Nikki Haley: A federal abortion ban is 'not realistic'

Nikki Haley.
Nikki Haley. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley said Sunday that it's "not realistic" or necessarily "honest" for any 2024 candidate to promise a federal abortion ban should he or she make it to the Oval Office.

"I'm not gonna lie to the American people. Nothing's gonna happen if we don't get 60 votes in the Senate," Haley told CBS News' Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation. "We're not even close to that on the Republican or the Democrat side. Why try and divide people further?" Brennan had mentioned Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), another presumed GOP candidate in 2024, and his vow to sign a 20-week federal abortion ban if elected, per Axios.

The former Trump administration official said she believes the media has stoked divides by claiming "we have to decide certain weeks" for abortion restrictions. "In states, yes. At the federal level, it's not realistic. It's not being honest with the American people." Haley signed a 20-week ban into law when she was governor of South Carolina, notes The New York Times.

"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," she continued. The idea that a Republican president could ban all abortions is no more truthful than the idea "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," Haley went on. "Let's agree on getting rid of late-term abortions."

Reproductive rights became a central issue of the November midterms after the Supreme Court voted to overturn federal abortion protections as outlined under Roe v. Wade. That Republicans were unable to decidedly wallop Democrats and the first-term president was attributed in large part to the GOP's reluctance to relax its anti-abortion rhetoric so as to win over more women and independent voters.

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