Friday 10 May 2024

House Speaker Mike Johnson Says No to Federal Abortion Restrictions

 House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said he does not anticipate Republicans passing a federal abortion restriction, should Republicans gain control of both chambers of Congress and the White House.

In an interview with Politico published on Friday, Johnson pointed to former President Donald Trump’s official abortion position, which Trump revealed in April, ending months-long speculation about how he would handle the issue should he be elected in November. Johnson also quoted Breitbart News’sfounder, the late Andrew Breitbart, who famously coined the phrase “politics is downstream from culture.”

“If there is Republican control of both chambers of Congress and the White House next year, do you anticipate passing any sort of nationwide abortion ban?” Politico’s Rachael Bade asked Johnson. 

“No, I don’t,” Johnson replied. 

He continued: 

President Trump said this is in the states’ purview now. After the Dobbs decision, I think that’s where it is. Look, I am a lifelong pro-lifer. I’m a product of a teen pregnancy. And so I believe in the sanctity of human life. It’s also an important article of faith for me. But I have 434 colleagues here. All of us have our own, philosophical principles that we live by, but you have to have a political consensus.

[Andrew] Breitbart said, politics is downstream from culture. He’s right. Before you can have political consensus on a very contentious issue like this, you have to have cultural consensus. And I think there’s a lot of work to do to build a culture of life and educate people on the importance of that and to really live up to the principles of our nation’s birth certificate, which is the declaration that “all men are created equal.” And there’s value in that. But we have a long way to go to build the political consensus here to do anything in that regard.

Politico’s Ryan Lizza also asked Johnson: “Do you anticipate putting forward any legislation on abortion before the election?”

“No,” Johnson answered.

When Trump announced his official position on abortion ahead of the November presidential election, he noted that while the issue of abortion is often a deep moral choice for many voters one way or another, Republicans must “also win elections to restore the culture.”

“You must follow your heart of this issue, but remember, you must also win elections to restore our culture, and, in fact, to save our country, which is currently and very sadly, a nation in decline,” he said. “Our nation needs help. It needs unity. It needs us all to work closely together.”

Democrats, as well as President Joe Biden’s campaign, have been heavily banking on driving voter turnout around the topic of abortion, using the issue to paint Republicans as “extreme” and a threat to women. Biden’s campaign has continued to claim Trump and Republicans will pass a federal abortion ban, should he be elected.

“They are desperate to spread misinformation and lies about President Trump because Crooked Joe can’t catch up in the polls. The American people know the truth,” Trump spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt told Breitbart News last month.

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