". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


‘Hogan the Horrific’: Maryland’s Former Republican Governor Calls for Codifying Roe

May 22, 2024

More and more Republicans appear to be abandoning their pro-life principles in the name of political expediency. The latest to do so is Maryland’s former governor. Now running for a seat in the U.S. Senate, Larry Hogan (R) released a campaign ad on Tuesday vowing to codify Roe v. Wade at the federal level.

In the 30-second spot, entitled “Kept My Word,” Hogan boasts, “As governor, I promised to uphold Maryland law on abortion … and I kept my word.” He continues, “Today, with Roe overturned, many have asked what I’ll do in the United States Senate. I’ll support legislation that makes Roe the law of the land, in every state, so every woman can make her own choice.” The ad began airing Wednesday on cable, broadcast, and digital platforms in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas.

Previously, Hogan, who identifies as Catholic, has dodged questions centering on his stance on abortion. In a March interview with Axios, for example, the former governor of the Old Line State pledged not to support a federal pro-life law banning abortion and acknowledged that he was “going to have to take a look at” whether or not to support codifying Roe — an answer which he said “wasn’t a yes or no.” But after he won the Republican nomination for Maryland’s open Senate seat last week, Hogan almost immediately labeled himself “pro-choice.” In his primary victory speech, he declared, “To the women of Maryland, you have my word — I will continue to protect your right to make your own reproductive health decisions, just as I did as your governor for eight years.”

“I support restoring Roe as the law of the land,” Hogan stated in an interview shortly afterwards. “I think Marylanders know and trust that when I give them my word, I’m going to keep it, and I’ve protected these rights before. And I’ll do it again in the Senate by supporting a bipartisan compromise to restore Roe as the law of the land.” When asked if he still called himself “pro-life,” Hogan answered, “Given the definition of what I’m supporting — women’s rights to make their own decision — I would say that’s pro-choice.”

In comments to The Washington Stand, Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council, explained, “Larry Hogan has just stated that he supports abortion until the moment of birth. This shouldn’t shock anyone because abortionists in the state where he was governor carry out abortion through birth. In fact, Maryland is an abortion destination state.” She continued, “Hogan should take a look at those facilities where woman have been brutally maimed and where babies are killed in the third trimester and recognize the evil of his position. And as a fellow Catholic, I’d be happy to pass along the information for confession times at a parish near him.”

Former Maryland delegate and the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for Maryland’s 2022 gubernatorial race Dan Cox commented to TWS, “We cannot have someone in the U.S. Senate who is — not the lesser of two evils — he’s, in my view, Hogan the horrific.” He continued, “This man is not one of us in terms of being pro-life. He has no care for the unborn. He has no care for our Republican Platform.” Cox also noted that the Republican Party is “a pro-life party,” adding, “[W]e will support life from conception to natural death, because that’s who we’ve always been. That’s what the law provides and, most importantly, that’s what God requires, and we as a party respect and honor the principles of liberty that are given to us from God and not from government.”

During his two terms as Maryland governor, Hogan defined himself as personally opposed to abortion but said that he would neither “try to change Maryland’s laws protecting women’s rights to the procedure nor to limit access to contraception.” He called a 2018 Democrat-led effort to enshrine abortion as a constitutional right in Maryland unnecessary, but said that he would not oppose it if Maryland voters backed it. “Our laws in Maryland already guarantee a woman’s right to choose,’ he said of the initiative. “We have some very strong laws and any change in the Supreme Court would not affect Maryland, so I don’t think that a constitutional amendment is required, but if that’s what they want to do, I’m all for that. Let the voters decide.” Shortly before leaving office in 2022, Hogan did veto a bill further liberalizing abortion in Maryland, although the General Assembly immediately overrode his veto.

FRC Action Director Matt Carpenter told TWS, “Republican candidates hoping to attract the pro-life vote need to make the case for the unborn. Poll after poll shows voters are willing to accept limits on abortion and do not support the Democratic Party’s position of late-term abortion on the taxpayer dime.”

He added, “In more liberal states, like Maryland, that message is needed more than ever. In overturning Roe v. Wade, the pro-life movement secured a victory for life almost 50 years in the making. We should be going on offense and making the case for protecting unborn children — instead, we have candidates running on left-wing legislation to codify abortion into federal law. It’s unfortunate: there is a real risk of pro-life voters staying home in some of these states.”

Early in his senate campaign, Hogan classified a Maryland referendum to make abortion a constitutional right as “not really necessary,” but his new pro-abortion position clearly reneges even that caveat. The former Maryland governor’s new ad places him among a growing minority of Republicans who have abandoned the GOP’s commitment to defending the unborn, a position which is out of step with the majority of Americans. According to polls, nearly three quarters of Americans reject the provisions of Roe and agree that there should be pro-life protections past 15 weeks of pregnancy. Additionally, a majority (53%) of Republicans hold that “an embryo is a person with rights.”

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.