The Republican National Committee (RNC) will make accommodations to its official schedule this month to allow members to participate in the March for Life, a national anti-abortion protest held on each anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Washington Times reports.
The March for Life draws tens of thousands of protesters to the nation’s capitol each January, and Republican lawmakers often agree to speak at the event. Last year, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) addressed the crowd. But, since the RNC’s winter meeting has typically overlapped with the March for Life’s events, RNC Chairman Reince Preibus decided to delay it this year — a move that’s “unprecedented for a major U.S. political party,” according to the committee members who spoke to the Washington Times.
“I have served under a number of chairmen and not one of them ever made any opportunity for us to attend the March for Life, and they always scheduled critical meetings for the same time as the March for Life. Big thanks to Reince for standing up for the unborn!” an RNC member from Alaska, Debbie Joslin, wrote in an email circulated to other members.
In addition to modifying the RNC’s schedule, Priebus is also arranging for buses to transport members to and from the March for Life activities.
When Priebus was first up for consideration for RNC chairman in 2011, the race was more heavily influenced by conservative groups, like anti-abortion and anti-gay organizations, than previous elections. Priebus promised to use his platform to focus on issues of abortion. “Personally I believe if I was elected Chair of the RNC…I would have an even bigger obligation to uphold the position I have on abortion. I think it would be a huge disappointment to God if I didn’t,” Priebus explained in an interview with national anti-choice organization Susan B. Anthony List before his election.
Since then, he’s dismissed the War on Women as fictional by comparing it to a self-evidently ridiculous “War on Caterpillars,” and accused Planned Parenthood of committing infanticide. After Mitt Romney’s defeat in the 2012 presidential elections, Priebus did admit that the GOP may need to work harder to avoid offending female voters — a statement that irked far-right abortion opponents on the state level.