Like some of you, I watched last week’s Republican Presidential debate. As it turns out, I watched it more intently than most. During a conversation I had with one individual over the weekend, I told them Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis committed to signing a federal ban on abortions at 15 weeks.
This individual didn’t realize the moment happened. But I recalled it well because it stood out to me for a couple of reasons. First, let’s recap the moment, which happens at the end of this clip.
United States Sen. Tim Scott can be heard asking DeSantis if he would support a 15-week ban. Scott asked if DeSantis would join him in supporting a 15-week limit.
“Yes, I will,” DeSantis can be heard saying.
Watch. It begins at about the 1:22 mark.
DeSantis rejects the idea that pro-lifers are to blame for midterm losses: "I think we should hold the Democrats accountable for their extremism, supporting abortion all the way up until the moment of birth. That is infanticide, and that is wrong." pic.twitter.com/8Imgwah5kG
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) September 28, 2023
This moment intrigued me, as I said, for a few reasons.
First, because of the scrutiny applied to President Donald J. Trump on the abortion issue following his comments on “Meet the Press.” He was criticized for his comments — and rightly so.
Second, DeSantis routinely declined to say whether he would support a federal ban on abortions prior to this debate.
Third, and this applies to Mike Pence as well, how can you go from signing a Heartbeat Bill, which I would take to mean that you believe life is present at a heartbeat and should be protected, to allowing anyone with a heartbeat to be killed from the time their heartbeat starts until 15 weeks?
Again, the criticism of Trump for his comments regarding the Heartbeat Bill was and is more than fair. But I also think it is worth pointing out this pivot from DeSantis.
It is at least worthy of conversation.