Since Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, reproductive rights are in more danger than ever and many fear Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion-rights case, will be overturned. President Trump, who is announcing his nominee on Monday night, has vowed to put an anti-abortion judge on the bench.
Lahren differs with most conservatives over abortion (about two-thirds, or 65%, of Republicans say abortion should be illegal "in all or most cases," according to the Pew Research Center), holding an opinion that is more in line with libertarian beliefs than those of the religious right wing of the party.
"Pressing for a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade would be a huge mistake," Lahren said in her recent segment. "Yes, the new high court vacancy is a huge opportunity for conservative values and principles — I get it — and I understand the passion behind the pro-life movement. But to use conservatives' newfound power and pull to challenge a decision that, according to a new Quinnipiac poll, most Americans support, would be a mistake."
But 36% is more than a third, which is not insubstantial and shows that more Republicans are pro-choice than it may seem when you scan the headlines. This statistic is in line with the 2017 Pew study, which found that 34% of Republicans support Roe v. Wade compared to 75% of Democrats. It's notable that there are more pro-choice Republicans than anti-choice Democrats (22%).
The same study found that 57% of people overall support abortion rights, while 40% do not.
Throughout her segment, Lahren works hard to make her argument palatable to her base — most of whom she knows won't take kindly to it. She finally zeroes in on limited government, which is the same justification she uses to oppose stricter gun-control legislation.
"I’m saying this as someone who would personally choose life, but also feels it’s not the government’s place to dictate," she says. "This isn’t a black-and-white issue and I would never judge anyone in that position. I believe the way to encourage someone to choose life is to treat her with compassion, understanding, and love, not government regulation."
As we wait for Trump to pick his Supreme Court nominee — who could well be a woman, since six out of his 25 initial picks are — party polarization is more pronounced than ever. Pro-choice Republicans in Congress are an endangered species, which is why there's intense focus on Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska: These two GOP women could go against their party when it comes to confirming the judge who could provide a fifth vote to restrict abortion rights.
Both Collins and Murkowski support Planned Parenthood and have voted against unconstitutional measures like this year's bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. They did, however, both vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch, whose stance on abortion is murky at best.
Lahren, who holds extreme views on other issues — like transgender rights, gun regulations, and sanctuary cities — shows that in this time of intense political polarization, it is possible to cross party lines and see abortion for what it is; a personal, medical decision between a woman and her doctor.