Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who is seeking a Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, has pledged to sign a federal ban on abortion.
On Wednesday, Haley spoke at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, where she committed to banning the procedure, should a bill doing so clear a Republican-controlled Congress.
She did not specify details of a potential bill and said passage of such a bill through the U.S. Senate would be highly unlikely unless more Republicans are elected.
“It would take a majority of the House, 60 senators and a president to sign it,” Haley said Wednesday, referencing Republicans’ ability to overcome a potential Democratic filibuster. “We haven’t had 60 Republican senators in 100 years.”
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Answering a question from an attendee, Haley described abortion as “incredibly personal” and said her opposition to it would not waver, even if she were to campaign in a more liberal state.
“I can’t suddenly change my pro-life position 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.”
The issue of abortion has been front and center of the national conversation after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, returning the legality of abortion to the states.
“Now it’s back in the states where it belongs,” Haley said Wednesday.
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Republican states have differed on abortion bans, with some lawmakers pushing for total bans, and some drawing the lines at six weeks or 15 weeks. Most bills allow exceptions in the case of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother.
While serving as governor of South Carolina, Haley signed an abortion ban after 20 weeks.
Earlier this week, the South Carolina Senate passed a new ban on abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy. Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, has said he will sign it into law.
The bill is already facing legal challenges.
Several Republican presidential candidates have already said they would support similar bans.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who launched his presidential campaign on Monday, said he would sign a 15-week ban into law.
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Republican frontrunners, including former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis, appear to differ on the issue.
DeSantis, who launched his campaign Wednesday, recently signed a six-week ban in Florida.
Trump, who launched his presidential campaign last year, implied such a ban was “too harsh,” although he has publicly expressed he is pro-life.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is expected to announce a bid for the presidency, has expressed support for Florida’s bill and would sign a similar proposal into law.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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