Hogan dodges questions on codifying Roe, in vitro fertilization

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), a candidate for U.S. Senate in the state, would not commit to backing legislation that codifies into federal law the right to an abortion, as stipulated in the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.

At an Axios event on Thursday, Hogan reiterated previous statements saying he would not vote for a federal abortion ban, but he would not answer directly how he would vote on a bill codifying Roe.

“I think that’s we’re going to have to take a look at that as we move forward,” Hogan said. “… Whether it’s needed or not.”

Axios’s Sophia Cai pressed Hogan for a direct answer, asking, “So is that a yes? Yes or no?”

“That wasn’t a yes or no,” Hogan said, before laughing briefly to himself.

“Very clearly it wasn’t,” Cai said before moving on.

The interview comes as Hogan, an outspoken critic of former President Trump, mounts a Senate bid in Maryland — a state Biden won in 2020 by more than 30 points. With abortion top of mind for many voters, centrist Republicans like Hogan must navigate their messaging on the divisive issue ahead of the 2024 elections.

In the interview, Hogan stated clearly that he supports in vitro fertilization (IVF), but he dodged questions on whether he would support legislation protecting access to it.

IVF, a reproductive option for many prospective parents, was catapulted into the national spotlight after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children, and those who destroy them can be held liable.

The Alabama governor has since signed into law protections shielding IVF providers from lawsuits over the destruction of embryos during the IVF process, but the ruling has nonetheless sparked concerns around the country about the extent to which reproductive care could be at risk of being rolled back.

Asked whether he would vote to protect IVF, Hogan noted he was among the first to call the decision outrageous publicly and said he thinks IVF “is a wonderful opportunity for so many people that are unable to have families.”

“But I don’t know, I don’t want to speculate what legislation might be, come up. I never even thought this was an issue until this crazy decision in Alabama,” he said, addressing whether he would vote to protect IVF.

He later reiterated this sentiment, saying, “I don’t know that that’s ever going to come up, and I don’t want to speculate on what the legislation might look like, but absolutely, 100 percent, this is a wonderful thing and should never be limited.”

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