Republican Senate candidates hit back at ads about Democrat abortion attacks

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Republican Senate candidates clarify abortion stances as Democrats try to portray the GOP as “extremist” pro-life positions, hoping the issue will motivate their grassroots to come to the polls in November.

Tiffany Smiley, the GOP candidate challenging Democratic Senator Patty Murray in Washington state, released an ad Thursday accusing the incumbent of falsely attacking her stance on abortion by claiming she wants a nationwide abortion ban.

“Patty Murray has spent millions portraying me as an extremist. I’m pro-life, but I’m against a federal abortion ban,” Smiley said in her ad. She goes on to say, “Patty Murray wants to scare you, I want to serve you.”

Democrats are holding onto abortion as a key midterm issue following the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned nearly 50 years of legal precedent recognizing a constitutional right to abortion. The majority opinion, drafted by Judge Samuel Alito and joined by four other judges appointed by Republican presidents, ruled that the Constitution and the courts, up until the Roe v Wade decision of 1973, did not protect abortion as a basic human right.

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In Arizona, Republican nominee Blake Masters also released a video on social media on Thursday, stating that he supports a ban on late-term abortion and partial birth, and accusing Democratic Senator Mark Kelly of lying about his views on abortion.

Kelly funded an ad stating that Masters “supports a total ban on abortion. Rape. Incest. No exceptions,” the ad reads.

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“Mark Kelly is voting for the most extreme abortion laws in the world,” Masters said in his video on Thursday, pointing out that the Womens Health Protection Act “is more extreme than Western Europe, it’s much more extreme than what Arizonan wants.”

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The only countries with similar abortion positions to Kelly’s, Masters said, are China and North Korea.

Smiley “strongly believes that decisions regulating abortion should be made as close as possible to voters who are in the states,” a campaign spokesperson told TSWT News Digital, stating she supports the Hyde amendment that prevents that taxpayers’ money finances abortions. Murray, on the other hand, has called for the creation of an abortion fund to help women have abortions, as well as for an end to the Hyde amendment.

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“The real extremist in this race is Patty Murray, who supports taxpayer-funded, on-demand abortions at all times, even right up to birth,” Smiley said.

A file photo of Tiffany Smiley, who launched a Republican Senate campaign in Washington state on April 14, 2021.
(Tiffany Smiley campaign)

Masters also stated that Kelly supports abortion up to the point of birth, based on his vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act, which ultimately failed. The bill would make it impossible for states to prohibit abortion at any time in the first or second trimester of a pregnancy (before the unborn baby’s viability to survive outside the womb), and would remove any restriction on “post-viability abortion.” of the fetus when, in the good faith medical judgment of the treating healthcare provider, continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the life or health of the pregnant patient.”

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Some media outlets have accused Masters of backtracking. NBC reported that Masters also changed some language on his website, removing a statement that he was “100% pro-life,” but Masters’ campaign told TSWT News that his stance on abortion has not changed and that he updates his website regularly.

His campaign also referenced an interview Masters gave with the Republic of Arizona, where he said he supported a federal ban on third-trimester abortions, adding that a change in personality structure could help. He stated that “I would look at the Arizona law (15 weeks) and say I’m fine with it. I think it’s a reasonable solution that reflects where the electorate is.”

Republican nominee for Senator Blake Masters speaks on 'Save America'

Republican nominee for Senator Blake Masters speaks on ‘Save America’
(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Last week, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet ran an ad Thursday in which he tried to portray his Republican opponent Joe O’Dea as someone who wants to outlaw all abortion. However, O’Dea is much more pro-choice than much of his party.

“Michael Bennet has always fought for a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, but Joe O’Dea is against the law protecting access to abortion in Colorado,” a Coloradan said in Bennet’s ad. “O’Dea would have voted to confirm the Trump Supreme Court justices who overthrew Roe v. Wade,” said another person.

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“It’s just not true,” O’Dea told TSWT News Digital of his ad, reiterating his stance that he opposes late abortions, but believes a woman’s decision to terminate early in a pregnancy is “between her , her physician, and her God.” He also opposed the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which overturned nearly 50 years of legal precedent protecting abortion as a constitutional right.

Prominent pro-life activist Lila Rose, founder and chairman of Live Action, warned Republican candidates against changing stances for political expediency in a statement to TSWT News Digital.

“Children deserve strong advocacy, not compromises that cost their lives. Our unborn children are living and distinct members of the human family. They are small Americans and they deserve equal protection under the law guaranteed to them by our Constitution. That means an end to the unjust and violent murder of abortion,” Rose said.

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Rose suggested that GOP candidates were more forceful on pro-life stances when they ran for the Republican nomination.

“Pro-life candidates for office understood this truth during their primary battles, and they cannot afford to alienate their bases as we head for the general election. It is not smart politics to mislead the voter base or you need to turn out and vote. Pro-life candidates must stay true to their word and campaign about saving lives to ensure pro-life voters are energized and go to the polls,” said Rose.

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