Blake Masters has long embraced one of the most extreme anti-abortion positions out there. And in this post-Roe America, that’s saying a lot.
Since at least the launch of his Senate campaign, Masters has been vocal about his support for a concept he called “a federal personhood law,” an allusion to the idea of “fetal personhood.” Proponents of such laws hope to grant the exact same rights to a fetus (at varying stages of development, sometimes even before a heartbeat has been detected) as any person. It would effectively ban abortion nationwide by declaring the procedure to be murder.
Before this morning, Masters’ campaign website proudly declared the GOP Senate nominee’s stance on abortion as “100% pro-life,” while outlining the specifics of his views on a federal fetal personhood law: “a federal personhood law (ideally a Constitutional amendment) that recognizes that unborn babies are human beings that may not be killed.”
That, along with other elements of his (now-past?) extreme positions on abortion have been deleted from his website, according to NBC News.
Earlier today, Masters posted this ad on Twitter, seemingly staking out a new position on abortion that he has not held publicly since the beginning of his campaign. He sought to paint his Democratic opponent Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) as the one with extreme views on the procedure.
In this new ad he describes his views on abortion as “commonsense,” suggesting that he supports bans only in certain situations “on very late-term and partial-birth abortion,” while falsely claiming that Kelly wants abortion to be legal up until the moment of birth. According to NBC News — which took screenshots of Masters website before and after he posted the ad on Twitter — Masters tweaked and changed several of his previous stances on abortion today, including deleting his stance on fetal personhood.
Per NBC News:
Additionally, Masters previously expressed support for “the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, the SAVE Moms and Babies Act, and other pro-life legislation.” The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would make it a criminal offense for performing or attempting to perform an abortion 20 weeks after conception.
Now the website states he backs “a law or a Constitutional amendment that bans late term (third trimester) abortion and partial-birth abortion at the federal level” and “pro-life legislation, pregnancy centers, and programs that make it easier for pregnant women to support a family and decide to choose life.”
As Washington Post writer Aaron Blake outlined in this piece today, Masters’ shifting and squirming on abortion isn’t unique to him. Republicans across the country are experiencing “buyer’s remorse,” in the Post’s words, on the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe, a long-fought victory for the conservative movement as a whole. The Post suggests that there are a number of factors playing into Republicans’ quiet regrets on abortion, including new polling on support for the procedure from Pew Research and Democrats’ better-than-expected performance in special elections and primaries in the weeks since Roe’s overturning, specifically in the surprising outcome of the New York 19th District primaries this week.
Evidenced by both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s recent preemptive shrug-of-defeat about Republicans’ ability to take back the Senate, the party is scrambling to mitigate the possible electoral fallout that may come as a direct result of the GOP’s aggression on Roe. Others are just probably not scrubbing their campaign websites as shamelessly as Masters.
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