Haley pledges to ban abortion federally, but says that’s unlikely without more Republicans in Congress

MANCHESTER, NH (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley pledged Wednesday to sign a federal abortion ban, but noted it would be highly unlikely to pass one without more Republicans in Congress.

Although Haley did not specify how many weeks a federal ban should encompass, her pledge to sign one is the most specific she has been on the issue during her presidential campaign. The former South Carolina governor and US ambassador to the United Nations said “no one has been honest” about the difficulty of securing a ban, in a tightly divided federal government.

“It would take a majority of the House, 60 senators and a president to sign it,” Haley said at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, suggesting that even a few GOP pickups in the 2024 election wouldn’t make a difference. in passing. She was specifically referring to the supermajority required for major legislation to clear the 100-member Senate. “We haven’t had 60 Republican senators in 100 years,” Haley said.

The comments come amid an ongoing debate over abortion restrictions among Republicans seeking their party’s presidential nomination. Sen. Tim Scott, Haley’s South Carolina compatriot who launched his candidacy this week, said he would sign a 15-week ban. Other candidates, such as former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, have said the issue should remain in states without a Republican supermajority in Congress.

Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to launch his campaign later Wednesday, recently signed a six-week ban in Florida, which former President Donald Trump later suggested was “too harsh.” Former Vice President Mike Pence, preparing his own campaign, said he supports Florida’s bill and would sign such a measure as president. The six-week threshold comes before many women realize they are pregnant.

Asked by an attendee how she would pitch her own opposition to abortion against “extremely pro-choice” states like New Hampshire, Haley said she personally wouldn’t compromise.

“I can’t suddenly change my pro-life stance because I’m campaigning in New Hampshire,” Haley said. “It’s incredibly personal, and I’m going to treat it with the respect it deserves.

New Hampshire was among the least restrictive states on abortion until 2021, when it enacted a ban on the procedure after 24 weeks of pregnancy. This year, lawmakers considered more than half a dozen bills on both sides of the issue. With a tightly divided legislature, none passed.

In South Carolina, Haley signed an abortion ban after about 20 weeks. On Tuesday, the South Carolina Senate passed a ban on the proceedings after about six weeks, which the current Republican governor announced he would sign. Abortion rights groups have already pledged to file lawsuits.

“Now he’s back in the states where he belongs,” Haley said Wednesday, referring to last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Haley referenced the national consensus in his speech last month at the headquarters of a major anti-abortion group, which said he would not support any White House candidate who did not at least support a federal ban on abortion. 15 week abortion. During those remarks at Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America headquarters, Haley said she saw a federal role in the issue, but did not endorse a federal ban.

On Wednesday, Haley again referenced his 2015 call for the removal of a Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina Statehouse as evidence of his ability to build consensus. She previously rejected a Democratic challenger’s call for the flag to be removed, calling it a stuntman. But Haley then called for her removal after the racist murders of nine black worshipers in Charleston, South Carolina, by a white supremacist.

“It starts at the top, when you go and govern or lead, without judgment from your people,” Haley said. “But getting them to see the best in themselves to go to a better place is key.”


Kinnard reported from Columbia, South Carolina.

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