New Far-Reaching Abortion Bans Too Extreme for Some Republican Leaders

May 17, 2019by Jennifer Haberkorn

WASHINGTON — Republican leaders have begun distancing themselves from new, far-reaching state abortion restrictions that don’t allow exceptions in the cases of rape or incest.

“I believe in exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother, and that’s what I’ve voted on,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Thursday, becoming the highest-ranking GOP official to object to the latest wave of sweeping anti-abortion laws from conservative states.

Alabama this week approved a law to ban abortion at any stage of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest. That came on the heels of laws in other states — including Ohio, Kentucky and Mississippi — that ban the procedure when a fetal heartbeat is detected, at about six weeks of pregnancy, also with no exceptions for rape or incest. All of the legislation includes exceptions for abortions to preserve a woman’s life.

Republican lawmakers in Alabama and elsewhere have said their goal is to give the Supreme Court’s conservative majority an opportunity to reverse the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, which legalized abortion nationwide.

The bans have activated the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates and other prominent Democrats in opposition. But some Republicans in Washington also say they oppose new abortion restrictions that don’t allow for the rape and incest exceptions.

Even Alabama’s GOP senator said he supports the three traditional exceptions.

Sen. Richard C. Shelby said he “always supported” exceptions for rape and incest.

“I’m not down there,” he said of his home state’s most recent law.

The latest anti-abortion legislation represents a new front in the abortion debate. Nationally, Republicans have supported exceptions for all three circumstances for many years.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who is up for reelection this year, also said he opposed sweeping bans. “Of course there needs to be” exceptions, he said.

Several Republican senators, however, refused to weigh in on the issue.

“I don’t really have a response,” said Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.Va., who is also up for reelection next year. “I’m going to have to digest what’s going on.”

“States don’t need to hear from me on what they’re going to do,” said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. “That’s how I always felt when I was in the state Senate.”

And some Republicans embraced the bills.

“If you think it is a human life, therefore a child of God, it really shouldn’t matter how it was conceived,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss. “I can just tell you there are millions of people out there who believe that. Obviously, millions of people in New York that see it just the other way.”

New York state this year approved a law that expanded access to abortion. The state approved abortion after the 24th week of pregnancy to preserve the life or health of the mother.

That legislation came shortly before Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, suggested in a widely circulated radio clip that a baby born after an attempted abortion would only be “kept comfortable” and not necessarily resuscitated.

Both the New York law and Northam’s comments — which fellow abortion rights supporters opposed — aroused opponents of abortion. President Donald Trump has frequently cited Northam’s comments at events with supporters.

Abortion rights supporters have also brought the issue to the forefront ahead of the 2020 presidential contest. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., has pledged to appoint only Supreme Court justices who support the Roe decision. And several Democratic candidates have come out in opposition to the Alabama and Georgia laws in recent days.

The laws in all four of the states — Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio — are being challenged in court or have already been struck down.

Missouri’s state Senate approved a bill Thursday to prohibit abortion at eight weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest. It is expected to be taken up by the state’s House.

———

©2019 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Political News

CNN, NY Times to Host Next Democratic Candidate Debate in October Political News
CNN, NY Times to Host Next Democratic Candidate Debate in October
September 13, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The New York Times and CNN will co-host the next Democrat debate on Oct. 15, with the possibility of a second night being added depending on the number of candidates who meet the qualifying criteria. The Democratic National Committee announced Friday that the debate... Read More

Bolton’s Ousting As National Security Adviser May Open Door to Diplomacy Foreign Affairs
Bolton’s Ousting As National Security Adviser May Open Door to Diplomacy
September 13, 2019
by HJ Mai

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump’s firing of National Security adviser John Bolton earlier this week could have big implications on the administration’s handling of its most challenging foreign policy issues. Bolton, described as a conservative hawk due to his hard-line and interventionist foreign policy approach,... Read More

Biden, Warren and Sanders Clash on Democratic Party’s Future Political News
Biden, Warren and Sanders Clash on Democratic Party’s Future

HOUSTON — Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren tore into one another’s plans and fended off attacks from rivals eager to join them at the head of the field of White House hopefuls during their first clash on the same stage. The third Democratic debate at Texas... Read More

House Votes to Ban Offshore Drilling, Throwing Down Gauntlet for Trump, GOP Environment
House Votes to Ban Offshore Drilling, Throwing Down Gauntlet for Trump, GOP
September 11, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., couldn't be happier that the House Wednesday passed a pair of bills blocking offshore oil drilling in almost all waters around the United States. But in an interview with The Well News, he acknowledged that the real work lies ahead... Read More

Ginsburg Laments Increasingly Partisan Nature of Judicial Confirmations Supreme Court
Ginsburg Laments Increasingly Partisan Nature of Judicial Confirmations
September 10, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - In the latest of a series of public appearances since her recent bout with cancer, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lamented the increasingly partisan nature of judicial confirmations. "Things have changed, and it shows up on both sides of the aisle," Ginsburg... Read More

Former S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford Launches Long-Shot Bid to Take Down Trump 2020 Elections
Former S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford Launches Long-Shot Bid to Take Down Trump
September 9, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford formally launched his long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination Sunday, a day after the South Carolina Republican Party voted not to hold a GOP primary election in the state next year. "I’m here to tell you now... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top