Haley says federal abortion rules ‘not realistic’ given deadlocked Senate

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said she would not pledge to push for federal rules on abortion because it is an “unrealistic” goal for the next president and that promising progress with Congress on this controversial issue is not being “honest” with the American people. In a CBS interview on Sunday, Haley was asked if she would support a federal law allowing abortion in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, since that is a rule she signed into law in 2016 when she was South Carolina’s governor. Haley, who opposes abortion, said it will be more difficult to find an agreement in Congress than it has been to find consensus within the states. “For a national standard, I think we have to tell the American people the truth,” she said. “In order to do a national standard, you’d have to have a majority of the House, 60 Senate votes, and a president. We haven’t had 60 pro-life senators in 100 years,” Haley said. HALEY PROMISES TO ‘STRIVE’ TO ‘FIND CONSENSUS’ ON ABORTION AS PRESIDENT “So the idea that a Republican president could ban all abortions is not being honest with the American people, any more than a Democrat president could ban these pro-life laws in the states. So let’s be honest with the American people and say, let’s find national consensus,” she added. “Let’s agree on, you know, getting rid of late-term abortions. Let’s agree on the fact that we need more adoptions. Let’s agree on the fact that we need accessible contraception. Let’s agree on the fact that mothers shouldn’t be jailed or go to, you know, get the death penalty for abortions,” she continued. NIKKI HALEY BLASTS BIDEN AS ‘WEAKEST PRESIDENT IN MODERN HISTORY’ AFTER RE-ELECTION ANNOUNCEMENT Regardless of everyone’s personal view on abortion, Haley said there is no sign the Senate is anywhere near a consensus yet. “I’m not gonna lie to the American people. Nothing’s gonna happen if we don’t get 60 votes in the Senate. We’re not even close to that on the Republican or the Democrat side. Why try and divide people further?” Haley said. “Why not talk about the fact that we should be trying to save as many babies as possible and support as many mothers as possible? I think the media has tried to divide them by saying we have to decide certain weeks. In states, yes. At the federal level, it’s not realistic. It’s not being honest with the American people,” she said. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced a bill last year allowing abortion in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy following the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and sent the question of abortion back to states to decide. Graham took criticism from both parties for his bill but defended his position that federal rules would align the United States with European countries that allow abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. “Chuck Schumer introduced legislation several months ago that would allow abortion on-demand up to the moment of birth, like China and North Korea, for the entire nation,” Graham said on Fox News last year. LINDSEY GRAHAM SNAPS AT CNN TO STOP ‘COVERING’ FOR DEMS ON LATE-TERM ABORTION: ‘BARBARIC’ “What did I do in response? I said at 15 weeks when the baby can feel pain and sucks its thumb that we’re gonna ban abortion except in the cases of rape, incest, life of the mother, we’re talking almost four months into the pregnancy. It puts us in line with France, which is at 12 weeks. Germany, England is at 14 weeks. Only in Washington is it extreme to protect the baby at 15 weeks from an excruciating death,” Graham said. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the largest pro-life lobbying firm Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President, said it is “not acceptable” to dismiss the idea of federal rules on abortion. “When Ambassador Haley talks about national consensus on late-term abortion, we are in agreement. The consensus already exists. Polling shows 72% of Americans support limiting abortions by at least 15 weeks, when the unborn child can feel excruciating pain,” Dannenfelser said. “The pro-life movement must have a nominee who will boldly advocate for this consensus, and as president will work tirelessly to gather the votes necessary in Congress. Dismissing this task as unrealistic is not acceptable,” she said. Fox News Digital’s Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.
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