On the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, the New Hampshire Republican Party is going on offense on the abortion issue.

Its message: It’s the Democrats who want to change the Granite State’s abortion laws, not the GOP.

“New Hampshire voters support the current abortion law, and Republicans are not going to change it — period,” said state GOP chairman Chris Ager, who will be part of a GOP State House press conference on Monday morning.

“Every Republican running for governor has pledged to keep the state’s current law, and every Democrat has pledged to change it.”

Granite State Democrats are planning their own Dobbs event at the State House later in the day, denouncing the Supreme Court’s decision and decrying any restrictions on abortion. But for Democrats, playing offense on abortion is standard operating procedure. Republicans holding a Dobbs day press event to message on the abortion issue, on the other hand, is a break with the past.

It’s also a sign that Republicans in one of the most pro-choice states in the country believe they have to push back on the abortion issue if they want to be competitive in November.

New Hampshire’s current law allows abortion for any reason for the first six months of pregnancy, and it has “life of the mother” health exceptions in the last trimester. While polls consistently show most Granite Staters support the current law, Democrats call it an “abortion ban” and have pledged to end it.

Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington is currently running TV ads in her campaign for governor pledging to “get rid of” the current state law, and she has repeatedly said she opposes any limits on abortion.

The other major Democratic candidate, former Manchester mayor Joyce Craig, has also pledged to “repeal New Hampshire’s current restrictions on abortion.”

The Republicans running for governor are just as united on the issue of preserving New Hampshire’s current law.

When former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte was at the New Hampshire secretary of state’s office filing her candidacy paperwork, she was asked by former New Hampshire Democratic Party communications director Colin Booth, who attended the filing as a tracker for a Democratic website, if she would “pledge to veto any further restrictions” on abortion in New Hampshire.

Ayotte said yes.

“It’s disturbing and dangerous how the Democrats continue to lie to the women of New Hampshire about our state’s law, which protects women’s freedom to obtain an abortion up to six months of pregnancy,” Ayotte spokesman John Corbett told NHJournal. “Kelly supports our current law and as governor, she will protect it.”

Former state Senate President Chuck Morse, who’s also running for the GOP nomination, doesn’t just support the current law — he helped write it.

“The bill we put in place, banning abortion in the 7th, 8th, and 9th months, that’s what the people believe in,” Morse said in an interview. “It’s what the people believe in, it’s what’s working.”

Asked by WMUR’s Adam Sexton if he would sign a bill making abortion laws more restrictive, Morse said no. “I’d go with what we have now, and I’d work with the legislature to make sure we keep it.”

The Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade and returned the regulation of abortion to the voters and the democratic process. Regardless of its legal or constitutional merits, most political professionals agree the ruling hurt Republicans politically.

Turnout among voters angry over the Dobbs decision is credited with helping save President Joe Biden, the most unpopular first-term president in modern history, from a 1994 or 2010-style midterm “shellacking.”

Polls show Americans’ views since Dobbs have shifted toward pro-choice policies, with 63 percent saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases and just 36 percent saying it should be illegal in most or all cases. And the percentage of voters who say they will only vote for a candidate who shares their view on abortion is the highest Gallup has ever recorded at 32 percent. Before 2016, that number rarely broke 20 percent.

Three out of four of those “my views only” voters are pro-choice, Gallup reports.

While the percentage of Americans who support the Democrats’ no-restrictions stance has jumped since the Dobbs decision, from 25 percent to 35 percent, it’s still just one-third of Americans. The other two-thirds believe in the New Hampshire approach to abortion with limits (50 percent) or a total ban (12 percent).

Granite State Republicans often express their frustration that they are portrayed as “extremists” on abortion when the law they’re defending reflects the majority position, while Democrats support an expansion of legal abortion most people don’t support.

“Polls show 62 percent of Granite Staters favor banning abortion at six months or earlier, but 100 percent of Democrats consistently vote for unlimited abortion in the 7th, 8th, and 9th month of pregnancy,” notes Shannon McGinley with Cornerstone Action, a Christian advocacy organization. “Our Democrats are more beholden to extremist out-of-state donors than to Granite Staters or even their own voters.”

The question is whether going on offense will work.

Some New Hampshire Republican activists tell NHJournal they hold little hope the party can make a dent in the views of abortion-centric voters, and the best strategy is to avoid the topic altogether.

McGinley says Republicans like Ayotte have gone too far in reaching out to pro-choice voters.

“Kelly Ayotte is the first GOP frontrunner in any gubernatorial race in America to say that her position is unlimited elective abortion up to 6 months. It should be as unacceptable as it is bizarre. She’s not only to the left of her own party on this issue, she’s to the left of many independents and Democrats,” McGinley said.

But many Granite State Republicans tell NHJournal they believe the party has to fight back against the Democrats’ strategy of confusing voters by conflating support for New Hampshire’s late-term abortion ban with a total ban on abortion.

“If Trump and Biden stay tied [in New Hampshire], we’re going to see a lot of close races this year,” one GOP strategist told NHJournal. “So yes, moving a few voters who don’t think they can vote Republican because of abortion could make a difference.

“Besides,” the Republican added, “how could the abortion issue get worse?”