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DeSantis: Haley comments on abortion bans 'indulging media narratives'

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) denounced attacks from fellow presidential candidate Nikki Haley over his and other candidates’ stances on abortion rights, saying Haley is “indulging media narratives.”

Haley has repeatedly said that GOP attempts to ban abortion at a federal level are misguided and would not pass Congress, and that the party should instead focus on state-level legislation as well as ensuring that women are not jailed for getting abortion care.

DeSantis took issue with Haley’s characterization during a forum at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., on Thursday evening, saying “no pro-lifer has ever argued” for jailing women for getting abortions.

“I think she’s playing into some of the stereotypes that the left uses against conservatives,” DeSantis told moderator Blake Burman, host of “The Hill on NewsNation.” “Don’t accept the media narratives, fight back against the media narrative. I’m not trying to please the media. I’m trying to do what’s right.”

DeSantis did, however, agree with Haley that a national abortion ban is “unlikely.”

“It really is a bottom-up thing. You’re gonna have to work on the local level, you’re gonna have to work on the state level, to be able to advance protections,” he said.

Haley has urged restraint on abortion restrictions at a national level, criticizing GOP policy. Former President Trump, who is leading the 2024 GOP candidate field, has taken a similar position, saying emphasizing abortion was a “mistake” in the 2022 midterms and led to GOP underperformance nationwide.

Abortion is expected to be a hot topic in the 2024 presidential election and has already made waves in the Republican primary as some candidates choose to advocate for a national abortion ban.

DeSantis himself said he would back a 15-week national ban late last month. He signed a 6-week ban into law as governor of Florida. Haley has also endorsed a 15-week ban.

NewsNation is a cable news channel started by Nexstar Media Group, which also owns The Hill. The Hill show on NewsNation airs Monday to Friday at 5 p.m. EST.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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