- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 15, 2022

Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas is warning New Hampshire voters that Republican rival Karoline Leavitt intends to strip away women’s right to choose and turn the decision over to the federal government.

A day after Ms. Leavitt won the GOP nomination in the state’s 1st Congressional District, Mr. Pappas started airing a television ad making it clear that he believes abortion is on the ballot in the midterm elections.

“Here in New Hampshire, we keep the government out of our homes and out of our doctor’s offices, but Karoline Leavitt, if she gets to Congress, she’ll pass a nationwide abortion ban even in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother,” the narrator says. “If Karoline Leavitt gets her way it wouldn’t be a women’s choice, it would be the government’s choice.



“Karoline Leavitt is just too extreme for New Hampshire,” the ad concludes.

The ad highlights a radio interview in which Ms. Leavitt, a 25-year-old who served as an assistant in former President Donald J. Trump’s press office, voices support for overturning Roe v. Wade, and praises the Supreme Court for kicking the issue back to the states to decide.

The politics of the issue have intensified in New Hampshire. Gov. Chris Sununu last year signed a state budget that had passed through the GOP-led Legislature and established a 24-week abortion ban — with exceptions only for pregnancies that threaten a mother’s life or health.

Mr. Sununu, a Republican, followed that up this year by signing off on another exception to the state’s ban on abortion for women carrying a fetus with a defect that’s not “compatible with life.”

Ms. Leavitt, in a June interview with Real America’s Voice, said she supports the new restrictions in New Hampshire and hopes for more limits.

“I certainly would like to see it earlier, but it’s a great first step in the right direction,” she said.

Democrats are betting the Supreme Court’s ruling has infuriated voters — women, in particular — and will help their candidates survive competitive congressional races this fall.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, added to the heated debate this week by introducing a nationwide ban on the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The proposal, which is likely dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled Senate, includes exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Democrats pounced, saying the measure shows that Mr. Graham and fellow Republicans were lying in the wake of the Roe ruling when they said the “most constitutionally sound” way to deal with the issue is allowing states to decide.

Democrats running in tight House and Senate races are now trying to turn the issue against their GOP rivals, demanding that they say whether they will support Mr. Graham’s proposal.

The Republican National Committee, meanwhile, issued a memo this week urging GOP candidates to put Democrats on the defensive by pressing them to come clean over their “extreme” positions on the emotional issue.

“When comparing a Democrat who supports abortion at any time for any reason, against a Pro-life Republican who supports exceptions for instances of rape, incest, or the life of the mother, the GOP candidate holds a +22% advantage,” the memo said.

Some are heeding the advice, including Blake Masters, the GOP challenger to Sen. Mark Kelly in Arizona. Mr. Master blasted out a clip of the Democrat saying there “should be” restrictions on abortion late in pregnancy.

“What does Mark Kelly define as ‘late’?” the Masters’ campaign said. “The day before the mother gives birth? Arizona voters deserve to know.”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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