Hogan backs codifying Roe v. Wade, calls himself ‘pro-choice’

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said he would back codifying Roe v. Wade abortion protections and called himself “pro-choice” in a new interview, as he seeks Democratic support in his match-up against Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D).

His comments to the The New York Times come just two days after he secured the Republican nomination for Maryland’s open Senate seat.

“I support restoring Roe as the law of the land,” Hogan said in an interview published Thursday. “I’ll continue to protect the rights of women to make their own reproductive choices just like I did as governor for eight years.”

The former two-term governor would not commit to supporting legislation that codifies into law the right to abortion when asked about the issue in March. He said he would not vote for a federal abortion ban, but he did not elaborate on how he would vote regarding legislation to codify Roe v. Wade, as specified in the 1973 Supreme Court decision.

But he said in the latest interview that voters could trust him to protect abortion rights as a senator — a position that would put him at odds with most of his party.

“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,” he said. “And I’ll do it again in the Senate by supporting a bipartisan compromise to restore Roe as the law of the land.”

Hogan was asked whether he would consider himself “pro-life” or “pro-choice.”

“Given the definition of what I’m supporting — women’s rights to make their own decision — I would say that’s pro-choice,” Hogan told the Times.

The moderate Republican immediately started courting Democratic support after his primary win. President Biden carried Maryland by more than 30 points in the last presidential election, and Hogan is seeking to replace Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat who entered the Senate in 2007.

Alsobrooks beat Democrat Rep. David Trone (Md.) Tuesday in the state’s contentious Democratic primary. Alsobrooks, who is looking to become the first Black woman to represent the Old Line State in the upper chamber, received the backing of a bevy of Democrats on Capitol Hill on her way to winning the party’s race.

Hogan this week has promoted compliments from multiple Democrats. In a video released Wednesday, his campaign showcased past praise from prominent Democrats, some of whom have endorsed Alsobrooks for November.

Not everyone is sold on Hogan’s new remarks regarding abortion.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who endorsed Alsobrooks last year, said he agrees with the former governor’s new position, but said his “flip-flop” on the issue warrants further scrutiny from Maryland’s electorate.

“This is a total flip-flop,” Van Hollen told The Hill on Thursday. “Larry Hogan has tried to present himself as a non-politician, above politics. I agree with his new position, but let’s be clear, this is a total political move and so the question is, do you believe the old Larry Hogan or the new Larry Hogan and if you have to ask that question, voters have reason to worry.”

Reproductive Freedom for All, an influential abortion-rights group, stated that Hogan’s remarks on abortion are a “lie.”

“Larry Hogan has vetoed legislation expanding abortion access, refused to say whether he would support protecting IVF, and dismissed the need to protect abortion rights in Maryland. Let’s call his latest statement what it is: a lie,” the group said in a statement on Thursday. “There is only one candidate in this race who will fight tooth and nail to lock the federal right to abortion into law—and that’s Angela Alsobrooks.”

Al Weaver contributed reporting

Updated: 3:33 p.m.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.