WASHINGTON, D.C., November 27, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – If the Republican Party closes itself to passing pro-life legislation, it will signal the end of the GOP and the formation of a new, pro-life third party, a leader in one of the fastest growing pro-life ministries has warned. 

“There is a Civil War brewing in the GOP, and it’s not pretty,” said Jennifer Mason, communications director of Personhood USA

Over the weekend, 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain said pro-life conservatives should state their position on abortion, then “leave the issue alone.” Elected officials, he indicated, should enact no new legislation to protect the unborn.

He and a host of GOP consultants have suggested the party downplay or abandon social issues in light of the 2012 electoral loss. 

Mason said his comments “made me wonder: instead of dropping the abortion issue, why not drop John McCain?”

“If McCain and his ilk are successful, we are looking at a major defection to a third party, and the ultimate death of the Republican Party,” she added.

While Beltway insiders, long hostile to the party’s socially conservative base, pin Romney’s loss on statements by candidates like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, Mason says the blame lies with Romney’s mushy views on abortion.

She reviewed the former Massachusetts governor’s economic monotone from the primaries through the general election – skipping pro-life debates, refusing to sign pro-life pledges other GOP hopefuls signed, stating that no he had no pro-life legislative agenda, and running ads stating that he believed “abortion should be an option” in the cases of rape or incest.

“There is a lesson to be learned here. The old guard of the GOP is dying,” Mason said.

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She said while moderate candidates – figures from Ford and George H.W. Bush to Bob Dole, McCain, and Romney – are “unelectable,”  social conservatives are “without a leader.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said McCain and others in the Republican Establishment should stop treating abortion as a political football.

“We’re talking about defending vulnerable human life,” he said. “If it’s not about that, it’s not about anything.”

Frank Cannon and Jeffrey Bell at NRO agree that “to hold pro-life beliefs while opposing any governmental action to protect the innocent unborn is not the position of a man of honor, which throughout his long life John McCain has always been.” 

They said McCain’s advice to become “a pale social-issue copy of the Democrats” would be counterproductive.

Refusing to “lift a finger on behalf of human life” would tell voters that “whenever Republicans express a principle, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether we care enough to act on it.”

The SBA List said the effort by McCain and others to push pro-lifers to the party’s margins remind them of a quotation from Martin Luther King Jr.: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”