Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) is facing criticism from fellow Republican leaders and conservative groups after suggesting that the party’s pro-life agenda may be costing the party votes. Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, Mace expressed her concerns about the party’s approach to the issue of abortion, saying that some of the stances taken by Republicans were too extreme.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 16, 2023
The South Carolina representative argued that even though she is pro-life, the party’s position on the issue has become too polarizing and is driving away independent voters.
“Even though I’m pro-life, I represent a pro-choice district, and I saw the tide change after Roe was overturned. We went [from being] mildly pro-choice to…[a] vast majority of voters being pro-choice after Roe v. Wade. It changed the entire electoral environment in ’22,” Mace said.
Mace, who has a strong pro-life voting record, suggested that Republicans focus on improving access to birth control rather than pushing for a complete ban on abortion. According to her, that’s one way to protect the lives of the unborn while retaining the trust of independent voters.
“We’re afraid of the issue because we’re afraid of our base, and – but that’s not where the base is,” Mace said.
However, many Republicans argue that access to birth control does not address the core issue of protecting the lives of the unborn. The comments drew criticism from conservative groups, including Life News, a pro-life website, which called her a “sellout.”
Nancy Mace is a sellout. If you can't even stand up for babies killed in abortions you're no better than the left.
— LifeNews.com (@LifeNewsHQ) April 11, 2023
Many Republicans also took issue with Mace’s suggestion that the party’s pro-life stance was alienating independent voters.
Someone tell @RepNancyMace supporting life is NEVER extreme.
(You'd think someone who goes under the knife for cosmetic surgery like she does would be a bit concerned about getting the Joan Rivers treatment.) https://t.co/zzwfHdk2ps
— Stew Peters (@realstewpeters) April 16, 2023
Despite the expected criticism, Mace was firm in her comments, saying that she is simply trying to find a middle ground on the issue of abortion.
“I have a great pro-life voting record but some of the stances we’ve taken, especially when it comes to rape and incest, protecting the life of a mother, it’s so extreme, the middle – the independent voters, right of center, left of center, they cannot support us,” Mace said.
Mace’s comments come at a time when the issue of abortion is once again in the spotlight, with many states passing restrictive abortion laws in the hopes of challenging the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
While her comments echo the views of some conservatives, the idea of the Republican Party reconciling its pro-life values with the need to appeal to a wider range of voters seems like a reach.