Sen. JD Vance says Republicans have to 'recognize how much voters mistrust us' on abortion

Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio outside the Senate chamber on November 1, 2023.
Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio outside the Senate chamber on November 1, 2023.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
  • Ohions just voted to enshrine abortion rights into the state's constitution.

  • JD Vance, Ohio's GOP senator, says his party needs to recognize people don't trust them on abortion.

  • He also called the results a "gut punch" for the anti-abortion movement.

Republican Sen. JD Vance of Ohio has some tough advice for his own party after his state voted to enshrine abortion rights into the state constitution.

"We have to recognize how much voters mistrust us (meaning elected Republicans) on this issue," Vance wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"Having an unplanned pregnancy is scary. Best case, you're looking at social scorn and thousands of dollars of unexpected medical bills," Vance continued. "We need people to see us as the pro-life party, not just the anti-abortion party."

On Tuesday, Issue One — a constitutional amendment that adds a right to abortion up to the point of fetal viability — passed in Ohio with nearly 57% support.

It represents the first instance in which voters in a red state affirmatively voted to support a right to abortion where there was not one before — previous abortion rights victories had been largely defensive, preventing anti-abortion laws from taking effect.

Currently in Ohio, abortion is banned after 22 weeks.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine also signed a bill in 2019 that outlawed abortions once an embryonic heartbeat had been detected, with no exceptions for rape or incest. That law briefly went into effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, but its enforcement has since been blocked by state courts as a lawsuit proceeds.

Vance, an opponent of abortion who strongly supported the "No" campaign against Issue One, told Insider ahead of the vote on Tuesday that he was "hopeful, but I think it's a tall hill to climb."

Republicans in Ohio had previously tried to head off the vote by making it harder to amend the state constitution via ballot measures.

That effort, which Vance supported, failed in August.

The Ohio GOP senator also argued on X that Republicans had several other lessons to take from the referendum, including the need for Republicans to support exceptions for rape and incest.

Additionally, Vance argued that opponents of abortion rights needed to sharpen their arguments and focus on raising more money, given that opponents of the ballot measure were heavily outspent.

"The national party should be focused on two, and only two issues: how to juice turnout in off year elections and how to close the finance gap with Democrats," Vance wrote on X.

Read the original article on Business Insider