WASHINGTON, D.C., June 18, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – In the wake of a 100-page report by the Republican National Committee and another document from the College Republicans claiming the path to Republican victory in 2014 is to focus on the economy and avoid social issues like abortion and homosexual “marriage,” evangelical social conservatives rallied in large numbers last weekend to tell the GOP not to turn their back on their church-going base.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition met last weekend and told national leaders that now more than ever, it’s time for the GOP to play offense on social issues, especially abortion.

Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer said he finds the GOP’s insistence that common-sense restrictions on abortions are too controversial to be ironic, given the party’s commitment to preserving tax breaks for billionaires which are highly unpopular.  “They’ve got it upside down,” Bauer said. “The social issues we believe in are more popular than the Republican economic agenda.”

In March, Bauer told thousands of demonstrators at the March for Marriage that he would leave the party if it abandoned its principles on the issue of same-sex “marriage.”

“I'm a Republican,” Bauer said. “Let me say to my party: If you bail out on this issue, I will leave the party, and I will take as many people with me as I possibly can!”

Some likely contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination spoke at the conference. All highlighted their pro-life stances and activities.  Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) reminded the crowd that he introduced the Life at Conception Act, which would constitutionally protect unborn human life from the moment of conception. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said the House will continue investigations into whether the Internal Revenue Service targeted pro-life groups with audits and harassing inquiries. 

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Social conservatives are warning the GOP that abandoning social issues will deprive the party of its most valuable commodity: votes.

"If they want to just run on economic issues, you're not going to get the church people," said Bob West founder of VoterDNA.org, who attended the conference, according to Politico. "That's the bottom line."

Former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, who now works for the Susan B. Anthony list, told the conference that in the aftermath of the horrific trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, the pro-life movement has an opportunity to highlight the brutal reality of abortion.

“This is a time for the pro-life movement like we have not had in decades,” said Musgrave “We must seize the moment.”

Pro-life activists said they also want Congress to hold hearings featuring those who testified at the Gosnell trial, former clinic workers, and abortion survivors.

“It will not happen with namby-pamby conservative politicians who are convinced that the only way to win an election is to sit on top of that really high gray fence,” said Day Gardner, president of the National Black Pro-Life Union. “If you’re going to run for office, especially for House or Senate, don’t bother running if you’re going to leave your backbone in your state.”