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Larry Hogan declines to say whether he'd support a federal law to codify Roe v. Wade

The Maryland Senate candidate and ex-governor reiterated that he wouldn't vote for a federal abortion ban and said politicians shouldn't be in charge of IVF decisions.
Larry Hogan during an interview with MSNBC Live's Luke Russert at the network's inaugural live event in downtown Washington.
Larry Hogan during an interview with MSNBC Live's Luke Russert at the network's inaugural live event in downtown Washington.Paul Morigi for MSNBC

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday declined to say whether he would vote to protect in vitro fertilization or codify Roe v. Wade into federal law if Maryland voters send him to the Senate in November.

Speaking at an Axios event in Washington, the Republican candidate told the moderator that he "didn't even know [IVF] was an issue" until the Alabama Supreme Court's decision last month to declare embryos people in the state.

Hogan also said that he didn't know if IVF was "ever going to come up" to a vote in the Senate and that he didn't want to "speculate on what the legislation might look like."

Pressed further on the issue, Hogan said he didn’t have a good answer on what to do about embryos that are created during the IVF process but don’t get used. But, he added, “I’m not an expert. ... I don’t think politicians ought to be telling [women and their doctors] what to do.”

Hogan added, "This is a wonderful thing and should never be limited."

In recent weeks, Hogan has made clear that he opposes a federal abortion ban, but on Thursday he declined to say whether he would support legislation aimed at codifying Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that granted the national right to abortion until the court overturned it in 2022.

"We’re going to have to take a look at that as we move forward," Hogan said about codifying Roe, adding that he'd have to consider "whether it’s needed or not."

"It wasn’t a yes or no [answer]," he said when pressed about whether he'd vote to codify Roe.

The answers illustrate the uncertain state and federal legislative landscape on reproductive health issues since the Supreme Court's 2022 Dobbs decision.

Hogan is the only major Republican running in Maryland's Senate race, hoping to fill the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin.

While Maryland trends Democratic, Hogan served as governor in the state for two terms — from 2015 to 2023 — and was widely reported to be considering a presidential run in 2024.

He chose instead to enter the Senate race in February, just hours before Maryland's filing deadline.

On the Democratic side, Rep. David Trone and Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks are running in the primary.

Democrats are expected to make abortion a focal point in this race and other battleground Senate races this cycle.

Maryland currently has no gestational limit on the procedure, and voters in November will vote on a ballot measure that would enshrine "the ability to make and effectuate decisions to prevent, continue, or end one's own pregnancy" in the state constitution.

"If Marylanders want to vote for that, they should have the right to do that," Hogan said Thursday, adding, "They're already completely protected in Maryland."