Following in the steps of most Republicans, who love to divert questions regarding different issues, Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance attempted to divert attention to illegal immigration when asked about his stance on abortion by referencing a viral abortion story during a debate on Monday evening. Moderators asked Vance about abortion policy only for Vance to touch on the case of a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio who made headlines across the country after having to leave the state to secure an abortion. Instead of focusing on the girl’s story and the issue of abortion though, Vance used the story as an opportunity to blame illegal immigration for the girl being raped— because the girl’s alleged rapist was an undocumented individual.
Ohio’s abortion ban, which does not allow exceptions for rape or incest, prohibits all abortions from six weeks’ conception, or earlier if “fetal heart activity” is detected. The law was a “trigger ban,” which was passed to take effect shortly after Roe was overturned. As a result of the law a 10-year-old rape victim was forced to seek services outside of the state.
Without answering the question asked about abortion, Vance diverted by claiming he has repeatedly said the girl should have been able to get an abortion and focused his attention on the suspect of the rape instead.
“The thing they never mentioned is that poor girl was raped by an illegal alien, somebody that should have never been in this state in the first place,” he said. He then went on to criticize his opponent, Tim Ryan, for his stance on border security.
“You voted so many times against border wall funding so many times for amnesty, Tim,” Vance said. “If you had done your job, she would have never been raped in the first place.”
Of course, while claiming he would support the girl had he had the chance, he finally touched a little on his anti-abortion views: He supports the ban.
“Ohio is gonna want to have different abortion laws in California than Texas,” he said. “And I think I think Ohio should have that right. But some minimum national standard is totally fine with me.”
So like many other Republicans have a habit of doing, Vance not only advanced his agenda of xenophobia by referencing a tragic story but seemed to bullshit his way out of answering legitimate questions that would depict his views.
But this isn’t the first time Vance has made headlines for attempting to divert attention away from his anti-abortion views. The GOP candidate once called rape “inconvenient” in the same month as he appeared on a podcast hosted by a right-winger who once said, “Feminists need rape.”
Abortion is a hot topic in political campaigns across the country, especially after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The topic has become a deciding factor for many on how they will vote. As a result of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, several officials have either changed their views to support abortion— seeing the consequences take effect— or openly expressed their views against it now that federal protections are no longer in place.
Watch JD Vance push his anti-immigrant agenda by blaming immigrants for people needing abortions.
Republican Senate candidate for Ohio appears on podcast with host who said ‘Feminists need rape’
End of Roe era: Clinics forced to move across state lines, rape victims denied abortions
After an eruption of even more scandals among Republican Senate candidates, FiveThirtyEight’s Nathaniel Rakich returns to The Downballot to discuss the effect these sorts of scandals can have on competitive races; whether Democrats stand a chance to keep the House; and the different ways pollsters create likely voter models.