Associated Press: “This is not the first time Sam Brown has adjusted his tone on abortion rights

UNLV Professor: Brown’s recalibrated stance sounded like an example of a politician “fishing out some ideas, and seeing if there’s anything that doesn’t cost them votes”

This weekend, the Associated Press outlined inconsistencies in MAGA extremist Sam Brown’s shifting abortion rhetoric and the challenges that the facts about his record present for his latest campaign.

Brown strongly supported overturning Roe v. Wade, stated that he believes abortion should be banned even in cases of rape or incest, backed one of the most extreme abortion bans in the country without exceptions for rape or incest, and was the local president of an anti-choice organization that supports a national ban.

Associated Press: Abortion story from wife of Nevada Senate hopeful reveals complexity of issue for GOP candidates 

By Gabe Stern 

  • Sam Brown’s evolving tone on abortion, particularly in choosing to publicly revisit his wife Amy’s story and oppose a national abortion ban, hints at just how complicated the fight over abortion rights could become for GOP candidates this fall.
  • Brown, now locked in a crowded contest in Nevada’s GOP Senate primary in June, never said how he reconciles the tension between the story that helped inspire his policy stance and its implications in today’s landscape. When left to the states, women in Texas facing the same circumstances today would not have the options his wife had in the state in 2008.
  • In Texas, where the two met and lived before Nevada, nearly all abortions are banned, with narrow exceptions. Similar bans at all stages of pregnancy have been enacted in 14 Republican-led states since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion almost two years ago.
  • This is not the first time Sam Brown has adjusted his tone on abortion rights, a topic he often dodged before the interview last month. In July 2021, his campaign website declared it was “in our American interest that we protect the lives of unborn babies just as we would protect the life of any other American.”
  • But that unequivocal stand has since been removed.
  • Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen, the incumbent Brown is hoping to unseat, repeatedly references Brown’s support for Texas’ 20-week abortion ban while running for a seat in the Texas Legislature in 2014. The ban did not include exceptions for rape or the mother’s health — exceptions Brown told NBC he would support.
  • Rosen’s campaign points specifically to a questionnaire from Brown’s 2022 Senate run in Nevada, where his campaign said abortion should be banned in all cases except when a mother’s life is at risk.
  • And in a 2022 primary Senate debate against former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, he maintained that abortion should be left to the states, but added, “if there was any sort of legislation that would come forward, I would want to see that specific language.”
  • On his website, Brown maintains he is “personally pro-life” and would work to confirm judges “who understand the importance of protecting life.” He is against federal funding for abortion, late-term abortions and abortions without parental consent.
  • Brown’s campaign declined an interview request from The Associated Press, saying the NBC interview was difficult for him and his wife. He did not respond to a question asking what he would say to women in the same position that Amy was in years ago in Texas, where an abortion can now lead to a felony charge.
  • Rebecca Gill, an associate professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said Brown’s recalibrated stance sounded like an example of a politician “fishing out some ideas, and seeing if there’s anything that doesn’t cost them votes.”
  • Lindsey Harmon, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Nevada, which has endorsed the Democrat Rosen, said she doesn’t believe Brown would keep his promise to oppose a national ban. She added that “we were called hysterical” when sounding the alarm during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing to the Supreme Court that Roe v. Wade could be overturned.


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