1. Home
  2. Politics
  3. world
  4. news
  5. Abortion politics have changed so drastically that a GOP Senate candidate is airing an ad saying he would vote to codify Roe into law

Abortion politics have changed so drastically that a GOP Senate candidate is airing an ad saying he would vote to codify Roe into law

Brent D. Griffiths   

Abortion politics have changed so drastically that a GOP Senate candidate is airing an ad saying he would vote to codify Roe into law
  • Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is airing an ad touting his position on abortion.
  • Hogan, a Republican, has said he supports codifying Roe into law.

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is betting big that he can mollify the tidal wave Republicans have faced in the wake of Roe v. Wade's reversal in his bid to help the GOP retake the Senate.

In his first general election ad published on Tuesday, Hogan publicized his previous promise to codify Roe v. Wade into law if he's elected this November. President Joe Biden and Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to restore nationwide abortion rights since the Supreme Court issued its landmark reversal of Roe in 2022.

Hogan is taking on Prince George's County executive Angela Alsbrooks. Alsobrooks prevailed last week over Rep. David Trone after a bruising Democratic primary. Trone, who amassed a fortune thanks to co-founding Total Wine, spent over $60 million trying to defeat her.

Maryland's election will be one of most closely watched Senate races this November.

Hogan's position makes him one of the few prominent Republicans to support abortion rights. Both parties have seen the number of dissenters on abortion rights dwindle as views on the issue have hardened in recent years. In the Senate, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are the only Republicans who support codifying Roe into law. Anti-abortion advocates, who strongly support many other Republicans, spent decades laying the groundwork to overturn Roe.

Republicans have struggled nationally to figure out how to talk about abortion. Former President Donald Trump angered some of his allies by announcing that he would largely leave the issue up to the states.

Hogan is far from a vocal abortion rights supporter.

As The Associated Press pointed out, he vetoed a 2022 bill that proposed to expand abortion access in Maryland. When the legislature overrode his veto, Hogan used his power to block funding that would have supported training non-physicians on how to perform abortions. When he first announced his Senate run, Hogan initially said he needed to think more about his position on abortion rights. He then quickly came out in favor of codifying Roe.

A former two-term governor, Hogan has to navigate running for the Senate in a state that hasn't elected a GOP senator since 1980. Still, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell views Hogan as a prized recruit due to the former governor's proven ability to win.

Republicans are in a tough spot on abortion.

The Supreme Court's Dodds ruling triggered a backlash that hit Republicans particularly hard in the 2022 midterms. Some GOP officials have tried to support antiabortion rights groups when the issue has come on the ballot. That hasn't worked either. Abortion rights advocates are undefeated on ballot-related issues since Roe.

Democrats have already placed abortion rights on the Florida ballot this November. A similar effort is pending in Arizona, a key swing state. Recent history shows that ballot measures likely won't be a big boost for Biden. But the president's reelection needs all the help it can get when faced with his horrendous approval rating.

Hogan would also be outnumbered if he wins. His upset would almost certainly hand the GOP control of the Senate. No Republican Senate is going to make a serious effort to codify Roe, given the party's near-universal support to restrict abortion rights. Even if Hogan found a way to force a vote, the filibuster would kill it rather quickly. The reality is that if Republicans hold the House and retake the Senate and presidency in November, it's far more likely the GOP will face pressure to impose some sort of national abortion ban.

Trump has said he wouldn't sign such a ban into law, but a GOP-controlled House, along with anti-abortion activists, may find ways to test him. Some of Trump's allies have also theorized ways to use the White House's power to restrict access to abortion without needing to pass a law.

Popular Right Now