Republican senator says he’s ‘perfectly comfortable’ making abortion a criminal offence

But states should be the arbiter, not federal government, Indiana’s Mike Braun argues

Tuesday 07 December 2021 20:19
Supreme Court hears major abortion case

A Republican senator has said he would be “perfectly comfortable” with states implementing laws making it a crime for a woman to obtain abortion services.

The comment was made by Sen Mike Braun of Indiana, who joined NBC’s Meet the Press to discuss the issue with host Chuck Todd. Abortion has reentered the national conversation as the Supreme Court considers a case from Mississippi that directly challenges Roe vs Wade, the landmark abortion rights case.

Mr Braun said that he personally was opposed to abortion and would like to see the medical practice wiped out entirely, while couching his statements with the claim that state governments should be the ultimate arbiters of such decisions.

On banning abortion care, he said: “You’re gonna leave that up to the states and you might find that right mix. I’m not saying we got in right in Indiana ... maybe you find that happy medium,” he said.

“My idea is, with what has happened with technology ... it needs to be different from what it is,” the senator added, while not specifying what he meant by a perfect solution.

"I'm perfectly comfortable with doing it. Just not at the level where everybody's gotta live with the same thing," Mr Braun continued. "When you talk about criminalizing it, then all you're doing is taking this to a logical extreme that you'll never get to anyway. We just need to take it off of where it is. Send it back to the states. Let's find that right way to address it. And this applies to many other issues as well."

Republicans have long argued that individual states should be able to set more restrictive policies regarding abortions and opposed efforts by Democrats to codify the right to an abortion via federal legislation. The states of Texas and Mississippi recently provoked controversy on the issue with laws that directly conflict with the precedent set in Roe vs Wade, which established abortion as a protected medical right, and the Court’s conservative majority strengthened under former President Donald Trump could throw out all or parts of the Roe ruling as a result.

Activists on both sides of the issue chanted slogans in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday as oral arguments were heard in the Mississippi case, which was attended by hundreds including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

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