Republican candidates grapple with post-Roe positioning on abortion

Republican candidates grapple with post-Roe positioning on abortion

Eight Republican presidential hopefuls clashed over the way forward for abortion entry on Wednesday evening within the first debate of the 2024 election cycle.

With out the specter of Roe v Wade looming overhead, the candidates confronted a brand new litmus take a look at on abortion: whether or not or not they help a nationwide ban on the process after 15 weeks of being pregnant.

The previous vice-president Mike Pence, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott all pledged to help a federal 15-week ban.

The query from the moderator Martha MacCallum had famous that abortion had constantly been a dropping problem for Republicans in state ballots for the reason that Dobbs resolution.

Nonetheless only one candidate, the North Dakota governor, Doug Burgum, decisively rejected the concept that Congress ought to control abortion entry.

Burgum, who signed North Dakota’s six-week abortion ban in April, stated the conservative mission to overturn Roe was predicated on the idea that states ought to be allowed to set their very own guidelines on the process.

“What will work in New York won’t ever work in North Dakota and vice versa,” Burgum stated.

For many years, Roe v Wade provided Republican candidates a handy boogeyman. The supreme court docket ruling was not nearly abortion – swing state conservatives like Burgum may level to Roe for instance of federal overreach.

However Wednesday’s debate signaled a schism within the GOP’s place on abortion.

In a post-Roe panorama, one yr after Senator Lindsey Graham first launched a federal 15-week ban invoice in Congress, Republicans had been compelled to decide on between their purported help for states’ rights and their opposition to abortion entry.

Burgum was the lone voice that selected states’ rights.

Pence and Scott, each evangelical Christians, stated they help a 15-week ban as a result of abortion is a “ethical” query that necessitates federal intervention.

Scott stated states like “California, New York and Illinois” shouldn’t be allowed to supply broad entry to the process.

Pence stated abortion was “not a states solely problem, it’s an ethical problem”.

The previous vice-president, who has centered abortion in his bid to court docket socially conservative voters, condemned his opponents for refusing to again a federal ban.

“I’m not new to this trigger,” Pence stated on Wednesday evening. “Can’t we now have a minimal normal in each state within the nation?”

In his opening remarks, Pence lauded the work of the Trump administration, which positioned three conservative justices on the US supreme court docket and “gave the individuals a brand new starting for the proper to life”.

Pence additionally criticized the previous South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who urged that it might be troublesome to achieve the requisite congressional help to go a federal abortion ban.

Haley, the one girl on Wednesday’s debate stage, stated Republicans ought to as a substitute pursue pragmatic legislative targets that would garner bipartisan help in Congress.

“Let’s discover consensus, can’t all of us agree that we should always ban late-term abortions? Can’t all of us agree that we should always encourage adoptions?” she stated.

In his response, Pence instantly addressed Haley: “Consensus is the alternative of management.”

Susan B Anthony Professional-Life America, a robust anti-abortion lobbying group, praised Pence, Hutchinson and Scott for providing “a transparent, daring case for nationwide protections for the unborn at the least by 15 weeks”.

“The place taken by candidates like Doug Burgum, that life is solely a matter for the states, is unacceptable for a nation based on unalienable rights and for a presidential contender,” stated Marjorie Dannenfelser, the group’s president, in an announcement on Wednesday evening.

Final month, Dannenfelser issued an analogous condemnation of the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, for his reluctance to again a federal ban.

DeSantis has supported payments limiting entry to abortion – together with a six-week ban in his personal state of Florida, however has stopped in need of saying he would help a federal ban.

Dannenfelser stated the Republican presidential candidate ought to “work to assemble the votes mandatory in Congress” to go a nationwide ban on abortion after 15 weeks of being pregnant, including that DeSantis’s failure to help the ban was “unacceptable”.

“There are a lot of urgent legislative points for which Congress doesn’t have the votes for the time being, however that’s not a purpose for a robust chief to again away from the battle,” she stated in an announcement final month.

On Wednesday evening, Fox Information moderators twice requested DeSantis to make clear his place on federal abortion restrictions, however the Florida governor refused to offer a direct reply.

“I’m going to face on the facet of life,” DeSantis stated. “I perceive Wisconsin goes to do it completely different than Texas, I perceive Iowa and New Hampshire are going to be completely different, however I’ll help the reason for life as governor and as president.”

Notably, Donald Trump – the presumed GOP frontrunner – skipped Wednesday evening’s debate.

Earlier this yr, Trump criticized DeSantis’s place on abortion, calling Florida’s six-week ban “too harsh”.

However the former president seems to share DeSantis’s hesitations concerning the federal 15-week ban, dodging questions concerning the proposed restrictions since launching his re-election marketing campaign in March.

The Guardian reported in April that Trump considers a federal abortion ban a dropping proposition for Republicans, although his precise imaginative and prescient for the way forward for US abortion entry stays unclear.

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