Republican Nancy Mace cautions GOP to moderate on abortion

 April 17, 2023

South Carolina Republican Nancy Mace urged Republicans to compromise on abortion or risk political destruction. 

The congresswoman told Fox News Sunday that Republicans are too "extreme" and have yet to "learn our lesson" from the midterm elections.

"Some of the stances we’ve taken, especially when it comes to rape and incest, protecting the life of a mother, it’s so extreme, the middle — the independent voters, right of center, left of center, they cannot support us," she said.

Republican's abortion shock

Some political observers have blamed the GOP's recent stumbles on a backlash over Roe v. Wade's repeal and restrictions on abortion in GOP-controlled states. President Trump was among those who blamed the midterm results on Republicans being too uncompromising on the issue.

An unabashedly pro-abortion judge recently won a critical Supreme Court election in Wisconsin, re-igniting a vigorous intraparty debate on how Republicans should handle the issue.

Mace argued that the end of Roe turned the political tide against Republicans and that the party must "find a middle ground" to stay politically viable with independent voters.

"I mean, some of these [pro-life] groups have gotten so over-the-top and extreme, we need to find a middle ground on this issue," she said.

To Mace's credit, polling data does show that Americans generally favor the "right" to kill an unborn baby. But many conservatives object to compromising on such a fundamental moral issue, even if it means losing votes.

GOP splits

Meanwhile, some question altogether the conventional wisdom that Republicans can't win on abortion.

Host Shannon Bream played back comments from Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Sc.), who told Fox News Sunday that pro-life Republicans need to "explain what that means" to voters and contrast their position with the "barbaric" extremism of the left.

Mace said she agrees that Republicans should not cede the issue completely, but she said the party should moderate its stance. The congresswoman said she supports restrictions after 15 weeks and that most voters agree with her.

"When you're talking about [exceptions for] rape and incest, the vast majority of people absolutely agree. When you're talking about a 15-week ban, most people agree with that as well," she said.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R), who is expected to run for president, added more fuel to the debate last week by signing a six-week abortion ban. A Republican donor who backs DeSantis responded by saying he's "keeping his powder dry."

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