Tim Scott Tells Iowans He Supports Nationwide Abortion Ban

US Sen. and GOP Presidential Candidate Tim Scott during his Oskaloosa Town Hall on Aug. 31. Photo by Ty Rushing/Starting Line

By Ty Rushing

August 31, 2023

Presidential hopeful Tim Scott told an Iowa audience he would support a nationwide 15-week abortion ban if elected, despite the fact that abortion bans have been a losing policy for Republicans across the country in a series of post-Roe voter referendums.

The subject came up during a Q&A at the GOP presidential candidate’s town hall in Oskaloosa on Thursday. Scott, a US Senator from South Carolina who has never been shy about his anti-abortion views, was asked by Dr. Jeff Fowler how he would combat Democrats on the issue.

“I’m a pro-life conservative with a 100% pro-life voting record,” Scott said. “As president of the United States, I would limit abortions in this country to 15 weeks.”

Fowler, a retired OB-GYN, thanked God that in 23 years on the job he never had to perform an abortion and followed up by asking Scott if he thinks it should be a states’ rights issue.

Scott said while he supports abortion laws being left up to the states, he noted Democrats in the US House passed legislation—likely referring to the Women’s Health Protection Act, which passed in the House but lacks the votes to pass the Senate—that he misleadingly referred to as allowing “abortion on demand.”

“If we are going to have that reaction to the issue, you certainly need a president who will step in and have a threshold of 15 weeks,” Scott said. “States can make their own decision up to 15 weeks, we don’t need to be in the company of North Korea and China for allowing abortion after 15 weeks.

“I think it’s immoral to allow California or New York or Illinois to have abortion the day of or the day before birth.”

Scott has not been the only GOP presidential candidate who has falsely accused Democrats and/or blue states of providing abortion-on-demand up to birth.

The reality is that 93% of abortions nationwide occur within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, with 99% occurring before 20 weeks, according to the Centers for Disease and Control. Additionally, the 1% of abortions that occur after 21 weeks almost always involve complications to a pregnancy that threaten the mother’s health, or the development of fetal abnormalities.

Scott closed out his answer by citing a Harvard poll that says 72% of Americans don’t support abortion after 15 weeks—a selective reading of the poll, which only gave voters five options of when they’d allow abortions: in cases of rape and incest only; up to 6 weeks; up to 15 weeks; up to 23 weeks; and up to 9 months.

Reading the poll a different way, the survey found that 51% of Americans support abortion being legal for at least 15 weeks. The poll also found that 55% of Americans opposed the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe.

“In my opinion, it’s much less of a political issue, but, more importantly, it’s the right thing to do,” Scott said of his proposed ban.


by Ty Rushing

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  • Ty Rushing

    Ty Rushing is the Chief Political Correspondent for Iowa Starting Line. He is a trail-blazing veteran Iowa journalist, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the Iowa Association of Black Journalists. Send tips or story ideas to [email protected] and find him on social media @Rushthewriter.


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