In New Hampshire Thursday morning, Scott said he believed some sort of federal restriction should be put in place, saying that if he were president, he would «definitely» sign a 20-week ban bill into law, a measure he has supported in the Senate. .
“We have to have a federal cap on how far we can go, and that’s something we have to discuss,” Scott said in an interview with local television in Manchester.
Later pressed on the issue outside the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, Scott sidetracked, accusing the Democrats of hypocrisy and objecting to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen suggesting that abortions could increase the African-American workforce. He did not elaborate on how far the federal government should go to restrict abortions.
Scott is expected to run a potential presidential campaign in his Christian faith and court the evangelical vote, a voting bloc that is overwhelmingly opposed to abortion rights. But his responses in the past 24 hours suggest he believes Republicans have done themselves electoral disservice by celebrating recent abortion restrictions and calling for nationwide blanket bans.
But by the standards of many in the GOP, and given that Red states across the country have passed six-week and even full bans, the 20-week ban that Scott said he would sign is not enough. Scott’s reluctance to weigh in on earlier, more restrictive bans illustrates the fine line he and other Republican White House hopefuls must walk. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley also declined to elaborate on her position on a nationwide ban, while former President Donald Trump suggested Republicans suffered electorally by not accepting exceptions to his abortion ban bills.
In 2021, Scott co-sponsored the Pain Capable Unborn Children Protection Act, a bill that proposed jailing doctors for up to five years for performing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Speaking to reporters Thursday, Scott did not directly respond to a question about whether he agreed to prosecute the doctors who did so. However, he has condemned a bill introduced in the South Carolina legislature that could impose the death penalty on women who have abortions.