GOP Presidential Candidates Split On Nationwide 15-Week Abortion Ban

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GOP Presidential Candidates Split On Nationwide 15-Week Abortion Ban

  • As questions continue to arise as to whether the federal government has a role in restricting abortions, many 2024 GOP presidential candidates are split on the issue, with some arguing it’s a states’ rights issue, and others supporting a federal ban.
  • Susan B. Anthony (SBA) Pro-Life America is encouraging the candidates to embrace a 15-week federal ceiling for abortions, and pledged to not support any candidate who refuses to do so.
  • “I am pro life and consider abortion murder. But, I do not support a federal law whether for or against abortion,” GOP presidential candidate Larry Elder told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It would be hypocritical and contradictory to complain that Roe federalized an issue that should be left to the states — and turn around and do the same thing.”

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Some of the 2024 Republican presidential candidates are split on the issue of abortion, and whether a nationwide 15-week federal abortion ban should be imposed.

Susan B. Anthony (SBA) Pro-Life America is pushing the 2024 GOP presidential candidates to support a federal 15-week abortion ban, with the organization’s president saying the group won’t support any candidate who refuses to do so. Several presidential hopefuls have expressed support for a federal limit, while others continue to argue abortion is a states’ issue following the Dobbs vs Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, which gave the power to restrict abortions back to the states.

“We will oppose any presidential candidate who refuses to embrace at a minimum a 15-week national standard to stop painful late-term abortions while allowing states to enact further protections,” SBA President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement.

Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who received an “A” rating from SBA’s “National Pro-Life Scorecard,” continues to tout his conservative, Christian values when it comes to the issue of abortion, telling Axios’ Sophia Cai on May 31 that “life has intrinsic value because it comes from God.” His remarks were forwarded to the DCNF upon request for comment.

“If I were President of the United States, I would certainly have a 15- week limit. 72% of Americans agree with that position. I don’t think any state should be allowed to have abortions up until the day of birth,” said Scott. “Even the 15-week limit is not possible unless we change the hearts and minds of the American people because they can’t get through Congress. The current Congress today won’t even pass a 20- week limit. Therefore, the conversation about how conservative you can go on the federal level is inconsequential if we don’t figure out how to change the hearts and minds of the American people.”

A majority of Americans support a 15- week cap on abortions, including 75% of women and 69% of men, as well as 70% of independents, 60% of Democrats and 84% of Republicans, according to a 2022 Harvard/Harris poll.

North Dakota’s Republican Gov. Doug Burgum signed one of the nation’s strictest abortion bans, barring abortion after six-weeks gestation, only allowing for the procedure in the cases of rape, incest or medical emergencies up until the sixth week, with the latter exception persisting throughout, according to the bill’s text. Burgum previously told the DCNF that he supports the Dobbs decision, and reiterated his stance to the DCNF upon request for comment.

“I do believe in the Dobbs decision, and the Dobbs decision leaves this up to the states,” Burgum told the DCNF. “I’ve said that before, and I’ll keep saying that again.”

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Conservative radio show personality and former California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder believes the issue of abortion belongs to the states, and commended the Dobbs decision for reversing Roe vs Wade, he told the DCNF.

“I am pro life and consider abortion murder. But, I do not support a federal law whether for or against abortion,” said Elder. “It would be hypocritical and contradictory to complain that Roe federalized an issue that should be left to the states — and turn around and do the same thing.”

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy is open to the federal government playing a role in abortion, but has yet to commit to a ban such as a 15-week ceiling, spokeswoman Tricia McLaughlin told the DCNF.

“He is talking to constitutional scholars and is open to an argument for a federal ban that has a constitutional basis,” said McLaughlin. “He has not seen that yet. He is not open to a commerce clause case. He has serious concerns about the left holding office and using federal law to create state minimums for abortion.”

Former President Donald Trump drew criticism from many pro-life groups including SBA after his campaign said he supported the Dobbs decision to revert the abortion issue back to the states. Trump also received backlash in January after claiming the Republicans’ midterm losses were attributable to the “abortion issue” and the push for “no exceptions.”

Trump also slammed his 2024 opponent Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing a six- week abortion ban in mid-April, telling The Messenger his restrictions were “too harsh,” but he didn’t share his preference for what week the procedure should be limited to. DeSantis, who SBA commended for his pro-life stances, defended his decision to sign the Heartbeat Protection Act, which prohibited abortion after the sixth-week gestation and allowed exceptions for rape, incest, human trafficking and when the life of the mother is in danger.

“When we are acting to protect an unborn child that has a detectable heartbeat, that is humane, that is not harsh – that is the right thing to do,” DeSantis in late May.

GILBERT, SOUTH CAROLINA – JUNE 2: Presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis waves to a crowd at a campaign event. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Following DeSantis’ highly anticipated entrance into the GOP primaries, he told Fox News’ Trey Gowdy on May 24 the federal government has a “role” in restricting abortions; his remarks were forwarded to the DCNF upon request for comment.

“I think that there is a role for both the federal and the state, I think that at the end of the day fighting for life and protecting life really is a bottom-up movement, that we have been able to have great successes at the local level,” DeSantis said. “I am concerned about a Democratic administration with a trifecta trying to nationalize abortion all the way up until birth. That would be a violation of what states like Florida have done to protect life.”

Former Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has called for “national consensus” on the issue, and argued that some of the stricter abortion bans passed into law in red states would never pass at the federal level, she said at a press conference at the SBA‘s building in late April; her campaign pointed the DCNF toward these remarks.

“You don’t save any lives if you can’t enact your position into law, and you can’t do that unless you find consensus,” said Haley. “I want to save as many babies and help as many moms as possible, that’s my goal. To do that at the federal level, the next president must find national consensus.”

Trump, Christie and Hutchinson did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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