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DeSantis spokesperson says governor 'doesn't want to turn private citizens against each other' on abortion

The Hill logo The Hill 9/14/2021 Dominick Mastrangelo
Ron DeSantis wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: DeSantis spokesperson says governor 'doesn't want to turn private citizens against each other' on abortion © Getty DeSantis spokesperson says governor 'doesn't want to turn private citizens against each other' on abortion

An aide to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) indicated he has concerns about a key provision in Texas's recently enacted abortion law that allows private citizens to sue women who terminate their pregnancy or people who help them do so.

"Gov. DeSantis doesn't want to turn private citizens against each other," Christina Pushaw, a spokesperson for DeSantis, told BuzzFeed News in an article published Saturday.

When contacted by The Hill on Tuesday, Pushaw said her comments to BuzzFeed were "in a broader sense - the type of enforcement action is being considered carefully to avoid any unintended consequences."

"Governor DeSantis has always been pro-life," she told The Hill in a statement. "Advances in science, technology, and medicine since Roe v. Wade was decided, have only bolstered the pro-life position. With that said, the governor has not indicated that the same legislation recently enacted in Texas will be on the table in Florida. At the same time, nothing is off the table. All the Governor has said is that he's looking into what the best option might be in terms of legislation to protect life."

Video: Rep. Crist: DeSantis is more concerned with 2024 GOP nomination than being governor (MSNBC)


DeSantis, who is seen as a leading contender among Republicans for a potential White House run in 2024, said earlier this month that he would "look more significantly" at a so-called heartbeat bill for his state following the passage of such a law in Texas.

"What they did in Texas is interesting and I haven't really been able to look at enough about it," DeSantis said on Sept. 3. "They've basically done this through private right of action. So, it's a little bit different than how a lot of these debates have gone, so we will have to look. I am going to look more significantly at it."

Texas's law has come under criticism from members of both parties, some of whom say it opens the door for a federal challenge to Roe v. Wade and others who argue it stands on constitutionally shaky ground.

President Biden earlier this month blasted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and the GOP legislature in the Lone Star State over the law, and last week the Justice Department said it was planning to sue Texas over the measure.

"It just seems, I know this sounds ridiculous, almost un-American what we're talking about," Biden said of Texas's law. "Not to debate about, I respect people who think, who don't support Roe v. Wade. I respect their views. I respect those who believe life begins at the moment of conception and all. I respect that, don't agree, but I respect that. Not going to impose that on people."

Updated at 12:31 p.m.


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