Arizona Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters has previously said that abortion rights were 'invented by a liberal court' and compared abortion to 'genocide.'
Arizona Republican Senate nominee and millionaire venture capitalist Blake Masters has publicly presented himself as "unapologetically" and "100%" against abortions from the moment of conception since the beginning of his campaign.
However, since winning the Republican primary last month, the Trump-backed candidate has made some changes to his campaign and released a new ad that completely contradicts his previous anti-abortion statements.
Masters recently posted the ad on Twitter, where he dishonestly accused his Democratic opponent, incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly, of lying about Masters' views on abortion with the message that "the Democrats have to do that because their own position (no limits of any kind, ever) is so extreme. Here's the truth."
While flipping his views on key issues is not new to Blake Masters — who went from wanting to privatize Social Security to claiming he doesn't after winning the nomination — adjusting their extreme stance on abortion to a more moderate one is currently an emerging trend for many GOP candidates.
Extreme views in the past
Masters has often been vocal about his stance on abortion on social media platforms. In December 2021, he said on Twitter that abortion rights were "invented by a liberal court" and compared abortion to "genocide."
According to Tucson Weekly, he added that abortion rights supporters see abortion as a "religious sacrifice."
"I think it's demonic," Masters said in October 2021. "And I think we have to put a stop to it."
Furthermore, Masters has inaccurately said that "liberal states" such as California and Oregon "allow Planned Parenthood to go in at seven or eight months in utero and kill babies, sever spinal cords and dismember babies." In truth, abortions at or after 21 weeks are extremely rare, and represent only 1% of all abortions in the U.S., according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Supported the fall of Roe
Up until recently, Masters had publicly supported overturning Roe v. Wade, calling it "a horrible decision" that was "responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of babies a year."
"Overturning Roe is a tremendous victory," Masters posted on his Facebook page. "Millions of Americans' prayers have been answered. We have to create a pro-life, pro-family culture in this country again."
Personhood law and contraceptives
Early this year, Masters explicitly called for a federal personhood law that would classify abortion as murder and criminalize all abortion, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the patient, and might even ban certain kinds of contraception.
However, this will be far from the first time he has expressed support for bans on birth contraceptives. His campaign website previously mentioned his support of a personhood law, and that he will only vote to confirm federal judges "who understand that Roe and Griswold and Casey were wrongly decided and that there is no constitutional right to abortion."
"In the U.S. Senate I will support a federal personhood law (ideally a Constitutional amendment) that recognizes that unborn babies are human beings that may not be killed,” Masters said in a statement on his campaign website that has since been deleted.
Flipped stance after Arizona primary
Following his nomination, Masters came out with a new statement that he views Arizona's ban on abortions after 15 weeks — with exceptions for the life of the patient — as appropriate for his state.
"The federal government should prohibit late-term abortion, third-trimester abortion and partial-birth abortion," he said last month. "Below that, states are going to make different decisions that are going to reflect the will of the people in those states, and I think that's reasonable."
Masters' campaign also erased his previously hardline abortion views from his website, according to NBC News, including his statement that he is "100% pro-life." He also removed the bits about the federal personhood bill as well as the mention of Griswold and Casey.
In his ad, Masters also lied about Kelly’s views, falsely claiming he supported abortion right up until birth.
Opponent's views on the issue
In May, he voted to codify abortion rights at the federal level along with all other Democrats in the Senate except West Virginia's Joe Manchin.
In June, NARAL Pro-Choice America announced its endorsement of Kelly.
"Health care decisions like whether or not to have an abortion should be made between Arizonans and their doctors — not politicians," Kelly said in a tweet last month.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.