At a recent campaign stop Michigan gubernatorial primary candidate Tudor Dixon made an especially striking argument on why abortion should be outlawed during a conversation about a proposed ballot referendum this year that would ensure abortion is accessible in the state.
It would create “a safe haven for any type of predator out there,” she said.
“If you’re a predator there’s nothing you like more than abortion. And if you can get a girl an abortion without her parents knowing you can keep hurting her,” Dixon said at a meet-and-greet at Na-Lar Farms last week.
“So we have to make sure we protect people from predators in this state. We cannot let this constitutional amendment be passed and give predators a chance to keep preying on young women,” she added.
In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last month, an almost decade-old state law banning abortion went into effect in Michigan, only providing exceptions for if the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother. While the law has been at least temporarily blocked in court, Michiganders have been left in limbo over the future of abortion access in the state.
Organizers for the proposed ballot referendum argue it’s a means to protect pregnant people from carrying unwanted pregnancies, including those caused by rape or incest. The website for the coalition backing the proposal, Reproductive Freedom For All, says the proposed referendum would affirm that “every person” has access to “political interference about all matters relating to pregnancy, including birth control, abortion, prenatal care, and childbirth.”
The group did not return a request for comment on how that referendum would impact parental consent, which conservative groups and Dixon have questioned the possibility of. But Michigan law already requires that physicians, nurses, social workers, teachers, school staff and more must report suspected child abuse, including pregnancies in children.
Dixon supports an almost absolute ban on abortion—with only exceptions for the life of the mother—and it’s not the first time she’s provided outlandish explanations to back up her position.
In another interview with internet talk-show host Charlie LeDuff earlier this month, LeDuff challenged Dixon with a hypothetical, worst-case scenario: a 14-year-old who got pregnant as a result of incest by an uncle.
Dixon responded, “Perfect example.”
She went on to outline her rationale on why that hypothetical teen should be required to carry the pregnancy to term, arguing that the means of conception shouldn’t matter in how the law defines a life. “A life is a life for me. That’s how it is,” she said.
Dixon added that in that hypothetical scenario, there’s a concern for “protecting that guy, and we’ve got to get those guys in jail.”
In another interview on the Guy Gordon Show this month, Dixon argued that access to abortion pills would allow child sexual abusers to hide victims’ pregnancies with little scrutiny. The Biden administration has ordered that abortion pills remain available by mail for any individual to take from the comfort of their home.
“There are dangers with these things. We can’t let traffickers or predators have these pills that hide that there is a child,” Dixon said.
Dixon is backed by the largest anti-abortion rights group in the state—which she proudly touts on her campaign site under a page simply titled “Life.” She’s also racked up endorsements from Michigan GOP power players like the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and former Education Secretary Betsy Devos, among many others.
President Donald Trump endorsed Dixon on Friday night, just ahead of the Tuesday primary.
“Tudor Dixon is a Conservative Warrior who built an impressive career in the steel industry while working with her fabulous father, who is now watching her proudly from above,” he said in a statement. “She raised a beautiful family, and is ready to save Michigan. She’s pro-God, pro-Gun, and pro-Freedom, and she won’t be stopped!”
The gubernatorial hopeful originally worked in the steel industry—but later went on to create a morning news program for kids after becoming “concerned about the indoctrination of children in our schools,” according to her campaign site.
Should she win the nomination, Dixon will face incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) this November in what’s slated to be a tensely competitive general election. Whitmer rose to prominence over the past two years during the coronavirus pandemic—and as a plot to kidnap her was foiled by law enforcement last year.
Whitmer is also unabashedly pro-abortion rights and in a June statement said the existing law banning abortion in Michigan “antiquated” and that she would “fight like hell to protect every Michiganders’ right to make decisions about their own body with the advice of a medical professional they trust.”