Senate Governors

Republican Candidates Across the Map Take Toxic Stances on Choice 

American Bridge Polling Shows Opposing Choice an Overwhelmingly Losing Position for Republicans

Whether they’re running for U.S. Senate, running for governor, or eyeing the 2024 presidential primary Republicans can’t stop talking about their disqualifying plans to ban abortion. Republican candidates have argued that rape and incest victims should be denied abortion access, applauded efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade, and signed into law or advocated for deeply unpopular total abortion bans, including at the federal level. 

Recent polling from American Bridge 21st Century, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and EMILY’s List shows abortion drives voters to support Democrats over Republicans by a 71-point margin. Voters overwhelmingly oppose efforts to severely restrict abortion access and believe that Republicans are out of step with their personal views on this issue. Support for Roe v. Wade is widespread and intense, and voters do not want to see it overturned.

In U.S. Senate primaries across the country, Republicans have taken hardline anti-choice positions. Some have praised the vigilante enforcement of abortion bans, downplayed  rape as “inconvenient,” explicitly argued against abortion access for teen incest victims, and even pushed a total federal ban on abortion:

The Kansas City Star: “Republican Missouri Senate candidate Mark McCloskey told an audience last week he believes 13-year-old rape and incest victims should not be allowed to have abortions, stating he had a client who was raped at 13 but who gave birth to a child who now has a master’s degree.”

Tucson Weekly: “Choice Matters: The GOP candidates running for Senate next year want to end abortion in the United States.”

Bloomberg: “The election will provide a sharp contrast on the abortion issue, as Laxalt has taken strongly anti-abortion positions. As Nevada attorney general until 2019, Laxalt supported legal challenges by other states to restrict abortion access. Laxalt suggested when he ran for governor he might try to roll back a 1990 Nevada referendum protecting abortion rights, which passed with support of 63% of voters.”

The Hill: “Republicans across the country are working to appeal to the party’s anti-abortion voter base ahead of next year’s midterms elections by lurching further to the right on the deeply controversial issue than their primary competitors. […] in Ohio, three Republican Senate candidates have very publicly thrown their support behind ‘fetal heartbeat’ legislation.”

At the state level, Republicans running for Governor are taking the national threats to Roe v. Wade as an opportunity to push for even more restrictive and draconian anti-choice laws. In Michigan, at least two candidates support the idea that rape victims should be denied abortions, and many have shown support for a 90-year old complete abortion ban

Heartland Signal: “Garrett Soldano, a top candidate in Michigan’s GOP gubernatorial primary, said on a podcast earlier this month that life begins “when DNA is created,” an even more radical anti-abortion stance than usual for Republicans. […] Soldano also mentioned while there might be a path for rape survivors to get an abortion, he would prefer a culture that encourages them to deliver the child instead.”

Detroit Metro Times: “Republican gubernatorial candidate James Craig said if elected he would block any attempt by Democrats to repeal Michigan’s 90-year-old ban on abortion, according to a secret audio recording obtained by Metro Times.”

In Texas, Abbot has backed dangerous anti-choice legislation, but so has self-styled “pro-choice governor” Chris Sununu in New Hampshire.

The Washington Post: “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Wednesday signed legislation banning abortions in the state as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, a measure slammed by critics as one of the strictest and most extreme measures in the nation and hailed by antiabortion supporters as a landmark achievement.”

The Dartmouth: “New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu signed a controversial new statewide budget bill into law Monday. Items included in the budget bill include new restrictions on abortions […]”

In Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Wisconsin, Republican candidates have stated that if elected they will ban abortion.

And after the Supreme Court upheld Texas’ near-total abortion ban, potential 2024 presidential primary candidates like Kristi Noem, Josh Hawley, and Ted Cruz have signaled support for near-total abortion bans.

The Associated Press: “South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Friday unveiled a proposal to ban nearly all abortions, mimicking a Texas law that leaves enforcement up to private citizens through lawsuits instead of through prosecutors and criminal charges.

The Hill: “In a 33-page brief, Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asked the court to use a Mississippi case to be reviewed next term as a vehicle to overturn Roe v. Wade and related rulings.”

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