Hogan makes abortion-rights stand in Senate race

In his first campaign ad, a week after securing the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in the Maryland primary, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has proclaimed himself an abortion-rights advocate.

“Today, with Roe overturned, many have asked what I will do in the United States Senate. I’ll support legislation that makes Roe the law of the land, in every state, so every woman can make her own choice,” Hogan said in the 30-second ad.

Since the Supreme Court overturned the federal right to abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade in 2022, Democrats nationwide have successfully campaigned on the promise of restoring Roe through congressional legislation. Hogan’s embrace of abortion rights could reduce the effectiveness of the campaign issue for his Democratic challenger, Angela Alsobrooks.

“Gov. Hogan had to make an ad like this. In pro-choice Maryland, being a Republican in a time when Roe vs. Wade has been overturned is very difficult in a statewide election,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political-science professor at the University of Mary Washington.

Emphasizing his abortion-rights stand, Hogan ended his first campaign ad saying: “No one should come between a woman and her doctor.”

“The problem for Hogan is this may not be enough. The reality of a Republican majority in Congress would scare a lot of pro-choice Democrats who might have supported Hogan in the past when he was running as governor of Maryland. In the very partisan national-political environment, though, Hogan has a much more challenging environment, particularly given what Republicans have said and done relating to the abortion question,” Farnsworth said.

The former governor staking out this position immediately drew criticism from his opponent.

“Larry Hogan has already shown us and told us he is not going to protect abortion rights. And the Republicans he’d be joining in the Senate have made their agenda to pass a national abortion ban crystal clear,” said Alsobrooks in a written statement.

“What Hogan wants to do is eliminate abortion as a central issue in this campaign. But that’s going to be difficult given what Donald Trump has done as president, appointing three Supreme Court justices that were part of that decision to reverse Roe vs. Wade, and what Republicans all around the country are saying,” Farnsworth said.

“In these highly partisan times, it’s very difficult for a candidate, even a popular one, to step away from the party mainstream in a presidential election year. Larry Hogan, no doubt about it, is saying what he needs to say to be competitive in Maryland. The question is: Will Maryland voters overlook what the Republican Party stands for outside of Maryland?” he added.

Alsobrooks, joined by other Maryland Democratic women who support abortion rights, scheduled a Wednesday morning press conference at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore to address the issue in the campaign.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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