(The Hill) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Wednesday that he does not support criminalizing abortion in his state.
“We have no criminal penalty,” he said in a CBS News interview. “The penalties are for the physician.”
Florida’s six-week abortion ban is not in effect, pending a lawsuit, but would enable the state to pursue felony charges against “any person who willfully performs or actively participates in a termination of pregnancy,” it reads.
DeSantis said those penalties would be for medical providers, not women seeking care, saying he is “absolutely not” in favor of criminalizing abortion for women and that it “will not happen in Florida.”
The presidential candidate has not said whether he would support a national ban similar to his state’s pending six-week law or the current 15-week law.
“I support pro-life policies,” he said. “I’ll be a pro-life president. But at the same time, I’ve got to chart the course and be honest with people about, ‘Okay, how do you advance the ball like we did in Florida?’ And the way you do that is really bottom up.”
Abortion has proven an important issue on the 2024 GOP campaign trail. While all GOP candidates consider themselves to be anti-abortion, some have endorsed national bans, while others have not.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and former Vice President Mike Pence are among the candidates who have said they would back a national 15-week abortion ban.