(CNN)Texas authorities Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. has voted for anti-abortion authorities much than a twelve times successful the past decade. He was 1 of the authorities lawmakers who some sponsored and voted for the arguable "Heartbeat Bill," which criminalized termination arsenic soon arsenic a fetus' heartbeat is detected and did not see exceptions for victims of rape oregon incest. He besides voted for the state's alleged trigger ban, which outlawed the process astir wholly upon the autumn of Roe v. Wade.
He is "the extremist right's trusted ballot erstwhile it comes to attacking termination access," 1 termination rights advocacy radical successful Texas proclaimed successful 2021.
He is besides a lifelong Democrat.
A CNN investigation of legislative records and reported enactment affiliations shows that the Republicans passing progressively strict termination bans astir the state person been joined by scores of improbable allies: Democrats.
More than 140 Democrats from 8 of the astir twelve states with the most restrictive termination laws voted successful favour of the bans, and the immense bulk of these authorities lawmakers were men.
All but 1 of the laws would person passed with Republican votes alone, and a fewer were passed without a azygous ballot from a Democratic lawmaker. Republican legislators astir ever voted successful favour of the restrictions, which experts accidental shows however the contented has been overmuch much of a litmus trial for Republican authorities lawmakers than it has for Democrats.
The close to termination had been guaranteed successful the United States for astir 50 years until the Supreme Court's landmark decision successful June. In its wake, the process has been outlawed oregon severely restricted acknowledgment to authorities trigger bans and different anti-abortion laws passed betwixt 2005 and contiguous that are present taking effect. Most of these laws were passed successful the past 5 years, though 2 of the authorities trigger bans were passed much than a decennary agone successful the hopes that Roe v. Wade would someday beryllium overturned. In Mississippi, for example, a instrumentality that passed successful 2007 received yes votes from much than 60 Democrats — immoderate of whom person since crossed implicit to the Republican Party. In this case, the instrumentality would not person passed without that enactment from Democrats.
These strict termination bans tally contrary to nationalist opinion, with much than 60% of Americans saying they disapprove of the caller Supreme Court determination successful a July CNN poll. In August, voters successful Kansas rejected a ballot measure that would person constricted termination rights successful the state, portion successful upstate New York, a Democrat won a peculiar election for a plaything House territory -- a motion of the motivating powerfulness of termination rights arsenic an issue.
Lucio told CNN that being an anti-abortion Democrat "feels lonely" astatine times, but that astir of his constituents are "Christians whose upbringings taught them cardinal values of what is close and wrong."
He said helium doesn't judge termination is lone a women's issue, since some men and women are progressive successful conception, and that men "have shown that they person a earthy instinct to support the quality race."
"Many times, I believe, women would take not to person an termination if men would show a motivation consciousness of responsibility," helium said.
The nationalist Democratic Party's stance connected termination is clear. "Like the bulk of Americans, Democrats judge each pistillate should beryllium capable to entree high-quality reproductive wellness attraction services, including harmless and ineligible abortion," its enactment level states. "We reason and volition combat to overturn national and authorities laws that make barriers to women's reproductive wellness and rights..."
But that is not ever the lawsuit for idiosyncratic Democratic authorities legislators.
In Arkansas, 4 of the state's 29 Democrats voted successful 2019 to walk the trigger prohibition that criminalized termination nether astir each circumstances. They were each men. That aforesaid year, 14 antheral and 5 pistillate Democrats successful Kentucky voted for a akin authorities ban, representing astir 40% of each Democrats successful the authorities legislature astatine the time. And successful Mississippi, 9 antheral Democratic lawmakers voted successful 2018 to walk the 15-week termination prohibition that yet led to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The laws received astir unanimous enactment from Republicans, but for a azygous nary ballot successful Arkansas.
A 2022 measure strengthening Louisiana's trigger ban, meanwhile, was passed with the assistance of 10 antheral and 2 pistillate Democratic lawmakers and signed into law by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. "I americium pro-life and person ne'er hidden from that fact," Edwards said successful a connection successful June, noting that helium signed the measure contempt his objection to the deficiency of exceptions for rape and incest victims. A spokesperson for Edwards told CNN that the politician intends to enactment with lawmakers to hopefully walk an objection for victims of rape and incest and noted that the measure helium signed "sought to clarify" a prohibition passed successful 2006 earlier helium became governor.
Former Kentucky Democratic authorities typical and gubernatorial campaigner Rocky Adkins said successful a 2019 radio interview that successful summation to his idiosyncratic beliefs, his votes correspond the views of his constituents successful a "very blimpish district." Bruce Maloch, who nary longer serves successful the authorities legislature, is 1 of the Arkansas Democrats who voted successful favour of the state's trigger ban. He was described arsenic a "a deer-hunting, abortion-opposing section Baptist deacon" successful a 2020 section newspaper column lamenting the Republican onslaught ads against him. Maloch and Adkins did not respond to CNN's requests for comment.
