Friday, 29 Sep 2023

We need to read the room: GOP divided on abortion as Democrats unite for 2024

We need to read the room: GOP divided on abortion as Democrats unite for 2024


We need to read the room: GOP divided on abortion as Democrats unite for 2024

Hours after Joe Biden announced his re-election campaign on Tuesday, his vice-president and 2024 running mate, Kamala Harris, delivered a fiery call to action for voters alarmed by the loss of constitutional protections for abortion.

"This is a moment for us to stand and fight," she said to a packed auditorium at Howard University, a historically Black college in Washington and her alma mater. To the "extremist so-called leaders" rolling back access to reproductive rights, Harris warned: "Don't get in our way because if you do, we're going to stand up, we're going to organize and we're going to speak up."

Across the Potomac, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley appealed for a "national consensus" on abortion in a carefully worded speech delivered earlier that day from the Arlington headquarters of a leading anti-abortion group. Sidestepping the thorny policy debates already animating the Republican primary contest, she said her focus was on "humanizing, not demonizing" the conversation around abortion.

"I believe in compassion, not anger," she said. "I don't judge someone who is pro-choice any more than I want them to judge me for being pro-life."

Nearly a year after the supreme court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade, the battle over abortion rights is shaping the opening stages of the 2024 presidential contest.

In dueling speeches this week, Harris and Haley previewed sharply contrasting approaches to an issue that is energizing Democrats and dividing Republicans. It's a sign of just how dramatically abortion politics have shifted in the post-Roe era.

Republicans, who for decades championed the anti-abortion agenda of the religious right, are now wavering on their positions, no longer sure of how to navigate an abiding principle of American conservatism in their quest to win control of the White House and Congress.

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