Nancy Mace takes on Ron DeSantis over abortion, warns GOP will 'lose huge' in 2024

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Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., who has emerged as one of few House Republicans urging her colleagues to find a more moderate stance on abortion, warned that Republicans will “lose huge” in 2024 if states keep passing restrictive abortion bans.

“We’re going to lose huge if we continue down this path of extremities,” Mace said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week”, calling on anti-abortion Republicans to find a “middle ground.” Mace suggested including exceptions for rape and incest and maintaining access to birth control.

“These are all very common sense positions that we can take and still be pro-life,” Mace said.

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Committee Chair Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., speaks during a committee on House Administration Oversight Subcommittee and House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation Subcommittee joint hearing Wednesday, April 19, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Committee Chair Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., speaks during a committee on House Administration Oversight Subcommittee and House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation Subcommittee joint hearing Wednesday, April 19, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Mace goes after DeSantis and Florida 6-week abortion ban

Mace singled out Florida’s 6-week abortion ban legislation that Gov. Ron DeSantis, an expected presidential candidate, signed in April. The ban, which has yet to take effect due to an ongoing legal challenge in the state Supreme Court to a 15-week abortion ban, provides exceptions for rape and incest, but requires documentation, such as a police report.

Mace, who has often shared her own story of being raped when she was 16, rebuked the exception requirements in the Florida ban.

“I will tell you, based on my own experiences, it took me a week before I was actually able to tell somebody what happened to me,” Mace said. “And by that time there was no evidence. There’s nothing you can collect at that point.”

“And, you know, that puts heavy restrictions on these victims. And there are millions of women everywhere who have gone through this. I'm not the only one,” Mace added.

Mace is not alone among Republicans attempting to steer their party on abortion. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who is currently mulling a presidential bid, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that voters under 45 are looking for a "new generation" of Republicans.

"Banning abortion is not one of their priorities. It's not." Sununu said. "They want kind of that new generation of Republicans to step up. It's not kind of the old school way."

"If we stay in our traditional lanes, we're going to lose. There's no doubt about it." Sununu continued.

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Mace warns GOP could see repeat of 2022 failures in 2024

Mace pointed out how Republicans underperformed in the 2022 midterm elections and warned thatthe GOP could see a repeat in 2024 if other states follow Florida.

The South Carolina Republican noted her narrow election in 2020, when she won by little more than 1%, compared to her reelection in 2022, when she won by just under 14%. Mace attributed the support to her stances on abortion and reproductive care.

“We made this issue part of our campaign because I want women to know you can be pro-life and be pro-woman,” Mace said. “ They’re not mutually exclusive, but we’ve hidden away from this issue. We’ve buried our head in the sand. We’re afraid to talk about it.”

“And we’ve got to show compassion, especially to victims who have been raped,” Mace continued.

If you are a survivor of sexual assault, RAINN offers support through the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE and online.rainn.org).

Opinion: If GOP doesn't listen to Nancy Mace on abortion, the party can count on losing big in 2024

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mace takes on DeSantis over abortion: GOP will 'lose huge' in 2024