Book Monitor

How the Republican Party Became Pro-Life

Phyllis Schlafly

In this book, the late conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly chronicles the four decades during which the pro-life fight against abortion became a bedrock issue in the Republican Party. The book begins with how abortion became legal.

In 1973, the judiciary thwarted a process that should have been left up to individual states. Supreme Court justices legalized abortion, a decision based on "no trial, no evidence, no expert witness, no record of expert testimony, and no medical data about abortion, its risks or its consequences." In fact, "None of the statements of sociology, medicine, or history used in the Roe decision were derived from evidence subjected to the adversary process."

The ruling didn't end the controversy. Schlafly details hard-fought battles waged to keep life sacred. She tells fascinating behind-the-scenes stories that played out when courageous people stepped up to make sure the Party did the right thing.

Schlafly says that the "1976 Republican Convention was the first national Convention when the emerging pro-family movement raised its voice in national politics, daring to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade." Ronald Reagan gave the speech of a decade at the Convention when he spoke about "bold unmistakable colors with no pastel shades." Schlafly reports that one main feature of that boldness was the first adoption of a Republican Party pledge to "restore protection of the right to life for unborn children."

Mrs. Schlafly writes, "I've never been nonpartisan. I believe the Republican Party must be the vehicle to achieve the good things we want for our country, which is why I've run for and been elected a Republican Convention Delegate so many times."

At the 1992 Republican Convention, pro-life organizations demurred from the fight against those trying to remove the pro-life plank from the Republican Party platform "because they wanted to be non-partisan and not ally their organizations with any political party."

So, Phyllis Schlafly and Colleen Parro started the Republican National Coalition for Life, to fight the opposition head on. What followed at the Houston convention included a brilliant public relations move -- involving 3,000 red cowboy hats worn by many smiling, pro-life supporters -- and no deviation from Republicans' strong anti-abortion stance.

Schlafly attended every Republican convention since 1952, usually as a delegate. At the 2016 convention in Cleveland, Mrs. Schlafly made certain that Republicans remained steadfast; the pro-life plank of the Republican platform remains intact.

(Dunrobin Publishing, 2016, 121 pp., $12.99)