Nevada Tea Party Group Backs Away From An Anti-Abortion Agenda

Tea Party leaders in Nevada are trying to shape the future of their movement in the aftermath of the 2012 election. And back away from the Republican party’s anti-abortion agenda is one of the first goals that Art Gisi and Cathie Lynn Profant, the co-leaders of the Grass Roots Tea Party of Nevada, want to pursue:

A woman’s right to choose abortion is the law of the land and should be accepted, they said Tuesday at the group’s first post-election meeting following a year in which Republicans were accused of waging a “war on women.” […]

“Nevada’s changing and we as Republicans are going to need to step up or we’re not going to win any more elections,” Profant said. “By staying back here, the rest of the country is leaving us.” […]

Gisi said tea party groups need to back moderate candidates who share their conservative fiscal views, including for limited government and spending.

He said it’s time to stop focusing on abortion and other social issues, which allow Democrats to paint Republicans as anti-women.

About two-thirds of voters in Nevada agree that abortion should be legal, according to exit poll data. And it’s a question that Nevadans essentially settled in 1990 when they approved a ballot measure codifying a woman’s right to have an abortion “as determined in the 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision.” Anti-choice advocates tried to put a “personhood” amendment on Nevada’s ballot this year, which would have severely limited abortion and even contraception access by defining life as beginning at conception, but failed to gain enough support to put the issue up for a vote.

Nevada Tea Party supporters are not the only people rethinking the Republican party’s anti-abortion strategy. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) suggested shortly after the November election that Republicans should stop focusing on abortion if the GOP wants to appeal to broader group of Americans, which led one anti-choice group to call on Republicans to “drop” the party’s former presidential candidate. And in Ohio, state Senate leaders will not vote on two controversial anti-abortion measures during their lame duck session, citing Mitt Romney’s loss as one reason they don’t have enough support for the legislation.