Battleground state GOP leader grapples with abortion ahead of 2024 elections

Republican North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore presents his bill increasing punishments for violent protests before the House Judiciary committee at the Legislative Office Building in Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023. Hannah Schoenbaum/AP

Battleground state GOP leader grapples with abortion ahead of 2024 elections

Katherine Doyle

March 17, 07:06 PM March 17, 07:09 PM

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North Carolina GOP House Speaker Tim Moore acknowledged that his battleground state is “going to have to deal with what we do on abortion” after the issue largely worked against Republicans in the midterm elections.

“We’re going to do something to protect the unborn, but we need to make sure that we do it in such a way that it is consistent with the views of most North Carolinians,” Moore told the Washington Examiner in an interview Friday.


Moore’s comments point to the challenge of how to approach abortion in the next election cycle, particularly in a closely watched swing state.

In January, North Carolina’s highest court ruled that the right to privacy extended to a right to abortion, overturning a state law that banned abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.

The state bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions for urgent medical emergencies.

The Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision eliminated federal protections for abortion last summer, shaking up the 2022 elections with Democrats using the ruling to galvanize turnout. It is expected to remain a partisan wedge in the lead up to the 2024 elections after Democrats yielded better-than-expected outcomes last year and Republican leaders called on the party to double down in response.

The Republican National Committee urged GOP lawmakers and campaigns to “go on offense in the 2024 election cycle” regarding the issue.

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“We can’t afford to say, ‘We’re not going to talk about this issue.’ We have to become conversant,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said earlier this year. “The Democrats are going to continue to use this issue.”

In the 2022 midterm elections, North Carolina Republicans saw a wave of victories that defied the GOP’s disappointing results overall. A shift in the state’s restrictions weighs on the battleground state’s direction in the upcoming election cycle.

During a visit to Iowa this week, Vice President Kamala Harris charged that Republicans would not stop at abortion, framing the issue as a wider fight for healthcare rights.

“If politicians start using the court to undo doctors’ decisions, imagine where that can lead,” Harris said in remarks at Grand View University on Thursday.

Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) was one of several Democratic governors this week to urge major pharmacies to clarify their plans to distribute abortion medication amid concerns of a possible crackdown.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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