MAGA Guv Candidate’s Abortion Stance Gets Even Wackier

Mario Tama/Getty
Mario Tama/Getty

Arizona gubernatorial candidate and MAGA hardliner Kari Lake claimed in an interview aired Sunday that “true choice” means the option for a woman to keep her baby or put it up for adoption. Along the way, she awkwardly tried to reconcile her own recent hardline stance on banning abortion with an electorate that pulled the lever for Joe Biden two years ago.

“I’m for giving women true choices,” Lake said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “When they walk into an abortion center, they’re only given one choice. They’re not told that you have the choice to keep your baby, and we can help, and here’s how. Or, we can help you find a loving family that will adopt your baby.”

Lake, a 22-year veteran of Phoenix’s KSAZ-TV news station, grabbed national attention when she denied Arizona’s election integrity up until she began to run away with her own primary race. She’s since become a bona fide general election contender boosted by the likes of Donald Trump, and embraced some of the harshest abortion bans in the country.

Her Democratic opponent, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, has refused to publicly debate Lake in the hotly contested race, claiming that any attempt to face off with the fringe Republican—who once suggested right-wing Gov. Ron DeSantis had “the kind of BDE that we want all of our elected leaders to have”—would “turn into a circus.”

Arizona clinics have stopped providing abortion services after a Sept. 23 court ruling that state prosecutors can enforce a near-total abortion ban that has been on the books in the state since the 19th century. The state also recently passed a 15-week ban on the procedure.

But Lake garnered attention for uncharacteristic comments last month apparently challenging that ruling, calling for the practice to be “rare and legal,” before a spokesperson for her campaign walked it back on Tuesday, suggesting her only wish was for the procedure to be “rare but safe.” The back-and-forth, as the AP noted, echoes the balancing act Bill Clinton pulled off when he first ran for president in 1992.

In the interview Sunday, Lake seemed to realize she was in danger of echoing a trademark of Democratic campaign platforms for decades, and thus alienating her far-right base.

“I-I was in an interview when I said that, and I was, I was telling the interviewer that when abortion was first presented, they said it should be. It should be rare, safe and legal,” she said on CBS.

The problem for Lake is that in a post Roe v. Wade America, reproductive-rights advocates say, rare but safe is effectively out of the window, and women may seek extra-legal alternatives. Now, whether moderate voters who support abortion rights buy what Lake is selling could go a long way toward determining whether the next governor of a key swing state is a Stop the Steal fanatic.

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