NewsTight Senate race in Maryland: Republican Larry Hogan promises enshrining abortion law

Tight Senate race in Maryland: Republican Larry Hogan promises enshrining abortion law

Then-Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, casts his ballot at Annapolis Middle School, the site of an early voting location, in 2022. (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Then-Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, casts his ballot at Annapolis Middle School, the site of an early voting location, in 2022. (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Images source: © GETTY | Baltimore Sun

9:01 AM EDT, May 17, 2024, updated: 8:47 AM EDT, May 19, 2024

Larry Hogan, who represents the Republican party in one of the closest races to the Senate, proclaims he is "pro-choice" despite previously vetoing legislation in Maryland to expand abortion access and promised to back a federal law ensuring abortion access.

Deep-blue Maryland will face in November one of the fiercest competition in the Senate. Republican candidate, previous two-term Maryland Governor has just proclaimed himself "pro-choice" in a state which also in November will decide whether to put the right to abortion in the state constitution. As a result, it may be more complicated for Hogan to maintain the bipartisan coalition, as he had managed to do in 2014.

Democrat Lynn Johnson Langer expressed her opinion advising against voting for Hogan due to the lack of credibility in Hogan's actions, as well as the lack of trust she expresses toward him. It cannot be denied that there is a possibility that Hogan, after a possible election, will once again change his mind about reproductive rights, which is a nurturing issue for Maryland voters. As she noticed, in 2022, Larry Hogan vetoed legislation to expand abortion rights and access in Maryland.

Hogan, however, convinces he would vote to coin abortion rights in the state constitution since he supports "restoring Roe as the law of the land." He also added that he will "continue to protect the rights of women to make their own reproductive choices just like I did as governor for eight years. I think Marylanders know and trust that when I give them my word, I’m going to keep it, and I’ve protected these rights before. And I’ll do it again in the Senate by supporting a bipartisan compromise to restore Roe as the law of the land."

Previously, Hogan also did not unequivocally claim his statement on abortion, giving mixed and unclear answers about his positionality. Yet, the unexpected move toward progressivism leaves his opponent questioning his motives, especially when considering the race to the Senate. This highlights that this year's every senator representing the party may be crucial for Republicans and Democrats.

Angela Alsobrooks, the Democratic opponent of Hogan, in her victory speech, warned her supporters: "Larry Hogan has said he’s a ‘lifelong Republican’ and if he’s elected, he’ll give Republicans the majority they need to pass a national abortion ban." She added, "He will not oppose anti-choice judges, including nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court — even in the wake of the reversal of Roe v. Wade." In her program, she promised to cosponsor the Women’s Health Protection Act, which was the first thing she would do after winning the office.

Nevertheless, Hogan persuades he will not vote for a national abortion ban, regardless of the upcoming presidential election result. He stated, "I don’t think anybody should be gaming the system or having a litmus test on either side." Hogan himself is presented as a moderate conservative who has already distanced himself from then-President Donald Trump. However, after the infamous veto from 2022, he withheld $3,5 million for the new abortion providers. The state lawmakers set the money.

Abortion in Maryland

Maryland has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the United States. There is no limit on the pregnancy stage. Moreover, the state does not require a waiting period and attending a counseling session before the medical procedure. Maryland is also a destination of "abortion tourism" - a phenomenon in which people from different states travel to Maryland to have their pregnancy terminated. Additionally, in 2023, Maryland enacted an interstate shield guaranteeing the protection of people providing abortion and also patients or other people helping to access the procedure from any professional licensure consequences, legal actions, or out-of-state investigations.

Source: NBC News, AP News, New York Times, Center for Reproductive Rights

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