'We are SO close to ending abortion once and for all,' New Hampshire Republican Kevin Smith said in a recent campaign text.
New Hampshire Republican Kevin Smith, who is running for U.S. Senate, misled the public this week about his own extreme views on abortion rights.
Smith, the town manager of Londonderry, New Hampshire, is running to unseat incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) in this November's midterm elections.
In an interview with local news station WMUR on Monday night, Smith claimed that while he opposes abortion, he has "always" supported exceptions to a blanket abortion ban.
"I've always been pro-life with exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother," Smith said. "And look, this latest draft decision, assuming it is the actual final decision, merely returns the issue to the states. In New Hampshire, we have what I think most people would consider is a more than reasonable law which restricts late-term abortions."
In 1997, when Smith was serving as a member of New Hampshire's House of Representatives, he authored House Bill 768, which would have prohibited any physician from knowingly performing the intact dilation and extraction method of abortion — a surgical procedure used both after miscarriages and for abortions in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy — unless it was necessary to save the life of the mother.
But Smith later amended the bill to remove exceptions regarding the mother's life, banning the procedure even "when it is medically necessary to preserve the mother's life or health."
The bill was eventually defeated in the statehouse.
Smith has been vocally anti-abortion throughout his political career. He once worked as a lobbyist for the anti-choice, far-right group Cornerstone Action, and advocated for making abortion illegal in New Hampshire and defunding Planned Parenthood.
More recently, Smith appeared to celebrate the news that the Supreme Court may soon move to strike down Roe v. Wade. "We are SO close to ending abortion once and for all," Smith said in a campaign text to his supporters.
Last year, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed into law a 24-week abortion ban. The state ban requires patients who elect to receive an abortion to first receive a mandatory transvaginal ultrasound — a move that the Guttmacher Institute, a prominent reproductive rights organization, calls "a veiled attempt to personify the fetus and dissuade an individual from obtaining an abortion."
"I've done more on the pro-life issue, if you will, than anyone," Sununu said in a podcast interview this week.
With the news that the U.S. Supreme Court could act this summer to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion has quickly become a major issue for voters heading into this November's midterm elections. Roughly 70% of Americans say abortion should be a matter left up to the pregnant person and their doctor, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently said that if Republicans regain control of the Senate in November, they may push for a nationwide abortion ban.
"If the leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies — not only at the state level but at the federal level — certainly could legislate in that area," McConnell said. "And if this were the final decision, that was the point that it should be resolved one way or another in the legislative process. So yeah, it's possible."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.