Republicans Aren’t All Thrilled by Alabama’s Anti-Abortion Law

Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/Getty

Alabama’s new ban on nearly all abortions, fearing that the law was either too harsh or would be a strategically weak launching pad for overturning Roe v. Wade.” data-reactid=”16″>Republicans in Washington expressed concern on Wednesday over Alabama’s new ban on nearly all abortions, fearing that the law was either too harsh or would be a strategically weak launching pad for overturning Roe v. Wade.

Social conservatives hailed the measure as the purest legislative distillation of anti-abortion principles. But even some staunch conservatives cast doubts on the effort.

“I worry that if they’re that rigid, how that may impact the Supreme Court’s ultimate view of what they’re trying to do,” said Rogers.

The skepticism from Rogers reflected the broader mood of national Republicans. Not many were willing to offer defenses of the Alabama bill on its merits, choosing instead to talk legal strategies or point the finger at the opposition. Asked whether President Trump supports the Alabama law, Judd Deere, a spokesman for the White House, offered a statement that didn’t reference the law.

“Unlike radical Democrats who have cheered legislation allowing a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth, President Trump is protecting our most innocent and vulnerable, defending the dignity of life, and called on Congress to prohibit late-term abortions,” the statement read.

July 2018 Quinnipiac poll found that two-thirds of Americans believed that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Over three-quarters of Americans, meanwhile, believe abortion should be legal if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, a 2015 Quinnipiac poll found.” data-reactid=”24″>The politics of abortion rights can be tricky, but public polling on laws like Alabama’s is remarkably clear. A July 2018 Quinnipiac poll found that two-thirds of Americans believed that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Over three-quarters of Americans, meanwhile, believe abortion should be legal if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, a 2015 Quinnipiac poll found.

Faced with these data points, Republicans have sought to restrict abortion with somewhat more legislative precision than in Alabama, where the only exceptions to the bans are for the life of the woman and for instances in which the fetus has a fatal anomaly. In Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Mississippi, state lawmakers have passed so-called “heartbeat” legislation that would keep the rape and incest exceptions but dramatically curtail abortion rights by limiting the ability of a women to get the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy.

Heartbeat Abortion Bills Were Once a Fringe Idea. Could They Overturn Roe v. Wade?” data-reactid=”26″>Heartbeat Abortion Bills Were Once a Fringe Idea. Could They Overturn Roe v. Wade?

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) said “it’s going to set up a very interesting decision by the United States Supreme Court.”

“Well, we certainly have to have some test,” he told The Daily Beast, “and that’s as good as any.”

as Sen. Susan Collins, an abortion rights supporter, did) or, more often, avoided discussing it altogether. Sen. Richard Shelby, the most senior Alabama lawmaker in Washington, told reporters that he supports the exceptions on abortion restrictions in the cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother, which are codified in the Hyde Amendment that prohibits federal funding for abortion. But he declined to say whether he supported his own state’s law in substance or as a way to force a Roe challenge.” data-reactid=”30″>But Byrne was an anomaly on Wednesday. Other Republicans either denounced the law as having gone too far (as Sen. Susan Collins, an abortion rights supporter, did) or, more often, avoided discussing it altogether. Sen. Richard Shelby, the most senior Alabama lawmaker in Washington, told reporters that he supports the exceptions on abortion restrictions in the cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother, which are codified in the Hyde Amendment that prohibits federal funding for abortion. But he declined to say whether he supported his own state’s law in substance or as a way to force a Roe challenge.

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