How Democrats and Republicans explained the Roe fallout on Sunday talk shows.
In the first weekend after the Supreme Court quashed nearly five decades of constitutional abortion rights, Democrats seized on the ruling to portray their Republican opponents as threats to women and their health care providers, while two incumbent GOP governors welcomed the decision, trying to emphasize that the issue is a local one and that more “debate” needs to be had.
Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor in Georgia who is in a rematch with the Republican incumbent she narrowly lost four years ago, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the public “must be very real about the danger Brian Kemp represents the lives and well-being of women in this state.”
Ms. Abrams also told CNN that Mr. Kemp “intends to include incest and rape as prohibited.”
Tate Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Mr. Kemp, said in a statement that Ms. Abrams is “lying” and that Mr. Kemp supports state law that includes exemptions for rape, incest, maternal life and ectopic pregnancies.
Ms. Abrams also appeared on Fox News Sunday, saying, “We can’t choose if we care about women’s lives and safety.”
After noting that Mr. Kemp refused to expand Medicaid in Georgia, Ms. Abrams said, “He has refused to support women at any stage of their lives as they try to make the best choices for themselves and their families.”
CNN host Jake Tapper said Mr Kemp was invited to appear on the show. Ms. Mitchell said Mr. Kemp was unable to appear because he was at the Georgia Municipal Association conference in Savannah.
Michigan Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that state lawmakers had already passed legislation to “criminalize and jail nurses and doctors” if they perform abortions.
And lawmakers, she said, endorsed a 1931 law that makes abortions a crime in the state “as are all Republicans running for governor. They want abortion to be a crime: no exception for rape or incest. That’s the kind of legislator I work with. That’s the kind of matchup I’m going to have this fall.”
Republican governors on Sunday’s shows, who welcomed the court’s ruling, repeatedly emphasized that debate and discussion on this issue will continue, viewing it as a state rights issue.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that while the ruling was something the “pro-life movement has been working on for over 40 years,” “we need to remember that this is not a nationwide abortion ban. Every state.” will have the opportunity to make his decisions.”
Mr Hutchinson later tried to allay concerns that other rights could be reversed: “This is not about contraception. This is not about same-sex marriage: a very narrow decision on this particular issue of abortion.”
And it’s “very important right now to assure women that access to contraception will continue.” Later, when asked if he would sign a national law banning abortion as president, Hutchinson, who is considering doing a run in 2024, said no.
“I don’t think we should say there should be a national law that has been passed. We fought 50 years to get this return to the states. We won that battle. It’s back to the states. Let’s get it resolved there.”
Another Republican, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, told ABC’s “This Week” that the Supreme Court ruling was “great news” and that her state would now ban abortions except to save the mother’s life. “But I expect there will be more debate and discussion,” as the ruling “returned the powers to states to make these decisions.”
When asked what would happen if a South Dakota resident traveled to another state to have an abortion, Ms Noem replied, “That’s certainly not addressed in our statute today and so I think there’s there will be discussion about it, but also, we have a lot of debates in South Dakota.”