Please, Republicans: Rally Around a National Abortion Ban. Signed, a Pro-Choice Advocate | Opinion

There is one issue over all others that could help deliver the House, the Senate, and the White House for the Democrats in 2024, though it's not an action that would be taken by Democrats. Rather, it's something deeply stupid that Republicans might do—indeed, that I, a strong pro-choice advocate, find myself hoping they do. Count me as wishing upon a S.T.A.A.R.—stopping totally all abortion rights— and hoping this Republican initiative gains some real momentum on a national level over the next year.

Let me make clear: I see absolutely no chance that a national abortion ban would pass the United States Senate or be signed into law by President Biden, so it is not in any way, shape, or form a policy position that I see being enacted. I am fairly confident such a ban could not even pass the House as it currently stands under the control of Republican extremists, given their narrow margin. However, as a position that Republican House, Senate and presidential candidates are forced to adopt, it would be the most potent issue possible to drive women, independents, and moderate Republican voters to reject those candidates in 2024.

And there are some signs that the issue is developing some major momentum.

March for Life Washington DC
Anti-abortion activists take part in the annual March for Life near the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. on January 21, 2022. This year's march, in a post-Roe era, will focus more on bringing about a "cultural" shift. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

First, we saw just how significant abortion rights were as an issue in driving a far better outcome for Democrats in a number of 2022 races. Overturning Roe v. Wade may have been the single most important factor in Democrats significantly exceeding expectations in the midterm elections. For purposes of the 2022 election cycle, as extreme as many of the state laws enacted in the wake of the Supreme Court decision appeared to be, the reality was that there would always be a large number of states providing meaningful access to abortion.

A national ban would implicate the rights of all women in every state, not just significantly hampering access to abortion facilities but removing any possibility of access by anyone in the United States. One might think that such a policy position is an extreme overreach and that the anti-abortion forces having finally gotten their trophy in the form of overturning Roe, along with a number of state laws sharply curtailing abortion access, would not seek to create such a potent political issue that has already proven to be uniquely powerful in uniting progressives and centrists alike.

But as political luck would have it, that is just what seems to be the next big push of the pro-life forces. There are some less sweeping but equally disturbing proposals, such as a national ban on mailing abortion pills and making it illegal to travel across state lines to seek an abortion. But the new litmus test as to whether one is pro-life or not is shaping up to be whether you support a national abortion ban.

To which I say: Bring it on.

Second, beyond the potency of a national ban as an election issue, keeping abortion forces focused as much as possible on something that requires making the federal government adopt a national prohibition may dilute efforts to strengthen state anti-abortion laws where passage in a number of states is far more likely.

A number of states that have passed abortion bans have created exceptions for rape or incest, or for fatal birth defects, or for the life of the mother. Anything that takes energy and resources away at the state level to remove those exceptions, in favor of broader efforts to create a national ban, not only might bring down the level of resources driving the state initiatives, but would make it easier for the abortion issue to galvanize a stronger coalition of Democrats and independents nationally.

Third, how this issue impacts the winner of the Republican 2024 nomination is one to seriously consider. Donald Trump has to be considered the front runner of sorts now for the Republican nomination, but it is also fairly clear he may be about the weakest Republican candidate when it comes to a national race. Moreover, the anti-abortion forces seem to be substantially cooling on Trump as their candidate of choice, despite him having nominated the Supreme Court justices who delivered the overturning of Roe, because Trump has made no secret he believes running on an extreme anti-abortion platform is a loser issue.

Thus, endorsing a national abortion ban becomes an obvious issue for other Republicans who enter the presidential race to use to enlist the support of this major Republican primary constituency. Mike Pence has already done so.

If Trump is not going to be the nominee, as weak a general election candidate as he may be, the Democrats should definitely root for any other Republican presidential nominee to be someone who fully embraces the ultimate anti-abortion position of a total ban to weaken that candidate as well.

Fourth, while it looks like the Speaker McCarthy led Republican House of Representatives will provide plenty of fodder for Democrats to run against on a national basis, comical incompetence is not an issue with enough emotional vehemence to enable Democrats to hold the Senate, win back the House and hold the Presidency, especially if President Biden with his underwater poll numbers does run again.

A more extreme version of the abortion issue that can do for Democrats what overturning Roe did in the 2022 mid-terms, would provide the highly charged emotional gut issue the Dems will need.

Fifth, it was abundantly clear from the 2022 election results that extremism does not sell. This is true not just with respect to abortion access but other key issues such as those surrounding the January 6th riots and democratic processes. There is nothing that would paint Republican Party candidates with the extremist brush more than being tied to a national abortion ban and a presidential candidate advocating such a prohibition.

So that is why I wish upon a S.T.A.A.R., that totally stopping all abortion rights develops some meaningful momentum. While it may seem to be too much to wish for, given that the Republican Party and its potential presidential nominees must realize there is too much downside to allowing that to happen, one must consider who would ever have imagined a Republican Party allowing the one branch of government it controls to be branded by the likes of George Santos. With that thought, my wish stays alive.

Tom Rogers is an editor-at-large for Newsweek, the founder of CNBC and a CNBC contributor. He also established MSNBC and is the former CEO of TiVo. Currently, executive chair of Engine Gaming & Media, and a member of Keep Our Republic, an organization dedicated to preserving the nation's democracy.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.