Kari Lake downplays Arizona’s strong pro-life law, calls for economic policies to reduce abortion – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — Arizona Republican Senate candidate and prominent MAGA personality Kari Lake dismissed efforts to defend Arizona’s near-total abortion ban while doubling down on her contention that pro-lifers should focus on blocking extreme pro-abortion laws and promoting parenting-friendly economic policies.

Earlier this month, Arizona’s highest court ruled 4-2 that the strong pro-life law was legally enforceable after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, rejecting claims that Arizona’s far more recent 15-week abortion ban was intended to invalidate it.

The decision means that abortion is set to be illegal in the Grand Canyon State for any reason except when allegedly “necessary” to save the life of the mother. Direct abortion is always gravely immoral and never needed or ethically justified to save a mother’s life.

Arizona’s Democrat Gov. Katie Hobbs and Attorney General Kris Mayes vowed not to enforce any of the state’s abortion restrictions, but objections within the GOP have captured the lion’s share of attention. On Wednesday, three Republican House members joined Democrats in voting to repeal the near-total ban. 

READ: The post-Roe baby boom in Texas proves that pro-life laws save lives

Lake, who is currently running for the Republican nomination for Arizona’s U.S. Senate seat held by Independent Kyrsten Sinema, called it “abundantly clear that the pre-statehood law is out of step with Arizonans.” Invoking both former President Donald Trump and her status as “the only woman and mother in this race,” she said she “oppose[d] today’s ruling” and was “calling on Katie Hobbs and the State Legislature to come up with an immediate common sense solution that Arizonans can support.”

Lake added that, if elected, she will oppose both federal funding and federal bans of abortion and will instead support increased spending on childcare and protection of embryo-destructive in vitro fertilization. The stance was a direct reversal from her unsuccessful bid for governor in 2022, when she declared abortion the “ultimate sin” and said Arizonans “have a great law on the books right now. If that happens, we will be a state where we will not be taking the lives of our unborn anymore.”

On April 21, however, Lake downplayed the significance of Arizona’s near-total ban while promoting tax cuts and other economic policies to reduce abortions.

In an interview with the Idaho Dispatch, she was presented with Idaho Chooses Life executive director David Ripley’s lamentation that Lake “revealed feet of clay” when she “joined the mob in calling the law archaic.”

“Our first priority is that we need to save as many babies as possible,” Lake responded. “And this law passed, the Arizona Supreme Court said this is the law of Arizona. But unfortunately, the people running our state have said, ‘We’re not going to enforce it.’ So it’s really political theater. We don’t have that law, as much as many of us wish we did.”

“And what they’re really doing is trying to get us focused on that, when what is going on behind the scenes is they are pushing for the most extreme, radical abortion law in the country that they’re pushing on Arizona,” she continued, referring to a proposed constitutional amendment that would establish a “fundamental right” to effectively unlimited abortion in Arizona.

Though Attorney General Mayes has vowed not to enforce the state’s pro-life laws, the near-total ban is still expected to reduce abortions in the state.

“While we are focused on that, a law that is not being, will not be pursued – the AG will not push this law – they are behind our backs pushing a law that will be the most extreme in the country, that will call for abortion right up until the birth of the baby. And that will not only be the law, it will be cemented into our Arizona Constitution,” Lake said, suggesting that defending the pro-life law and fighting the pro-abortion constitutional amendment are somehow incompatible.

While effectively abandoning Arizona’s abortion ban, Lake insisted that she is “still pro-life,” opining that the way to stop abortions is “by legislating laws that help, that are pro-family, pro-mother, pro-child, pro-baby.” 

“And that’s what they did in Hungary,” she claimed. “In Hungary they cut abortions almost in half, and they didn’t change a single law, they started with putting forth tax cuts for people who got married, a tax cut if you had a baby, and started to push changes in culture.”

However, a large body of evidence shows that pro-life laws successfully prevent abortions and raise birth rates.

READ: RFK Jr. reaffirms support for abortion, says he would massively subsidize daycare

Lake’s answer echoes her official campaign plank on abortion, which puts the state abortion limit at 15 weeks and opposes a federal ban, while declaring she will reduce abortion through “quality pre-natal care, parenting classes, and financial support.”

Alleviating the financial “need” for abortion through new welfare programs has long been floated by earnest policy analysts as well as politicians looking to split the difference between abortion supporters and opponents. But data suggests that just under a quarter of women who obtain abortions cite the costs of having children as their reason why, meaning that even if fully successful, such a policy would leave more than 75% of abortions unaffected. 

Further, critics say Lake’s invocation of Hungary ignores key differences between Hungary’s situation and America’s, including a different tax system and that the Eastern European country actually does take a number of legal measures against abortion:

READ: New Hungary law requires women to hear fetal heartbeat before deciding on abortion

Lake, a firebrand who closely aligned herself with Trump and against the GOP’s more moderate factions during her rise to popularity, began moderating her abortion stance shortly after announcing her Senate candidacy last fall. The shift brings her into closer alignment with her social liberalism on homosexual “conservatives” and past praise of Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner and “anyone who makes the difficult decision to transition.”

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