Florida Governor Ron DeSantis couldn’t have asked for a friendlier venue to highlight the six-week total abortion ban he signed into law last month. The annual gala, hosted by a conservative Christian group, welcomed the governor with a sustained standing ovation and provided a performance by a bagpipe player. Playing “Amazing Grace” in full Hyland dress.
But instead of doing a Victory Lap on Saturday, DeSantis whispered his remarks about Florida’s abortion law. One of the most restrictive countries in the country. His rhetoric was much less uplifting than other speakers, including one who likened abortion to slavery, suggesting that abortion is an evil that should be eliminated entirely.
“We believe that everyone is important and everyone is special, and our Heart Rate Protection Act means we say what we mean and we mean what we say. That’s what I thought at first,” said DeSantis, referring to the law. backtracking is slow.
He then turned to familiar topics such as dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, opposing defunding the police, and signing legislation. restrict minor transsexual care.
DeSantis’ brief comment on abortion highlights his general reluctance to discuss the issue when visiting major states in advance of an abortion. Candidacy for future presidential elections. On the trail, his remarks about banning are usually confined to one line in about 45 minutes of stump speech, which is laid out on a long list of content. His Other Legislative Achievements.
His reluctance to emphasize abortion, even when speaking at home to appreciative Christian conservatives, reflects a cautious tweak that could be crucial to his campaign for the Republican nomination. are doing.
While many evangelicals and hard-core party activists support abortion bans like the one he signed in Florida, moderate Republicans little tilt to support them. During the primary, Mr. DeSantis will need to do well with conservative voters without alienating centrists, while also clearing suspicions from Republican rivals who may argue he is too extreme on abortion. need to dodge. He will also need to avoid soundbites for Democrats that could serve as fodder for attack ads in the general election.
Other Republican presidential candidates, including Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, have taken a less lenient view of abortion. Hailey is refused to help Federal ban on abortion at certain weeks of pregnancy. And Mr. Scott, who is expected, declare Said he supported his candidacy on Monday 20-week federal stay-at-home order.
Former President Donald J Trump fight to keep Supporting the anti-abortion movement criticized Florida’s six-week law did not say what restrictions it would support, leading DeSantis: punch back About his reluctance to take the position. The comment is one of DeSantis’ most direct public challenges to the former president yet, and how DeSantis is using his track record, which anti-abortion activists have praised, to serve himself. It showed whether it is possible to differentiate between
“He’s giving us action, and that’s what interests me,” said John Stenberger, chairman of the Florida Family Policy Council, a nonprofit that hosted Mr. DeSantis’ speech on Saturday. That’s it,’ he said. “He was a great, historical figure.”
Democratic Party ran hard Last year’s midterm elections saw the unexpected success of an abortion rights bill. That leaves some Republicans unsure how to deal with the issue in 2024.
Mr. DeSantis has visited and campaigned in early candidate states, but has said little about the abortion bill. At that time, he did not make it clear to the audience that the law prohibits surgery after six weeks.
“We enacted the Heartbeat Protection Act to promote life,” DeSantis told a large crowd of voters in Iowa without elaborating. early this month. He sandwiched his comments between his own tax reduction efforts and a brief statement about the law allowing mobile phones for Florida residents. hidden weapon without training or permission. Speaking at another friendly setting, Liberty University, the day after signing the ban, DeSantis said: almost completely avoidable subject.
And on Friday, during a debate with New Hampshire state legislators, the governor said: didn’t mention abortion at all. Lawmakers in moderate states that restrict abortion after 24 weeks have privately said they think Mr. DeSantis’ abortion law is too extreme for New Hampshire voters. Many women do not know they are pregnant at 6 weeks.
Last spring, Mr. DeSantis and Republican lawmakers from Florida restricted access to the process. 15 weeks laterExceptions are for fatal fetal abnormalities and for saving a woman’s life. The bill is pending in the Florida Supreme Court.
The six-week ban, which includes additional exceptions for rape and incest, has yet to take effect and will depend in part on court decisions on existing law.Women in Florida are suffering serious complications Reports say that dangerous pregnancies have been avoided since the 15-week ban was passed. The state previously banned abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy.
For many conservatives, governors have a mandate from post-election voters. Re-election close to 20 points in November.
Chris Jesse, a Florida pastor who traveled to Orlando to hear DeSantis speak at the Florida Family Policy Council, said of the six-week ban that “his leadership helped push it forward.” Told.
Still, Jesse said that despite the group’s annual gala being the first since the Roe v. Wade trial was overturned, the governor didn’t seem to adjust his usual script too much for the event. I noticed
“I felt like I had heard that speech before,” he said.
Brett Hayworth contributed a report from Sault Center, Iowa.
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