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Michigan Republican US Senate candidate Peter Meijer backed strict abortion bans

During his one term in the House of Representatives, Meijer co-sponsored bills that threatened access to birth control.

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
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The U.S. Capitol building is seen in Washington, D.C., Nov. 15, 2023. (Francis Chung/POLITICO via AP Images)

Since launching his bid for the U.S. Senate, former U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) has been cagey about his stance on abortion bans. His record shows a litany of staunch anti-abortion positions.

Meijer represented Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District from 2021 to 2023. In 2022, he lost the Republican primary to a far-right challenger. Meijer announced on Nov. 6 that he will seek his party’s nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat. 

During his last campaign, Meijer’s website described him as “100% pro-life.”

In a Nov. 10 appearance on the PBS program “Off the Record,” Meijer was asked if he would change his views on exceptions to abortion bans in cases of rape or incest. He referred to Michigan Proposal 3, a 2022 ballot initiative that established a right to reproductive freedom in the state Constitution.

“I don’t believe there’s a single Republican who has ever not supported the life of the mother as an exception at any stage and at any piece of legislation,” Meijer said. “I think when it comes down to those other exceptions that you mentioned, those are difficult and grueling questions. Where we are right now though, and if you want to know where my policy is, is that when the state of Michigan, the voters spoke with Prop 3. Like or dislike, that’s where we are right now. I will still continue to be proud of my pro-life record and work towards protecting life at every stage, but at the federal level, I do not support a federal abortion ban and I still believe this is an issue that should be left up to the states.”

Two days earlier, Meijer had attended a rally in support of overturning Prop 3. And his response omitted his past opposition to rape and incest exceptions and his prior support for federal abortion bans. 

In Congress, Meijer was a co-sponsor of the Life At Conception Act, which would have banned abortion without exceptions. Reproductive rights advocates warned the law could also threaten access to certain forms of birth control and put onerous restrictions on pregnant people, such as prohibiting them from eating certain foods or denying them chemotherapy treatments.

Meijer repeatedly voted against and criticized the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that would protect abortion access in all 50 states. He also co-sponsored bills that would have imposed stricter regulations of abortion providers and given special legal protections to doctors who refused to perform abortions. 

Representatives for Meijer’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

This is not the only issue Meijer has waffled on since launching his Senate campaign. In 2021, Meijer was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 of that year. Meijer has downplayed that vote and expressed a willingness to vote for Trump in 2024.

“My overarching goal is to make Joe Biden a one-term president,” Meijer told Politico in an interview published on Nov. 20. “I think that economic damage that he has wrought and will continue to bring will have far more wide-reaching negative consequences on the country than a second non-consecutive Trump administration.”

Meijer is one of several Republicans competing in the Aug. 6, 2024, primary for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat. Other GOP candidates, including former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, also oppose reproductive choice. 

Early polling shows Democratic U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who favors abortion rights, as the front-runner for the seat.


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