Possible presidential candidate Pompeo indicates he would not sign federal abortion ban

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was back in Wichita for an event promoting his new book, a memoir called “Never Give An Inch.” (Jaime Green/The Wichita Eagle)

Mike Pompeo is ardently opposed to abortion, but the former secretary of state and possible Republican presidential candidate seemed to indicate Friday that he would not sign a federal abortion ban if he finds his way to the Oval Office.

Asked directly if he would sign such a bill, Pompeo told a reporter he thinks it’s up to individual states to regulate the procedure.

“You know, I think we’ve got it right,” Pompeo said of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Dobbs ruling, which eliminated the federal right to an abortion.

“For a decade or so, I worked hard to return the authority to the states,” he said. “I think that’s the best place for it and that’s where it sits now. New York is going to be very different from Texas or Kansas. I think the Lord will be at work, and over time, I think they will all come to see the vital nature of protecting the unborn.”

A CBS News/YouGov poll conducted in May after the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe found that 67% of voters, including 52% of Republicans, opposed a federal ban on abortion.

Only 16% of Republicans say abortion should be “illegal in all cases,” a July AP-NORC poll found, while 56% said their states should generally allow abortion six weeks into a pregnancy.

Pompeo was back in his home district Friday for an event promoting his new memoir. He also visited Wichita last year for a Kansans For Life fundraiser ahead of the Value Them Both amendment that sought to remove abortion rights from the Kansas Constitution in August 2022. That measure failed by a wide margin.

Pompeo told reporters Friday that the language in the proposed amendment was “very confusing” and said he’s convinced “the vast majority of Kansans understand that the protection of unborn is absolutely essential.”

He encouraged Kansans who oppose abortion not to see the failed amendment as the end of the fight.

“They should continue to pray, continue to work with the state legislature, which state legislatures now have the authority to make those decisions,” Pompeo said.

“If I can be of any help, I am confident I’ll come back and help. We need to make sure that these most innocent people, these babies, are brought to life.”

Kansas lawmakers introduced a bill last month that would turn abortion control over to city and county governments.

A national survey of the midterm electorate from AP VoteCast found that 61% of all voters said they were in favor of a law guaranteeing access to legal abortion nationwide.

Pompeo said he plans to make a decision by late spring or early summer on if he’s running for president.