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Exclusive: Tom Cotton believes America would be better off without Roe v. Wade

Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF

  • Overturning Roe v. Wade may be “the best way” for America to handle the divisive issue of abortion, Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton said during an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation’s Mary Margaret Olohan.
  • “Without Roe v. Wade, once again states would have the power to take their own course,” the senator said. “I suspect California and New York might have more liberal abortion laws in a state like mine, in Arkansas or state like Iowa. That’s how our country operated until 1973.”
  • “I think it can do just fine once again and, in fact, I think that’s probably the better course of action on the matter,” he said. 

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa — Sen. Tom Cotton said Tuesday that overturning Roe v. Wade may be “the best way” for Americans to handle the divisive issue of abortion.

The Arkansas Republican weighed in on a major abortion case that the Supreme Court court will take up in October — one that advocates on both sides of the aisle say could directly challenge Roe v. Wade. This will be the first major abortion case in which all three of former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court justice appointees participate, including Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who gained a seat on the court after a contentious confirmation process in October.

Cotton told the Daily Caller News Foundation’s Mary Margaret Olohan that the “law at issue in Mississippi should be upheld” and that he was “disappointed” that it was struck down to begin with.

“States like Mississippi, states like mine, have the power under our constitutional system to adopt reasonable regulations on a practice like abortion to protect the unborn life of the baby, to protect the health of the mother as well,” Cotton said.

“For far too long, the Supreme Court has had its own special abortion jurisprudence, that really doesn’t apply in any other field of law, treating this one practice as somehow constitutionally sacrosanct, ” Cotton said, adding that it is “high time for the Supreme Court to revisit this issue.”

An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released June 24 found that while 61% of Americans say abortion should be legal in most or all circumstances during the first trimester (ends at 12 weeks), 65% of Americans said abortion should almost always be illegal in the second trimester (ends at 28 weeks) and 80% said abortion should almost always be illegal in the third trimester (ends around 40 weeks).

Cotton said that he not only thinks Americans can handle Roe v. Wade being overturned, he also believes that overturning the divisive Supreme Court case would be “the best way for us to handle some of these very sensitive issues.”

“Until 1973 states were making changes to their abortion laws, some states were liberalizing their laws, some states weren’t,” he said. “Without Roe v. Wade, once again states would have the power to take their own course. I suspect California and New York might have more liberal abortion laws in a state like mine, in Arkansas or state like Iowa. That’s how our country operated until 1973. I think it can do just fine once again and, in fact, I think that’s probably the better course of action on the matter.”

Addressing how far pro-abortion advocates and lawmakers would go to protect Roe v. Wade, Cotton pointed to the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“There the stakes were a little bit lower the year prior with Neil Gorsuch because he was replacing Justice Scalia, but with Brett Kavanaugh replacing Justice Kennedy (who had been a member of the majority in Planned Parenthood v. Casey) the abortion lobby and the abortion industry pulled out all the stops,” Cotton said.

“What happened to Brett Kavanaugh was a disgrace,” he continued. “He was attacked and he was smeared without evidence, in fact, contrary to what little evidence there was. So I think you saw just how far they will go, it’s an example of how radical and extreme Democrats have become.”

Cotton said Democrats have long departed from the stance that abortion should be rare.

“Bill Clinton used to say when he was running for president, when he was president, that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare,” Cotton said. “I mean, how many Democrats today would say that abortion should be rare? They’re more likely to defend infanticide like Ralph Northam, the governor of Virginia, once did on air, than they are to say that abortion should be rare.”

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Founded by Tucker Carlson, a 25-year veteran of print and broadcast media, and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, The Daily Caller News Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit.

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