Tim Scott says South Carolina’s six-week abortion ban is ‘good news’

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, says the state’s recently passed six-week abortion ban is “good news.” 

“The state is trying to protect the culture of life, and that’s good news. I mean, the heartbeat bill is a step in the direction of that,” Scott said Wednesday in response to a question from South Carolina Education Television host Gavin Jackson. 

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed legislation Thursday that would ban abortion after an ultrasound detects cardiac activity, which usually occurs around six weeks into pregnancy, when many don’t yet know they’re pregnant. It includes exceptions for instances of rape, incest and fatal fetal anomalies and to protect the life of the mother up through 12 weeks. 

The state Supreme Court overturned a similar 2021 ban earlier this year, finding that it violated the state constitution’s protection of the right to privacy. But Republicans hope that the new restriction will survive legal challenges. 

The court’s decision was written by its only female justice, who has since retired. 

Scott said last month that as president, he would sign a bill federally banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, if one arrived on his desk. He said states should be able to determine the issue on their own, but a federal limit needs to be discussed. 

Scott’s campaign did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for further comment.

The subject of what restrictions GOP presidential candidates would support has received notable attention in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last year. 

Former President Trump has avoided directly saying if he would sign a national abortion ban if elected and has instead emphasized his support for exceptions to bans in cases of rape and incest and to protect the life of the mother. 

Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Wednesday that she would sign a federal abortion ban if she received such a bill but expressed doubts that one could pass Congress. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who entered the race on Wednesday, said in an interview with Fox News that the federal government and states both have a role to play on abortion.

Tags 2024 presidential election abortion ban henry mcmaster Nikki Haley Ron DeSantis South Carolina Tim Scott Tim Scott

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