FILE – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, June 22, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
UPDATED 7:58 AM PT – Monday, May 9, 2022
GOP lawmakers seem to not be on the same page regarding how to proceed with abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned. During an interview on Sunday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) warned the GOP against pushing for a nationwide ban on abortions.
Hutchinson was responding to a USA Today report published the day before quoting Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) who said the federal government could debate making abortions illegal nationally. The Arkansas Republican further argued pushing for a federal ban will likely tarnish the GOP’s credibility when officials claim to be for limited government.
“If you look at a constitutional or a national standard that goes against that thrust of states having prerogative and secondly, some constitutional issues of a national standard as well as to what is the authority of the Constitution to enact that,” he explained.
Meanwhile, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) said the Supreme Court created a constitutional right that did not exist when making a ruling on the 1973 landmark abortion case. He added, the ruling was as divisive then as it is now. Graham also said the power to decide who makes the rules regarding abortions should be devolved to elected officials rather than appointed judges.
Additionally, South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace (R) believes there should be exceptions to banning abortions. She said the procedure can be performed only in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother issues and adds most Republicans support those concessions.
“I know it’s part of the Republican Party platform,” she noted. “The vast majority of Republicans support those exceptions for rape and incest and life of the mother, and it’s important for some of us to step forward and tell those stories that are often missed in all of this as well.”
The general consensus among Republicans seem to be in support of the leaked opinion from Justice Samuel Alito and condemn the source of the leak for weakening the integrity of the high court. Additionally, most agree that abortions should be settled at the state level. Some states, including Mississippi, are gearing up to enforce laws that restrict abortions with the exceptions of rape and incest.
In the meantime, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has vowed to introduce a motion for cloture on a bill codifying Roe with hopes to force a bill in the Senate on Wednesday. However, experts believe the bill will likely not pass unless Democrats take a strategy that targets moderate Republicans and Democrats, including Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).