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How Indiana and Missouri Republicans Should “Engage” on Abortion in 2024

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How Indiana and Missouri Republicans Should “Engage” on Abortion in 2024

After voters across the country rejected Republicans’ extreme attacks on reproductive freedom last year, the Republican Governors Association said it plans to “encourage GOP candidates to engage on this issue” in 2024.

All this week, the Democratic Governors Association is offering a preview of what it could look like if Republican gubernatorial candidates heed this advice and lean into their extreme and deeply unpopular efforts to restrict abortion in even the most dire circumstances.

There aren’t enough days in the week to highlight all the Republicans running to restrict women’s reproductive freedom, so today we’re looking at both Missouri and Indiana, two states where crowded Republican primaries offer these candidates no shortage of opportunities to showcase their toxic agenda.

In Missouri, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, and state Senator Bill Eigel all have plenty to brag about on the campaign trail. As Missourians prepare to vote on a ballot initiative to protect reproductive freedom, Secretary Ashcroft has taken his fight to rewrite the ballot language to mislead voters all the way to the state Supreme Court, and even proposed ending majority rule to make it harder for Missourians to amend their constitution. He’s not alone: Kehoe rallied with anti-choice activists to celebrate the fall of Roe v. Wade and Missouri’s extreme trigger law taking effect, and Sen. Eigel has “expressed no interest in carving out exceptions” to the state’s ban, even in cases of rape or incest.

In Indiana, the candidates are also on the right track when it comes to following the RGA’s guidance. After casting the deciding vote to force rape victims to produce a notarized affidavit in order to seek an abortion or face criminal consequences, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch presided over Republicans’ special session to pass the state’s near-total abortion ban. When asked about the extreme legislation, U.S. Senator Mike Braun said that “Indiana did a decent job” and has said that he is “perfectly comfortable” with criminal penalties for abortion. At least he’s consistent — between his time in the Senate and as a state legislator, Braun has voted and sponsored legislation to ban abortion nationwide and create criminal penalties for doctors, spread misinformation about reproductive health care, defund Planned Parenthood, and more, all while steadfastly opposing exceptions to allow victims of rape or incest to get the care they need.

“After Republicans lost big on restricting reproductive freedom last year, the RGA has signaled that it plans to go all-in on attacking women’s health care in 2024 — from urging extreme candidates to ‘engage’ on abortion to appointing a chair in Gov. Bill Lee who proudly enacted legislation to ban abortion and criminalize doctors,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Izzi Levy. “We applaud the RGA for finally being honest with Americans about their dangerous and out-of-touch agenda, and we look forward to helping them show voters across the country the stakes of this year’s elections when it comes to defending their most personal and fundamental rights.”