GOP Rep. Nancy Mace has a warning for her party about some efforts to restrict abortion without exceptions – and how it could affect moderate House Republicans on whom their narrow majority depends.
“I think they’re walking the plank,” the South Carolina Republican told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview that aired Sunday, when asked if members in moderate districts like hers are doomed.
“I’m pro-life. I have a fantastic pro-life voting record, but I also understand that we cannot be a**holes to women,” said Mace, who has been vocal about including exceptions for rape in measures to restrict the procedure.
The two-term congresswoman went public about her own experience of rape during an abortion debate in the South Carolina state house before coming to Congress. “Being the victim of rape, you don’t ever get over it,” she told Bash, noting how the experience has affected her and her outspoken advocacy for exceptions.
“As a Republican woman in 2023, this is a very lonely place to be,” said Mace, who was first elected to her coastal South Carolina congressional district in 2020. “Because I feel like I’m the only woman on our side of the aisle advocating for things that all women should care about.”
Still, Mace has faced criticism for voting the party line, even on measures where abortion rights are at stake.
“I think I get labeled a flip-flopper unfairly because of that,” Mace said. “I have my own ideology that I believe in. I’ll take the vote. That doesn’t mean I want to take the vote.”
She argues she has tried to secure changes to measures she may not fully agree with. “I have been very effective at trying to push the ball – not always – but doing the best that I can. I’m only one person, and a lot of times I’m doing it alone and by myself.”
In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last year, Mace – the first woman to graduate from the Citadel’s Corps of Cadets – has often said she’s looking for ways to show that the GOP is “pro-women.” In her interview with Bash, she called on lawmakers to address the foster care and child care systems, for example, arguing that having an abortion is a decision no woman wants to make.
In April, the congresswoman urged the Food and Drug Administration to ignore a ruling by a federal judge that suspended the approval of a medication drug used for abortion. (The Supreme Court subsequently said that the drug and regulations that make it accessible would remain in place for the time being.)
“This is an issue that Republicans have been largely on the wrong side of,” Mace told CNN at the time.