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GOP Rep. Says Extreme Abortion Bans Could Hurt Party in Midterms: 'Handmaid's Tale' Shouldn't Be a 'Road Map'

·3 min read
Republican Nancy Mace talks to supporters during her election night party in Mount Pleasant, S.C. A bipartisan proposal in the U.S. House would ban the farming of mink fur in the United States in an effort to stem possible mutations of the coronavirus, something
Republican Nancy Mace talks to supporters during her election night party in Mount Pleasant, S.C. A bipartisan proposal in the U.S. House would ban the farming of mink fur in the United States in an effort to stem possible mutations of the coronavirus, something

Mic Smith/AP/Shutterstock

Rep. Nancy Mace, a first-term Republican from South Carolina who supports the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, says extreme abortion bans could hurt her party's chances in the upcoming midterm elections.

"I am staunchly pro-life. I have a 100 percent pro-life voting record. I do think that it will be an issue in November if we're not moderating ourselves, that we are including exceptions for women who've been raped, for girls who are victims of incest, and certainly in every instance where the life of the mother is at stake," Mace told Chuck Todd during an interview on Meet the Press Sunday.

Mace, 44, said her position that exceptions should be allowed for women seeking an abortion in such cases reflects most voters in her state.

"On the far right we have states that are trying to ensure that no abortion for any reason including rape and incest victims in girls. And that's not okay with the electorate either. And I see it in my own district and my own state," she said. "The vast majority of people here are okay with some guardrails, but they don't want the extremities of either side."

"There has to be a place for the center on this very emotional issue," Mace added.

RELATED: President Joe Biden Calls Supreme Court's Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade 'a Tragic Error'

Congress should be seeking that place, according to Mace, who suggested legislative "guardrails" to ensure there are limits to abortion access — like "gestational limits, whether it's 15 weeks or 20 weeks," she said — but also protections for women in certain circumstances like fetal abnormalities, rape, incest or life-threatening pregnancies.

"I do think that Congress, because Roe v. Wade was overturned, that we do have an opportunity here to work together to ensure that those things don't take place. And you can do that at the federal level with legislation. But on this particular issue, it's going to take Republicans and Democrats working together to get it in a place where you can do it in a bicameral fashion and a bipartisan fashion and pass legislation."

RELATED: Kansas Defends Its Right to Abortion After Voters Shoot Down Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Mace, who's been open about being raped as a teenager, said she would be concerned if states passed laws that prevented women from traveling to another state to get an abortion or required women who've been raped to report the crime.

"I was raped when I was 16, and it took me a week to tell my mother. By that time, any evidence would've been gone. And the violation of a woman's privacy — I can't tell you how traumatic that event was in my life," she said. "In my own home state, they want women to be required and mandated to report when they are raped. And I just can't even imagine a world where you're a girl, a teenage girl who's been raped, to have to report those things."

RELATED: Abortion Rights Activist on Supreme Court Overturning 'Roe v. Wade' : 'Legal, Political, Cultural Chaos'

Last week in Kansas, where former President Donald Trump won in 2020 by nearly 15 percentage points, voters firmly rejected a proposed amendment that would have removed abortion rights protections from the state's constitution.

The vote excited abortion rights advocates and Democrats who see the Supreme Court's decision ending Roe as a potential political liability for Republicans in the midterms.

Those who support the ruling, like Mace, should be concerned enough to seek middle ground rather than trying to pass extreme bans on abortion, she suggested.

"You know, Handmaid's Tale was not supposed to be a road map, right?" she said of Margaret Atwood's celebrated dystopian novel about women who are forced to give birth. "This is a place where we can be in the center. We can protect life and we can protect where people are on both sides of the aisle."