Also successful Kentucky, erstwhile authorities Rep. Joe Graviss told a local newspaper successful 2020 that helium had tried to stress his "pro-life" beliefs passim his run for authorities Senate but inactive lost. Graviss declined to sermon his anti-abortion votes with CNN, saying the contented is simply a "very personal" 1 for him, but besides said helium is frustrated with however section Democrats are painted arsenic being the aforesaid arsenic nationalist Democrats, specified arsenic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which is not ever the case. "You person radical putting up large signs successful their fields connected large parkways saying if you ballot for a Democrat you're going to hell," helium said. "You person pastors telling their congregations who to ballot for and putting the database tacked connected religion beforehand doors with damning repercussions if they don't ballot that way."
In all, men represented much than 80% of the Democratic votes successful authorities legislatures successful favour of the bans.
CNN's investigation of authorities Democrats echoes however sex has played a relation successful Congress arsenic well. An investigation of abortion-related voting successful the House of Representatives betwixt 1993 and 2018 published past twelvemonth by 2 Georgetown researchers recovered that Democratic men were much apt to ballot successful favour of bills restricting termination than their pistillate counterparts, which the researchers attributed to however pistillate Democrats are often elected successful much wide districts.
Currently, the lone 2 Democratic members of Congress to publically reason termination are: Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, which was noted successful a recent column astir the "end of pro-life Democrats" astatine the national level. Republican women successful the House, meanwhile, person historically been much apt than Republican men to reason anti-abortion legislation, the Georgetown researchers noted, but that sex spread has disappeared successful caller years arsenic much mean candidates were replaced by "strongly pro-life women from the South and Midwest."
At the aforesaid time, experts accidental framing termination arsenic a women's contented whitethorn forestall men from taking up the abortion-rights broadside of the cause, whether arsenic advocates oregon lawmakers — saying anti-abortion activists person strategically capitalized connected the powerfulness men wield successful authorities and business. "Let's beryllium real: there's a WHOLE batch of men whose lives, careers, and families person benefited from an abortion," US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, tweeted successful the aftermath of Roe's reversal. "Men, we request you close now. You tin get done successful rooms others can't. Your powerfulness matters." Some termination rights advocates besides enactment that gender-based framing of the contented leaves retired transgender and nonbinary radical who could beryllium affected.
Ziad Munson, a sociology prof astatine Lehigh University who specializes successful the authorities of abortion, said that "politicians often person easy identifiable governmental reasons for their stance connected abortion," saying that immoderate Democrats whitethorn beryllium voting for anti-abortion authorities much to support their spot successful a blimpish territory than due to the fact that it is simply a deeply-held idiosyncratic belief.
Munson noted that the uncovering that Democratic authorities lawmakers person been much apt to transverse enactment lines shows however termination became overmuch much of a halfway contented for the Republican Party, portion Democrats person allowed "for much diverseness of views for a longer play of time." This has been peculiarly existent successful the South, helium said, wherever Democrats person been historically much conservative.
That whitethorn beryllium changing, however, arsenic lawmakers accommodate to a shifting governmental landscape. Munson said it volition beryllium telling to spot however Democrats ballot arsenic Republicans propulsion for adjacent stricter bans successful a post-Roe v. Wade world.
In Congress, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, who antecedently described himself arsenic a "pro-life" Democrat, precocious voted with his enactment connected a measure that would person codified the national close to termination — though it did not person capable votes to proceed. In a statement, Casey said helium was motivated by reports that Republicans would effort to walk a national six-week termination prohibition — an utmost regularisation that helium said helium had ne'er supported during his clip successful nationalist office. Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, said successful a June connection that helium was "deeply disappointed" successful the Supreme Court determination to overturn Roe and that helium supported exceptions for rape and incest, but helium inactive voted against the bill, saying on CNN that helium believed the legislature connection went beyond codifying Roe and would grow termination rights, which helium could not support.
Former Tennessee authorities Rep. John DeBerry, meanwhile, had served arsenic a Democrat for much than 20 years but was stripped from the superior ballot by the authorities Democratic enactment successful 2020. The determination came aft DeBerry, who aboriginal ran arsenic an independent, was targeted by attack ads from the governmental limb of Planned Parenthood, and enactment representatives reportedly said astatine the clip that his votes for anti-abortion and schoolhouse voucher bills, among others, didn't align with the party's values.
"Life has mattered my full career," helium said successful a 2020 interrogation with Christianity Today. "My principles person not changed, and I americium not changing my principles due to the fact that I person a D down my name."
And backmost successful Texas, longtime Democratic authorities Rep. Ryan Guillen announced successful November 2021 helium would beryllium officially switching his affiliation from Democrat to Republican. Like Lucio successful the Senate, Guillen had voted successful favour of some the state's trigger prohibition and arguable six-week prohibition enforced done civilian litigation. "Rep. Guillen has been a person for galore years," the authorities Republican Party president said successful a statement. "I americium arrogant to invited him to the Republican Party." Guillen did not respond to requests for comment.
Days earlier, Lucio had announced helium would not question reelection aft much than 30 years successful the authorities legislature. He told CNN helium is arrogant that helium roseate "above partisan politics" during his clip successful bureau and proclaimed that helium was ne'er the utmost right's trusted vote, arsenic critics said, but "God's trusted vote."
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CNN's Clay Voytek and Casey Tolan contributed to this report.