’s access and its limits to be returned to the states only to turn around and demand a federal ban.


Who is Doug Burgum? After tonight people may well start inquiring. Even on painkillers for a torn Achilles, he had some of the most on-point, conservative-leaning, and federalist responses of the evening. 

Like Governor DeSantis, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott was also unapologetic but nuanced in his response that our nation must embrace and embody a culture of life.


In spite of his spirited debate with Haley, Vice President Mike Pence’s response came off as canned and inauthentic. 


I am always bothered by someone who has to remind everyone around them that they are a person of faith. It comes off the same as someone needing to announce how high their IQ is. Just as intellect is reflected through what a person says and how they process thoughts, faith is reflected in the way one lives out their life. Because Pence cloaked himself in his spirituality without any personal story that anchored his response, it lacked the weight and meaning that was reflective of the other more quality responses on the dais. 

Finally, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s response was also a fail. 

“It is a most important issue for women, and for the unborn child, and for our country that we get this right,” Hutchinson stated. “Let’s talk about it in terms of compassion, in terms of protecting the life and also, understanding how we have to enhance adoption services, how we have to enhance maternal care.”

This is the same governor who controversially vetoed a bill to ban transgender surgeries on minors. Pro-life for children in the womb, but not much of a champion of children remaining whole once they’re born. Hutchinson tried to pull a “Mike Pence” in staking out his moral high ground and looked just as fake in the execution.

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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