Some Republican presidential candidates are calling for stricter federal abortion limits
Republican presidential candidate and former US Vice President Mike Pence gestures during the National Celebrate Life Day Rally commemorating the first anniversary of the US Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization, which upheld the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision in Washington was lifted, USA, June 24, 2023.
Evelyn Hockstein Reuters
Two Republican presidential candidates for 2024 on Sunday voiced their opposition to abortion to mark the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson overturning Roe vs. Wade.
Presidential candidate and former Vice President Mike Pence described last year’s landmark decision as “a historic victory” that condemned Roe vs. Wade to “the cinders of history.”
Pence earlier this week urged all GOP candidates to commit to a nationwide abortion ban after 15 weeks – but he said on Sunday it was also important to “stand with compassion”.
“With 62 million unborn lives lost and almost as many women enduring two generations of abortion, I think we have a message of grace, we have to carry a message of kindness,” Pence said in an interview with the US New York Times broadcast. “Fox News Sunday.” “This is how we’re going to win hearts and minds. For me it’s so much more important than politics, but I also think it’s a winning subject.”
Pence said that a national 15-week limit “would bring American law into line with most countries in Europe that literally ban abortions after 12 to 15 weeks.”
His call for tougher restrictions comes despite a recent nationwide poll by NBC News showing that 6 in 10 voters remain opposed to the Supreme Court overturning the national abortion right. According to NBC News, the poll included nearly 80% of female voters ages 18 to 49, two-thirds of suburban women, 60% of independents, and a third of Republican voters who disapproved.
Pence also said he “strongly supports” Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s efforts to delay military promotions due to the Department of Defense’s abortion policy, including a recent decision to reimburse military personnel for out-of-state abortion expenses travel.
“We simply cannot allow the federal government to directly or indirectly subsidize abortion in this country, and that includes the Pentagon,” Pence said.
Another guest on the Fox program, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), contradicted this comment. “We [Democrats] “Support Roe vs. Wade,” Cardin said. “We thought that was established law. It was law in force for almost 50 years. The Supreme Court decision was a radical decision that nullified women’s right to make their own health care choices.
That right “should not be subject to what the state legislatures do,” Cardin said. “This is a personal decision that women make with the advice of their doctors and their families. And we don’t think we should try to tell women when they can make those choices.”
But at least one Republican candidate said Sunday he is unlikely to go along with Pence’s idea. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who announced his candidacy for president earlier this month, said that while he supported the decision in Dobbs, he would oppose the concept of a state ban on abortion until a “national consensus is reached.” ‘ developed on this subject.
“Conservatives like me have argued for 50 years that this is not a federal matter. It’s a state matter. The states should decide that. The Dobbs case a year ago gave us the opportunity to let each state make that decision,” he told ABC’s This Week on Sunday.
“I hope to see that when each of the 50 states, but more importantly, the people of each of the 50 states, decide on this issue, then a national consensus can develop,” Christie said.
“If a national consensus develops, I have no problem with the federal government stepping in and confirming that national consensus.”