Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida avoided directly answering whether or not he would ban abortion at the federal level Wednesday during the 2024 presidential debate.
DeSantis signed a six-week ban for the state in April that barred the procedure after a heartbeat was detected. DeSantis opted not to give a straight answer after being asked repeatedly by host Brett Baier during the debate, saying that he knew not all states would make the same choice as Florida. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Enemy Number One’ — DeSantis Campaign Release Video Foreshadowing Attacks At First Debate)
“You’ve got to do what you believe is right,” DeSantis said in response to a question about his feelings about a federal ban. “I believe in a culture of life, I was proud to sign the heartbeat bill … what the Democrats are trying to do this issue is wrong to allow abortion all the way up to the moment of birth … we are better than what the Democrats are selling, we are not going to allow abortion all the way up until birth and we are going to hold them accountable for their extremism.”
“Just to be clear, Governor,” Baier said, “would you sign a six-week ban federally?”
“I’m going to stand on the side of life,” DeSantis replied. “Look I understand that Wisconsin is going to do it different than Texas, I understand Iowa and New Hampshire are going to be different, but I will support the cause of life as governor and as president.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) again refuses to take a clear position on federal abortion restrictions at the GOP debate:
“I’m gonna stand on the side of life. I understand: Wisconsin will do it different than Texas…But I will support the cause of life as governor and as president.” pic.twitter.com/ZWaNKImg5X
— The Recount (@therecount) August 24, 2023
DeSantis has shied away from committing to a federal ban before. During an interview with Megyn Kelly, the presidential candidate said that he wasn’t confident Congress would do anything “meaningful on the issue, according to Politico.
The governor’s comments were sharply criticized by pro-life group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, according to Politico.
“Gov. DeSantis’s dismissal of this task is unacceptable to pro-life voters,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, said. “A consensus is already formed. Intensity for it is palpable and measurable. There are many pressing legislative issues for which Congress does not have the votes at the moment, but that is not a reason for a strong leader to back away from the fight.”
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