Third GOP presidential debate: Candidates divided over 15-week abortion ban

Third GOP presidential debate: Candidates divided over 15-week abortion ban

gettyimages 1783070935 Third GOP presidential debate: Candidates divided over 15-week abortion ban
Republican presidential candidates (L-R) former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) participate in the NBC News Republican Presidential Primary Debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County on November 8, 2023 in Miami, Florida. / Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 8, 2023 / 21:59 pm (CNA).

Republican presidential candidates took to the stage Wednesday night to debate on key issues of abortion, the war in Israel, and the economy in the third GOP presidential debate in Miami, Florida.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, participated in the debate, sparring over their positions in several heated moments. Former President Donald Trump refused to participate.

There was significant disagreement among the candidates on how to approach the abortion issue.

Scott was the first to say that he would unequivocally support a 15-week national limit on abortion, saying that he believes such a law would be “in our nation’s best interest.”

“We need a 15-week federal limit,” Scott said. “I would certainly as president have a 15-week national limit. I would not allow states like California, Illinois, or New York to have abortion up until the day of birth.”

“Frankly I think it is unethical and immoral to allow abortions up until the day of birth,” he went on, adding that “we have an opportunity in this nation to stop that reckless behavior from states like California, New York, and Illinois.”

Scott also said that he would introduce a parents’ plan that would fund and devote resources to crisis pregnancy centers and adoption. He challenged the other candidates on the stage to support a 15-week national ban, asserting that “three out of four Americans agree with a 15-week limit” and that “Forty-seven out of fifty countries in Europe agree” as well.

Haley, meanwhile, said that though she is “unapologetically pro-life,” she believes that the Dobbs v. Jackson decision that overturned Roe v. Wade put the abortion question in the hands of the people.

“I think you have to be honest with the American people. This is a personal issue for every woman and every man,” Haley said. “As much as I’m pro-life, I don’t judge anyone for being pro-choice and I don’t want them to judge me for being pro-life. So when we’re looking at this there’s some states that are going more on the pro-life side, I welcome that. There’s some states that are going more pro-choice, I wish that wasn’t the case, but the people decided.”

“But when it comes to the federal law, be honest, it’s going to take 60 Senate votes, a majority in the House, and a president to sign it,” she said. “So no Republican president can ban abortions any more than a Democrat president can ban these state laws.”

Haley said that Americans should “find consensus” on the abortion issue.

“Let’s agree on how we can ban late-term abortions, let’s make sure we encourage adoptions and good quality adoptions, and let’s make sure we make contraception accessible, let’s make sure that none of these state laws put a woman in jail or give her the death penalty for getting an abortion,” Haley said. “Let’s focus on how to save as many babies as we can and support as many moms as we can and stop the judgment, we don’t need to divide America on this issue anymore.”

Ramaswamy said, “It’s not men’s rights versus women’s rights, it’s about human rights.”

“Speaking as a man, they say men have trouble speaking on this issue, I don’t think we need to be that way,” Ramaswamy said that the “the missing ingredient in this movement,” is “sexual responsibility for men.”

“Men deserve more responsibility so we can tell women, we’re all in this together,” Ramaswamy said.

Christie meanwhile voiced his opinion that abortion should be left to the states. When asked about his position on abortion, DeSantis condemned the Democrat position supporting abortion up until birth.