A growing number of Republicans are changing their position on abortion since the fall of Roe v Wade as the midterm election approaches in America, indicating a softer shift from their previously staunch anti-abortion stance.
Since the Supreme Court overturned the federal right to abortion in June, many Republicans have been adopting more compromising positions in their efforts to win votes in key states through changes in messaging on websites, advertisements and public statements.
The move comes amid a brutal backlash to a decision that revived Democratic hopes in the midterm elections, as a solid red state like Kansas voted in a referendum to keep some abortion rights.
With the midterm elections approaching, abortion has also served as a major motivator for female voters nationwide, particularly among Democrats, and for a party seeking to hold both houses of Congress. – Driving election successes.
According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, 56% of voters say the issue of abortion will be “very important” to them in this fall’s election, marking a significant increase from 43% in March.
Additionally, an increasing number The gender gap between new registrants in states including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin has been widening since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling, according to Democratic data services firm TargetSmart.
As a result, Republicans are increasingly acknowledging that the issue of abortion could cost them elections as they try to gain control of the House and Senate.
The difficulty of shifting from gung-ho anti-abortion rhetoric to a more complex reality for many Republicans was clearly illustrated by the Kansas referendum. The usually staunchly Republican state voted to retain abortion protections in its state constitution, thus giving an unprecedented boost to the abortion rights movement in red states.
Republican strategist Barrett Marson said, “The vote earlier this summer in Kansas is a wake-up call to Republicans that not only are the most extreme abortion restrictions non-starting with voters but the whole issue has been flipped as Democratic inspiration. ” Guardian.
“For years, advocating for the strictest abortion rules in the Republican primary has been precisely because abortion was generally protected by Roe v. Wade. It is no longer theoretical. So now the most restrictive policies have real-life consequences. And Suburban women are overestimating a candidate’s position on abortion as they consider who to vote for,â he said.
Earlier this week, a Republican Senate candidate in Washington state said she was against abortion — but supported a state law that guarantees abortion rights until the viability of a fetus.
“I respect the voters of Washington state,” said Tiffany Smiley, who previously said she was “100% pro-life.” Referring to the state law passed in 1991, he said, “They have long decided where they stand on this issue.”
in one advertisement Released last week, Smiley told viewers she was “pro-life but I opposed the federal abortion ban”. The ad came in response to an ad by Smiley’s Democratic current rival Patty Murray, which called Smiley “the hand-picked candidate of Mitch McConnell,” the Senate Republican leader known for his anti-abortion views and a scathing attack on the Supreme Court. is pushed for. Conservative judges opposed abortion.
Murray’s ad claimed that if elected, Smiley would support federal abortion restrictions.
“The undead are trying to scare you, I’m trying to serve you.” Smiley said, “I’ve made it clear in my ad that … I’m not for federal abortion restrictions. You know, the extreme in this race is Patty Murray. She’s in favor of federalizing abortion.”
Still, earlier this year, Smiley’s campaign garnered the support of Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn, a staunch anti-abortion activist who previously introduced A bill for the Senate that sought to strip all abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, of federal funding.
Another Republican whose change in position was more apparent than Smiley’s is Arizona Senate nominee Blake Masters.
In March Catholic news outlet EWTN, Masters. in an interview with ToldâEvery society has done child sacrifice or human sacrifice in some form or the other, and this is our form. And it needs to stop,” referring to abortion.
Since then, Masters has appeared to soften his thoughts of abortion. In August, the Donald Trump-backed candidate released advertisement She said, “Look, I support a ban on very late and partial birth abortions. And most Americans agree with that. It will put us on a par with other civilized nations.”
In addition, the masters have made Change On his campaign website, Joe once stated that he supports “federal personality law” and was “100% pro-life”. Their website now says, “Protect the kids, don’t let them die,” followed by, “Democrats lie about my views on abortion.”
According to her current campaign website, Masters will support a third-trimester federal abortion ban. Earlier, their website Told that he supported a constitutional amendment that “recognizes unborn children that are human”[s] that cannot be killed”.
Anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony has come to the defense of Pro-Life America Masters’ relocation status. “Blake Masters rightly focused her position on what can now be achieved at the federal level: a limit on abortion by which the unborn child can feel excruciating pain,” Told The organization’s president, Marjorie Danenfelser.
Minnesota Republican gubernatorial nominee Scott Jensen has signaled a similar softening of her abortion position. in one Interview Jensen said with Minnesota Public Radio in March, “I’ll try to ban abortion. I think we’re basically in a position where we should be governed … there’s no reason for us to have abortions.” “
However, Jensen backtracked on his words a few months later. one in Video Jensen, released in July, said he supports abortion in cases of rape or incest, or when a woman’s life is in danger.
Jensen described her earlier comments as clumsy, saying, “I have never felt the need to try and recognize those exceptions with respect to legal abortion, as I always wondered when I would maintain the life of a pregnant woman, and if His mental and physical health is at risk or in danger, that’s all it needs to be said.”
Despite Jensen’s revised comments, not everyone is convinced she’s being genuine about her situation. Ken Martin, the president of the Minnesota Democratic Party, said that if Jensen is elected, he would still attempt to pass a full abortion law that would not make exceptions for rape or incest.
âThere is no reason to believe that Governor Scott Jensen would not attempt to pass an abortion ban â without the exception of rape and incest â that he has repeatedly supported,â he said in a statement. Statement.
In May, Iowa Republican candidate Zach Nunn raised his hand during a primary debate when asked whether “all abortions, no exceptions” should be illegal.
Nuns had previously voted for a measure that required women seeking an abortion to wait 72 hours. The measure included an exception to protect the life of the mother but did not mention cases of rape and incest.
Nun’s Democratic opponent, Representative Cindy Axane, free A political advertisement against him in which footage of him raising his hand was used at the primary level. “Who would take away a woman’s right to make her own decisions, regardless of the circumstances, even in a case of rape, in a case of incest, even if there is a threat to a woman’s life? Zach Noon,” the video said.
In response to the video, the nun changed her tune in an op-ed published last month, Saying“I am pro-life, and I support protecting the lives of mother and child.” He accused Axane of taking his comments out of context, saying, “This issue is very important: Evans deserves to have his voice heard.”
In the op-ed, the nun said she supports abortion “with the exception of catastrophic circumstances such as rape, incest and fetal abnormalities, and to save the mother’s life”.
With many Republicans looking to secure votes from liberal and independent voters, some political strategists worry that all the effort they spend on reconfiguring their abortion status could negatively affect their political momentum, particularly. When Democrats are making this issue a cornerstone of their campaigns.
“While the economy and inflation should be the most important issues of this cycle, Republican candidates now have to defend their stance on eliminating all or most abortion options,” Marson said.
“Any time they ain’t talking [about the] economy and inflation, those opportunities are being lost.”