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Not All Conservatives Are Cheering On Alabama's New Abortion Law


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said Thursday that the Alabama law banning abortion without an exception for rape and incest goes too far.

“I believe in exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother, and that’s what I’ve voted on,” he said at his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) similarly said that the law is too “extreme.”

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said that the law’s lack of an exception for rape and incest is “egregious.”

Conservative writer Erick Erickson was also wary of the law’s lack of an exception for rape and incest, arguing that he does not support making rape victims suffer by carrying a child to term.

“I also think we risk turning people against the cause by a dogmatic insistence on getting rid of an exception for rape,” he wrote. “We can pat ourselves on the back for our purity to the cause, but will ultimately doom our cause by treating a complicated issue as an easy choice of choosing the victim we cannot see for the victim we can see.”

Erickson wrote in a separate piece that there’s a chance the law could backfire on Republicans. He suggested that some conservative members of the Supreme Court could let Roe v. Wade stand, ultimately hurting President Trump’s reelection chances.

“Decisions that would preserve Roe, particularly with a Trump pick joining the majority, would depress some segments of the conservative movement that totally invested in the line that holding their noses to vote for Trump would see Roe overturned,” he wrote. “And that will matter in 2020.”

The Bulwark’s Jonathan Last made a similar argument, writing that the Alabama law “is the most damaging development to the pro-life movement in decade.”

“It will be overturned at the appellate level. It will almost certainly be denied certification by the Supreme Court. It will then disappear into the pro-choice direct mail machine where it will raise tens of millions of dollars for the groups who want unlimited, unfettered abortion on demand,” he wrote.

And even televangelist Pat Robertson called the Alabama law “extreme.”

“I think Alabama has gone too far, they’ve passed a law that would give a 99-year prison sentence to those who commit abortions,” he said Wednesday. “There’s no exception for rape or incest. It’s an extreme law and they want to challenge Roe v. Wade, but my humble view is that this is not the case we want to bring to the Supreme Court because I think this one’ll lose.”

About The Author


Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.