AP NEWS

Ronna McDaniel, RNC chairwoman, on Alabama abortion law: ‘I would have the exceptions’

May 17, 2019

Ronna McDaniel, who chairs the Republican National Committee, on Friday said she would personally support exceptions, like for rape and incest, that aren’t included in a new Alabama law that generally outlaws abortion in the state.

“Personally, I would have the exceptions that’s my personal belief. But we are a party that is a broad tent,” Ms. McDaniel said on CNN.

“If you agree with us 80 percent of the time, I want you to be a Republican,” she said. “We don’t have a litmus test as to whether you can belong to our party, but we are the party of life.”

The Alabama law, believed to be the strictest in the country, imposes stiff new penalties on doctors who perform abortions and provides exceptions only when the life of the mother is in danger or there are serious health risks.

Ms. McDaniel said Democrats have taken extreme positions on abortion recently.

“You have the New York law that’s gone so far to say on a due date, a mother can terminate the pregnancy. So I think there’s a wide spectrum,” she said.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has said that “every Democrat, like every American” should support “a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health.”

“That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state,” Mr. Perez said in 2017.