03:21 - Source: CNN
Camerota and RNC chair spar over AL abortion law
Washington CNN  — 

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Friday that she believes the newly passed bill in Alabama that effectively bans abortion in the state goes too far.

“Personally, I would have the exceptions,” McDaniel told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day,” referring to cases of rape and incest, which are not included in Alabama’s bill. “That’s my personal belief.”

Alabama’s governor on Wednesday signed into law the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion bill that could punish doctors who perform abortions with life in prison. The law only allows exceptions “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” for ectopic pregnancy and if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly.” Democrats fell short in their attempt to re-introduce an amendment to exempt rape and incest victims.

Despite her criticism of the new law, however, McDaniel’s defended the wide range of views within the Republican Party.

“We are a party that is a broad tent. If you agree with us 80% of the time, I want you to be a Republican. We don’t have a litmus test as to whether you can belong to our party,” McDaniel said. “But we are the party of life. However, we have senators, like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski and governors on different sides of that.”

The controversial new bill elicited a wave of protest from Republicans and Democrats alike — including 2020 hopefuls.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke all ripped the legislation as unconstitutional.

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called the bill an example of “appalling attacks on women’s lives and fundamental freedoms.”

On the other side of the aisle, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins told CNN’s Manu Raju the controversial new bill was “extreme.”

“The Alabama law is a terrible law — it’s very extreme — it essentially bans all abortions. I can’t imagine that any justice could find that to be consistent with the previous precedents,” Collins said.

CNN’s Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.