1992: Larry Hogan said “he favors keeping abortions legal”


In 1992, Larry Hogan, who currently heads Change Maryland and will be announcing his gubernatorial bid in January, ran against Steny Hoyer. who was an incumbent even then, in the 5th Congressional District.

At a debate in October 1992 featuring all nine general election candidates for 1st, 2nd 3rd, and 5th district at Anne Arundel Community College, the candidates were all asked their position on abortion. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley was the only person who opposed abortion.

The Baltimore Sun’s report on October 30 of that year included this sentence (emphasis added):

Mr. Hogan said he supports states’ rights to limit abortions, although he favors keeping abortions legal.

This position is an interesting one. What most people don’t realize is that if Roe v. Wade was overturned tomorrow, it wouldn’t ban abortions nationally. It would only push the issue back to the states. Some states have taken measures already to make sure abortion remains legal if Roe were ever overturned. Some have been working on legislation that would outlaw aif that happened.

The way the Sun wrote about it, it would seem that Hogan (in 1992) would support overturning Roe but would want abortion to remain legal in Maryland. I’m sure we’ll get some clarification from Hogan at some point on his current position. This could be problematic in the Republican primary, but I’m not sure how damaging it could be in Maryland (especially if Hogan makes an unequivocal statement on it.)

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton is an award-winning blogger who has been aggregating and blogging since 1998. He has worked as a reporter, in government, and as a communications professional in Columbia, SC and Washington, DC.

Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.

Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Jeff Quinton

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  1. This is quite disturbing news for me. I was not living in MD in 1992 and was not aware of Hogan’s position for abortion. In my search for a GOP gubernatorial candidate – as a staunch pro-life supporter – this becomes problematic for me to support Hogan for several reasons.

    1. He is tightly connected to Bob Ehrlich. Hogan himself claims to be personal friends with Ehrlich and he also worked in the Ehrlich administration as per common knowledge.

    2. Ehrlich campaigned as a Pro-Life candidate and garnered the support of Pro-Lifer’s in Maryland – however – once elected, he budgeted more tax payer dollars to Planned Parenthood than any governor in the history of Maryland. As a result, Ehrlich couldn’t buy a Pro-Life vote in the state of Maryland and lost his bid for re-election and sorely lost his election in 2010. Whether or not his losses were a direct result of Pro-Life supporters turning their back toward the empty and/or broken campaign promises – who knows, but I would submit that they played a major role in the distrust of many Pro-Life voters who either voted against him or chose to stay home.

    3. Reason #2 speaks to “distrust” of a GOP candidate who says one thing and does another. IF Larry Hogan were to refute or retract his 1992 statement of supporting abortion laws in our state – how – knowing his relationship to the failures of Bob Ehrlich on this issue – do we as voters trust this candidate to be honest regarding his “flipped” position (assuming he would be willing to retract the former).

    4. if he refuses to retract/refute his 1992 statement or simply ignore’s this historically documented fact and hope no one notices – then obviously Pro-Lifer’s would not be willing to support Hogan as a candidate (that is if they are serious about voting their consciences).

    I, for one, hope he can refute or retract his former statement. Even then, I will have difficulty “pulling the lever” for Hogan especially after the Ehrlich false promises and while other GOP candidates are out there making promises of ZERO DOLLARS budgeted for Planned Parenthood should they become Governor. The Larry Hogan campaign machine is impressive, to date, but until this issue is addressed publicly, prominently, and promptly – I continue in my lurch to find a candidate I can support among the GOP Offerings that has a modicum of ability to go up against the Brown machine.

  2. Mike Philips, when did Ehrlich ever say he was pro life? He was a pro choice congressman and ran as a pro choice governor. Maybe you weren’t in Maryland then either.

  3. Mr. Fact Check (SMH):

    Past articles I’ve read tonight after reading your comment suggest that as a Congressman – Ehrlich voted as much or more for Pro-Life issues than he did pro-choice – so he took a middle-ground approach as Congressman to keep his conservative voting base happy enough to keep his political career going.

    That being said (and unrelated really), I will secede to your point that he wasn’t a typical “pro-life” candidate campaigning on that issue. He chose, rather, to try to keep it from being an issue. However, on a particular bus tour of the southern counties during his election campaign against Kennedy he made personal commitments to pro-life leaders to win their support that he would:
    1. be in favor of Parental Consent for abortions
    2. be opposed to partial birth abortions
    3. be opposed to public funding of abortions

    #’s 1 and 2 would be federal issues that as Governor he would have no control over anyway – but his position was favorable and appealing to Pro-life organizations around the state who had no pro-life candidate in the race.

    #3 however was solidly in his lap as Governor who controls the budgeting process. A major promise to a group who may or may not have won/cost him his elections with their support decision. Being the Governor that gave more money to a pro-abortion organization (Planned Parenthood) than any other Governor prior to him – was an act that created total distrust and it was a slap in the face to those who supported him based on those three promises – with #3 being the single-most important of the three.

    So yes – technically you are correct – he was no pro-life candidate – but given the above alongside inviting a strong pro-life advocate in Michael Steele to run with him …well, let’s just say he learned well from his father in how to sell a car.