RNC chairwoman weighs in on Ala. abortion law

RNC chairwoman weighs in on Ala. abortion law
RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel says she believes Alabama's strict abortion law should have included exceptions for rape and incest. (Source: CNN)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee is weighing in on Alabama’s recently passed law that bans nearly all abortions except in the case of a mother’s health being endangered.

Ronna Romney McDaniel spoke with CNN Friday morning where she called abortion a very personal issue, but added that she believes the state’s law should have included an exception for rape and incest. Such exceptions were stripped from the bill amid chaos before it passed the Alabama Senate.

McDaniel’s belief there should be exceptions in the law follows similar beliefs by the top U.S. House Republican, Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

McDaniel added, though, that Alabama lawmakers have made clear their object is to get the law in front of the Supreme Court.

“I look at Alabama, it’s a predominantly pro-life state, and they’re saying we want to let the Supreme Court decide,” McDaniel told CNN. “They’ve been very clear that they’ve crafted a law that will go to the Supreme Court that decides how far can states go to govern on this issue."

Several conservative states have passed laws in recent days to restrict access to abortion, many of them adopting legislation that prevents women from ending a pregnancy after a fetal heartbeat is detected. But Alabama’s law goes a step beyond, making it a felony for doctors to perform the procedure at any stage unless the mother’s health is endangered.

More liberal states have increased abortion access, some making it legal to perform them beyond the 20-week point.

“Obviously, New York has passed a very different law that’s allowed abortions up to the due date,” McDaniel said. "And so Alabama represents Alabama. They don’t want California dictating to them how they should legislate, and Roe v. Wade just didn’t go far enough in saying where did the states get the right to determine governance on this issue.”

Many abortion rights supporters, including numerous candidates for the Democratic nomination for president, have come out strongly against the strict abortion laws.

But McDaniel said she doesn’t believe Alabama’s law will hurt the Republican Party despite those who have voiced opposition.

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