“Handmaid’s Tale was not supposed to be a roadmap,” Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) said of states enacting extreme abortion bans without exceptions for rape or incest in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
Mace, her state’s only female member of Congress, criticized the “extremities” of both sides of the abortion debate, arguing for a middle ground during a Sunday appearance on Meet the Press.
While Mace describes herself as “staunchly pro-life” and claims “there were issues with Roe in terms of the constitutionality of it,” she believes that extreme abortion bans enacted by states, including her own, have gone too far.
EXCLUSIVE: Kansans rejected a ballot initiative to diminish abortion rights. The results could show how voters feel ahead of November.@RepNancyMace (R-S.C.): "Both sides have these extremities. … There has to be a place in the center for this very emotional issue." pic.twitter.com/m7Vcp0Ao4p
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) August 7, 2022
“If you look across the pond, you look at European nations, if you’re even allowed to have [an abortion], there are gestational limits,” Mace said. “In most countries in Europe you’re looking at 12 to 15 weeks there. And there are other, you know, exceptions that we should be looking at. We should be ensuring that life of the mother in every instance is protected… which is one of the reasons I was one of eight Republicans just a few weeks ago to vote to ensure that women have access to contraceptives. There are some basic things we could be doing that all of us agree on, the vast majority of people agree on, and aren’t fringy on either side of the aisle. But that’s not what we’re doing right now.”
For Mace, the issue of abortion is extremely personal, and it’s one reason she opposes state bans that require rape victims report an assault in order to get access to an abortion in places where there are exceptions for victims of rape and incest. South Carolina is one such state, and its legislature is currently debating an even more extreme ban.
“I was raped when I was 16,” Mace told Chuck Todd. “And it took me a week to tell my mother. By that time, any evidence would have been gone and the violation of a woman’s privacy — I can’t tell you how traumatic that event was in my life. And my own home state, they want women to be required and mandated to report when they are raped, and I just can’t even imagine a world where you’re a girl, a teenage girl that been raped to have to report those things.”
“Handmaid’s Tale is not supposed to be a roadmap right?” Mace added. “This is a place where we can be, we can be in the center, we can protect life, and we can protect where people are on both sides of the aisle.”
When Todd asked her if it would be a mistake for Republicans to “become the party of abortion bans,” Mace replied, “I am staunchly pro-life. I have 100% pro-life voting record. I do think that it will be an issue in November if we’re not moderating ourselves, that we are included exceptions for women who’ve been raped, for girls who are victims of incest, and certainly in every instance where the life of the mother is at stake.”
Meanwhile, this past week Kansas voters signaled that abortion bans may be bad news for the GOP. A 59 percent majority of voters in the state chose to protect abortion access, rejecting a constitutional amendment that would have threatened abortion rights. That’s a similar number to the 62 percent of Americans who say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.