The so-called Silent Majority, who pride themselves on pro-life, Christian values, doesn't exist in the form laid forth by conservatives. But, the idea of the silent majority has been in play since the early 70s. After Board Vs. Education, which desegregated schools, the religious right fought to create "charter schools" to segregate themselves. But they wanted to do so with their tax-exempt status; the laws denied self-segregated schools. In the 70s it became politically unwise to outright push race in such a form, so Republicans test drove many voter issues to rile conservatives. They tried the homosexuality, and then, they settled on the abortion issue, which took off with the white evangelical Christian movement. Republicans formed alliances with wealthy mega religious right pastors to get their voters to the polls.
The candidate, who often had no position on abortion, forced a pro-choice narrative in their campaign. Vote for me; I am pro-life. That's the shtick conservatives sell.
Wealthy Republican donors, who again, have no position on abortion use the issue for single-issue voters. As previously stated, the abortion focus is relative, politically new.
Contrary to the current framing, the religious right didn't form from the Row V. Wade landmark decision, which legalized abortion. It was far less savvy than sticking up for life. The Religious Right's original mission: segregation. White evangelicals fought desegregation.
According to Slate: "It was Green v. Kennedy, a 1970 decision stripping tax-exempt status from "segregation academies"—private Christian schools that were set up in response to Brown v. Board of Education, where the practice of barring black students continued."
The political evangelical Christian position on abortion is roughly 40-years old. Before the abortion debate, the focus was on school segregation and racism. In the late 1970s, being openly racist turned some people off - thus a new culture war began against abortion, homosexuals & gun rights.
Evangelical political figures viewed the pro-life movement as something people could get behind and get behind it they did. In fact, abortion is for some Christians a number one voting issue. Regardless of the candidate, if pro-life, the Republican candidate has their vote.
Many people also consider religious liberty a top priority; however, that was not always the case. It wasn't until the religious right took over conservative politics that the issue of religious liberty became a voting issue. Until the 20th century, the elites discussed religious freedom, not the average congregant. Religious right leaders realized scaring voters & pushing false narratives worked best on naive Christians. The Christians who didn't pay attention to politics or even know what a candidate believed so-long as they hated the people powerful religious right leaders told them to hate, evangelicals supported them, which is how Donald Trump happened. Donald Trump is not the problem; he is a symptom of the problem. 40-years of culture wars created a monster.
As late as 1979, the Baptist Joint Committee argued before a federal court that the Hyde Amendment, which limited federal dollars used for abortion, was unconstitutional because it violated the Establishment Claus by choosing the Catholic faith over others.
In essence, conservative Christians turned from a moral stance to a biblical literalist one, which fights against its threat, liberalism. Conservative Christians now struggle for radical free speech & attack anyone who doesn't agree with them as an enemy. Christianity used to be reasoned. But the religious right has enjoyed decades of deception. From Christian television shows to pushing candidates that have very little in common with the average Christian. The individual morality of a Christian has shifted to a mob of morality police. The same 'collectivism' the right charges the left, is a tactic of the right.
Be it the "silent minority" to the "moral majority," the religious right has become a powerhouse with large donors to drive their movement. Billionaire donors realized that supporting conservative pastors pays off by election time. Congregations are told to vote a certain way and for specific candidates.
Over the past 40-years, the pro-life movement has become more supportive of freedom of speech. They oppose the separation of church and state. Also, if you wonder why conservative Christians oppose the Affordable Care Act or natural insurance, it's been beaten into their heads for decades. Any form of what they see as "state health care" goes against billionaire's pocketbooks; so pastors cherry pick verses and regurgitate sermons opposing health care. Unless you can afford insurance, you don't deserve it. How does this idea appeal to the pro-life movement? The same way they justify the death penalty corresponds with their belief in individualist health care. Afford it or die.
People don't know that the initial call for religious, political activism started on the desire to maintain segregation, which in the '70s wasn't as, overtly, popular; so the right-wing leaders pushed for conservatives to fight abortion rights. And then gay rights. Religious Right figures get cash while leading sheep to fight nonsensical cultural battles. The latest, besides the previously mentioned issues, is gun rights. An NRA spokesman said gun rights come from God. Of course, this verbiage is nonsense, but conservatives believe it.
Conservatives continue to vote against their interests in the guise of pro-life politicians, who cut necessary funding for impoverished women to have a chance to raise these kids. And, they wonder why women choose to end a pregnancy.
I am pro-life, but would never trash a woman who made the difficult decision to have an abortion, but I also pro-life in all respects. I don't believe children should go hungry, nor do I believe in the death penalty. Either you support all life, or you don't, but don't oppose abortion & support cutting benefits for children and support the death penalty. Before you jump on me for the death penalty issues & claim Paul told you in Romans 13 or the 10 Commandments to support the death penalty, this is my opinion.