Republicans fear a backlash from voters after the child rape incident in Indiana

Indianapolis — Republicans knew that much Roe v. Wade In particular, moderates in the suburbs who needed to vote for Republican candidates in midterm elections overturned their political problems.

The story of a 10-year-old rape victim crossing the border from Ohio for an abortion in Indiana confirms how damaging the problem can be.

A prominent Republican strategist said, “Oh, that’s what” after a party member suggested to the victims that they should extend their gestation period. “Very bad,” said another. Or, as one of the rights against abortion, the Indiana Republican strategist said, “I haven’t touched on this story with a 10-foot pole wrapped in a blanket wrapped in anything.”

Three weeks after the Supreme Court ruling eggRepublicans, who are poised to win the midterm elections, are nervous about President Joe Biden’s weak job approval rate and inflation to keep the public’s attention head-on for fear of abortion. Insufficient conservative polls — May increase Democrat turnout and keep moderates away from Republicans.

The incident ignited a momentary miscarriage war in the country, and Republicans did not alienate the majority of Americans who said miscarriage should remain legal in at least some situations. Trying to use miscarriage to rally.

However, a 10-year-old pregnant case revealed how uncontrollable GOP messaging for abortion was.It wasn’t just the right-wing media and Republican politicians who questioned the story. I was forced to backtrack It seems likely that the attacks on the Republicans will continue after the facts of the incident have been confirmed.

On Thursday, Jim Bopp, a corporate lawyer for the National Life Rights Commission, said: Burned the problem when he told POLITICO He later stated that the 10-year-old girl should have expired her gestation period. As a result, he was threatened with murder.

Despite what Republican leaders and strategists like, it’s unlikely that the story will disappear soon. Later this month, the Indiana Legislature plans to explicitly convene a special session to pass a new curb on abortion, and will probably be the first state to do so in the wake of abortion. Dobbs A decision that overturned the state’s right to abortion enshrined by egg 1973.

“These are like bringing the Democratic hope to maintain some sort of coalition to life,” said Republican strategist John Thomas, who is working on a national house campaign. “I don’t think this is a major issue as we enter November, but this kind of unforced error is the lifeline of the Democratic Party.”

Thomas said the Indiana case had already occurred in at least one race he was working on and advised the candidate: You try to shift your focus to another problem. “

“Every day we talk about things other than Biden’s living expenses is a politically wasted day,” said Republican veteran strategist Scott Reed. “As you know, there is a historic opportunity in November of this year. Let’s not blow it away.”

Another National Republican strategist working on some high-profile campaigns said Bopps’ comments could accurately highlight the part of the anti-abortion law that squeaks moderate voters.

“The overall goal of the pro-life cause is to save lives, and I think his comments are well-intentioned, but they don’t reflect the case or the reality of voters,” the strategist said. “His comments open the door for Republicans in the Swing district to be labeled as radicals and erode the interests we have achieved with suburban women essential to victory in 2022 and 2024. increase.”

For weeks, what was widely expected among both Democratic and Republican political experts was egg Almost certainly not enough to prevent Republicans from winning the majority in the House of Representatives in November, but it could limit their interests. Scares moderate and suburban women..

Abortion still ranks other issues, especially the economy, as a top priority for voters, and the Democratic election environment this year is so harsh that the Democrats egg.. By November, New Hampshire-based Republican national strategist Dave Kearney said: Nothing beats inflation of 9.1%. “

But it has been aborted Check up as a priority Since the court ruling egg.. And in swing-state closed house races and state-wide contests, even margin shifts can result.

Seann Walsh, a Republican strategist who worked for Reagan and George HW Bush Whitehouse, said the Indiana proceedings would not only invalidate medium-sized Republicans, but “would serve as a motivation for young voters to vote.” Said. .. “

“It hurts because I set the frame. [of] The GOP’s position as “extreme”, “said Mike Madrid, a Republican strategist who was co-founder of the Anti-Trump Lincoln Project. “This particular case may not be remembered in a few weeks, but the steady dripping of the upcoming story will have a definite cumulative effect.”

For Republicans in Washington, it may be inevitable to focus on the most conservative element of the party’s position on abortion. Of the 13 states of the Trigger Ban that have been or are about to begin following the Supreme Court’s ruling, only five have the exception of rape or incest.

Mike O’Brien, a Republican operative in Indiana and former legislative director of former Governor Mitchell Elias, said the 10-year-old case was likely to focus legislative debates on such exceptions.

“I think people who already wanted the bill, with exceptions, would point this out as an example of a horrifying situation where options are needed,” he told POLITICO. “But legislators can’t get off so easily in Indiana’s pro-life lobby, which has already doubled the bill without exception.”

In South Carolina, in 2021, lawmakers passed a law banning abortion after detection of fetal heart activity. Usually about 6 weeks of pregnancy, Congress is considering going further. The only Republican senator who voted against the bill, Sandy Senn, said that many Republican women like her could be “pro-life” but “against forced childbirth.” He said he thinks there is. .. She says a stricter ban may drive voters to bring it to the Republican Party in November.

“When many women vote for a single issue on the abortion issue, their voice may be heard in the ballot box, regardless of party affiliation,” Sen said. “It makes no sense to require victims of rape or incest (mostly the child himself) to give birth to the child simply because it can detect the heartbeat.”

Even Republicans who oppose such exceptions have doubts about their politics. John McRaeby of South Carolina, who chairs the Special Committee on Abortion, personally opposes the exceptions in the case of rape and incest. But he doesn’t know if his Republican colleagues feel the same.

He said he expects the vote to be much more stringent than supporters would expect if the bill passed the committee without exceptions to rape and incest.

“If you receive this bill through the judiciary [Committee] There are no exceptions to that, and you reach the floor. I think this will be a close vote, “says McCravy.

With the exception of rape and incest, Mike Gonidakis, president of Right to Life in Ohio, will make an exception when he later meets a state legislator who banned abortion after fetal heart activity was detected in 2019. He said he would put pressure on him not to change his mind. this year.

He said the approved candidates signed the investigation saying they did not support such an exception. Gonidakis added that he believes he could have had an abortion legally under Ohio law. But whether the law needs to be clarified for doctors who are afraid of prosecution is a matter for state legislators, he said.

“That’s the policy decision we should discuss at the State Capitol, both in favor and in favor. That’s why we have a legislature. Let’s have that conversation and sit down and talk about it. “Gonidakis said.

In Indiana, Destiny Wells, a former Deputy Prosecutor-General who is also a Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, said in an interview that he hopes the case will make anti-abortion lawmakers think twice about the implications of their law. ..

“I hope Ohio, which expects a 10-year-old child to expose the rapist’s child to the national light, will delay the anti-abortion law,” she said.

It is unclear if this will happen. Spokespersons in both Indiana legislative chambers did not make caucuse members available for interviews to discuss whether a particular case would shape their legislative approach.

The high profile of the 10-year-old case was asked if it complicated the path to further abortion restrictions in a special session starting July 25, and a former veteran Indiana Republican lawmaker told POLITICO. He said: It’s a case, but I don’t think it will be a driving force. He added that he hopes that exceptions will ultimately include rape, incest, and the lives of his mother.

“More importantly, how to deal with pressure from stakeholder groups on both sides of the problem. That perspective may not be in line with the sentiment of the general public.”