SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he believes Alabama's newly adopted abortion law is too extreme and people on both sides of the controversial issue are taking exceptionally radical positions.
"I am pro-life but there ought to be exceptions for rape and incest," he said during an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning.
"You are seeing laws on both sides of this argument that are in the extreme," he said. "People have gone to the wings, if you will, and I don't think that is productive. I think something much more toward the center makes more sense."
Alabama passed a law that bans abortions in all cases unless the life of the mother is in jeopardy. It does not make exceptions for rape or incest.
Lawmakers there know it will be challenged and want the law to be weighed by the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. Other states such as Georgia, Kentucky and Ohio have adopted so-called "heartbeat" abortion laws that prohibit the procedure once a heart beat is detected, typically around six weeks.
Utah has not taken up those type of restrictions.
The Beehive State's Republican-controlled Legislature passed a bill in 2016 that requires doctors to administer anesthesia or painkillers for a fetus before any abortion at 20 weeks gestation or later — the first law of its kind in the country.
Earlier this year, lawmakers outlawed abortions performed solely based on a Down syndrome diagnosis and passed a law banning the procedure after 18 weeks gestation. That law is under challenge by Planned Parenthood of Utah and is on hold pending the outcome of the litigation.
Romney, while bashing Trump for his character that he said does not reflect the ideals of the highest office of the nation, said the controversial leader should not be impeached.
"I do not think impeachment is the right way to go," he said. The Mueller report, which did not find evidence of collusion by the Trump campaign with Russia, was troubling and disappointing, Romney said.
But still, "I just don’t think there is the full element you need to prove an obstruction of justice case. I don’t think a prosecutor would actually look at this and say you have here all the elements to get this to a conviction."73 comments on this story
He also said the president is right to take on China, even though it is painful economically for consumers and certain sectors such as farmers.
"Well of course the cost of tariffs is born by the American public," he said.
"But it is a sacrifice I believe is essential to keep China from continuing to kill our jobs and kill our businesses that employ our people. China has gotten away with murder for years … so I think the president has appropriately said, 'Enough of this. We are going to say stop.'"