Maryland Republican Senate candidate Larry Hogan backs codifying Roe

Larry Hogan Larry Hogan, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland, greets supporters before casting his ballot in the state primary election at Davidsonville Elementary School on May 14, 2024, in Davidsonville, Maryland. | Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Republican nominee for Senate in Maryland — former Gov. Larry Hogan — announced he would vote to codify the abortion standards set in Roe v. Wade if elected, which would legalize abortion nationwide. 

Hogan, who is hoping to be the first Republican to represent Maryland in the Senate in nearly four decades, endorsed the plan to codify Roe in an interview with the New York Times, which was published on Thursday, May 16. Before this interview, the former governor had a mixed record on life issues. 

“As governor, I protected the rights of Maryland women to make their own reproductive health decisions,” Hogan said in a May 16 post on X, linking to the New York Times interview. “I will do the same in the Senate by restoring Roe v. Wade as the law of the land. No one should come between a woman and her doctor.”

Hogan, who is Catholic, called himself “pro-choice” in the interview and said he would “continue to protect the rights of women to make their own reproductive choices just like I did as governor for eight years.” 

“I think Marylanders know and trust that when I give them my word, I’m going to keep it, and I’ve protected these rights before,” the former governor added. “And I’ll do it again in the Senate by supporting a bipartisan compromise to restore Roe as the law of the land.”

Hogan served as governor of Maryland for two terms from 2015 until 2023, winning his first race by less than a four-point margin and winning reelection by nearly a 12-point margin. Maryland has a heavily Democratic electorate, and it was expected to be an easy Senate win for Democrats until Hogan announced his candidacy.

As governor, Hogan vetoed legislation to allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to perform abortions instead of reserving the procedure to only physicians. Democrats overrode his veto. Hogan, however, consistently said he did not support new restrictions on abortion in Maryland when campaigning for governor.

The plan to codify Roe, which is supported by Democratic leaders in Congress and President Joe Biden, would override state laws that protect life. The law would set a national standard to legalize abortion in every state until at least the point of viability. Although viability normally occurs around 24 weeks of pregnancy, the proposal endorsed by Democratic lawmakers does not set a strict week-based limit but rather allows viability to be determined by the woman’s treating physician, who is often the abortionist.

Hogan’s Democratic opponent — former Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks — who also supports codifying Roe, responded to the former governor’s announcement by calling into question his sincerity. 

“Larry Hogan won’t protect abortion rights,” Alsobrooks said in a post on X on May 16. “Senate Republicans won’t protect abortion rights. I will protect abortion rights. We will keep Maryland and the Senate blue.”

The pro-abortion group Reproductive Freedom for All — formerly called National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) — went further, calling Hogan’s statement “a lie.” The group had previously listed Hogan’s record when he was governor as “mixed” on abortion. 

“There is only one candidate in this race who will fight tooth and nail to lock the federal right to abortion into law — and that’s Angela Alsobrooks,” Reproductive Freedom for All President and CEO Mini Timmaraju said in a May 16 statement

The Senate election is on Nov. 5 to replace Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, who is retiring. The Democratic Party currently holds a slim 51-49 majority in the chamber.

Voters in Maryland will also vote on a statewide referendum that would enshrine a right to abortion in the state constitution. 

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