By Mahmoud Bennett (Social Media Producer), Chris Field (Senior Editor)
A number of Republican Party nominees for office in 2022 are toning down their messaging on the issue of abortion just weeks before the November midterm elections. For years, Republicans have run on the issue of stopping abortion with the stated goal of overturning Roe v. Wade.
Now that Roe is gone following this summer’s Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health and the issue has been sent back to the states, several Republican candidates for office have begun changing their messaging on abortion after securing their party’s nomination.
In Arizona, Blake Masters, the Donald Trump-backed Republican nominee for Senate, once pledged his support for a so-called personhood law and billed himself as a “100% pro-life” candidate on his website. But after he secured the GOP nod, Masters’ campaign site changed to a more moderate stance on abortion and no longer carried his ardently pro-life stance, HuffPost reported.
A similar thing happened in Michigan where Republican State Sen. Tom Barrett is running for a U.S. House seat. The portion of his website that once said he would “work to protect life from conception” is now gone.
And in Minnesota, GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen, who once supported a ban on abortion, is now running an ad assuring voters that abortion is “a protected constitutional right and no governor can change that.”
Pro-choice politicians and voters are going after these and other Republicans who have appeared to flip-flop on the issue. But analysts say it is merely an attempt to appeal to the much-needed moderate voters that Republicans need to win.
Pew Research shows most Americans support abortion rights but with restrictions. The more extreme stances on abortion on both the right and the left are at odds with the public’s views.
Though significantly more people are motivated to vote on the issue of abortion than they were before Dobbs, Pew’s survey also found that abortion falls behind the economy, gun rights, crime, health care, voting policies, Supreme Court appointments and education on the list of topics voters consider “very important” to their vote.