FIRST IN DAILY SIGNAL: Saturday will mark one year since the historic day Roe v. Wade was overturned. Republican Sen. James Lankford sat down with The Daily Signal to discuss what the post-Roe landscape looks like, as well as the Republicans who shy away from discussing abortion and the Democrats who promote it.
The Oklahoma Republican noted that pro-abortion advocates had dramatically predicted that if Roe were overturned, “the whole world would end if children lived”—that women would be in danger.
Instead, Lankford said, Americans are now engaged in a real dialogue on what the value of every child is.
“We’re in the middle of a national dialogue right now,” he explained. “And a year into it, it’s still not a resolved issue. … Some people said, ‘If Roe is overturned, then abortion ends the next day.’ Well, everyone finds out that’s not true.”
“This is still a heart issue,” the senator said. “It’s still a life issue, and it’s still something that people need to be able to have continual dialogue to say, ‘Okay, where are we as Americans, as individuals, and as a nation? What do we think about children? Are they disposable or are they valuable?’”
Lankford says he’s on the side that believes children are valuable. But he emphasized how important it is to continue dialogue on this point.
Some conservatives and Republicans are “terrified” to talk about the issue, he noted.
“They’ve just backed off on like, ‘Hey, state issue, not my issue; it’s gonna go away on that point.’ It doesn’t just go away.”
The senator urged his fellow Republicans to keep talking about abortion: “Don’t just back off.”
“We do have to talk about it on state levels and on national levels,” he added, pointing to Europe’s abortion laws, which are far less extreme than those of the U.S. “What are the parameters?”
“We, as a nation, determined a long time ago, we don’t do partial birth abortions, for instance, where a child is mostly delivered except for their head, and they literally kill that child while they’re mostly delivered. We determined, as a nation, that’s horrific. We’re not gonna do that.”
Each state will have to decide for itself, he emphasized: “Florida’s going to have one set [of laws]. Oklahoma’s got another. Alabama’s going to have another one. New York State and California are going to have another. That’s going to be a fight that’s going to happen all over the country.”
Former President Donald Trump has sparked concerns from pro-life groups with his suggestion that Florida’s new heartbeat law is too harsh—a dunk on his fellow 2024 Republican presidential candidate, Ron DeSantis.
“Many people within the pro-life movement feel that that was too harsh,” the former president said of Florida’s law.
Lankford praised Trump as a “very pro-life president.” But he suggested there are “several people on the national stage, President Trump included,” who are currently pondering polling on abortion and deciding how to message on the matter.
“When you start to make a decision about [whether a] child [is] valuable, that’s not a political decision,” Lankford said. “It’s a moral decision. And you’ve got to determine: What are my moral, ethical beliefs here? That’s one set of issues. And then you start looking at politically what’s possible.”
Culturally, the senator recognizes that many Americans don’t agree with him on abortion—”They think children are disposable.”
“I just don’t agree with that moral perspective on that,” he said. “But I’m still winning culture over to it. So there’s also a parameter that I challenge everyone who is running for president, everyone who is engaged—whether it’s a city council, a local, state house, or senate race or national race—to be able to talk about: What do you believe? What’s the art of the possible? How do we save as many children as possible? That’s a political conversation.”
Next, he asks: “Where is culture moving that we can get the maximum amount of votes to be able to do that? But whatever we’re going to do, we should be focused in on having a culture of life as a country—that we value every single person, whether it is a single adult in a very vulnerable moment or a child in the womb. In a very vulnerable moment, we value life.”
The Oklahoma Republican slammed the Biden administration as “far and away” the most pro-abortion in American history.
“No one’s been more active at proposing and promoting abortion in America more than Joe Biden,” Lankford said. “He wants more children to be taken out on a whim. I mean, he’s active on that and he does everything he can.”
He pointed to the Biden administration offering abortion services at Veterans Affairs clinics and offering to help military members travel to other states to get abortions.
“Please go get an abortion,” Lankford said, mimicking the Biden administration’s posture. “We’ll pay for your trip to be able to go do that.”
“We don’t allow an abortion in my state,” he shared. “We value all children in our state.”
But the Biden administration has stepped in and mandated that Oklahoma put a 1-800 number on state information telling women where they could get abortions. And when the state refused, Lankford said, the Biden administration removed federal funding.
“So my state has lost federal funding,” he said, “because we won’t promote abortion and where people can go in another state [to get one]. This president is trying to find new ways to tell moms, ‘Here’s where to go, take the life of your child.’ And I just can’t even process how that fits into the psyche of an individual and of an administration. But they’re finding every way they possibly can to increase the number of abortions in America.”
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The post EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Lankford Lays Out How GOP Should Approach Abortion Post Roe v. Wade appeared first on The Daily Signal.
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