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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks at the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority conference at the Washington Hilton on June 23, 2023 in Washington, DC. Former U.S. President Donald Trump will deliver the keynote address at tomorrow evening's "Patriot Gala" dinner.
Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence, the former Vice President, delivers remarks at the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority conference at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC., on Friday.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

What GOP presidential candidates are saying about abortion a year after Dobbs

Presidential candidates pitched religious Republican voters on their platforms on the one-year anniversary of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.


GOP presidential candidates flocked to the Faith and Freedom Coalition's annual conference Friday to pitch religious Republicans on their positions on abortion — one year after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

While all of the candidates gave a nod to the “pro-life” movement, some stopped short of supporting Sen. Lindsey Graham’s, R-S.C., proposal for a 15-week federal abortion ban, which he has called on the GOP presidential candidates to support. Here’s where the candidates stand so far: 

Former Vice President Mike Pence 

Pence, who has been known for his staunch position on abortion throughout his political career, stood behind Graham’s bill in his remarks.

“I want to say from my heart, every Republican candidate for president should support a ban on abortion before 15 weeks as a minimum nationwide standard."

Pence was the only candidate to specifically support Graham's bill on the first day of the conference.

Vivek Ramaswamy 

Ramaswamy, who is the youngest and only millennial candidate running, gave a short one-liner on abortion: “Unborn life is life.” 

Ramaswamy did not get into specifics on what kind of policies he’d support, instead focusing on other agenda items like repealing affirmative action and sending military troops to the southern border.

Ramaswamy has previously said he does not support a federal abortion ban

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson 

Hutchinson proudly touted his long running “pro-life” record at the conference, saying it was his “honor to sign over 30 pro-life bills” during his time as governor. He said he plans to sign a federal abortion ban if elected president. 

“As president, I would fight to make sure taxpayers’ funds are not used to support abortion. And if Congress acts, I will sign a federal law to restrict abortion.” 

Hutchinson focused on legislation that decertified Planned Parenthood from Medicaid in Arkansas as well as other legislation he’s supported, particularly on gender issues.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott 

Scott briefly addressed the abortion issue at the beginning of his speech: 

“Thank God Almighty for the Dobbs decision. … We are creating a culture of life in America, and that’s a good thing.” 

Scott shied away from the topic for the rest of his speech. He has previously said he would support a 20-week abortion ban in the past, he wrote in the Des Moines Register Friday that Congress should "begin with a 15-week national limit," and he has also said he would sign the most conservative abortion legislation Congress would pass. 

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez 

Suarez stayed away from specifics on what kind of abortion policy he’d support, but the Miami mayor did share his own personal story being a "product of the pro-life movement," noting his parents met at an anti-abortion rally. He also shared the struggles he and his wife faced with infertility, calling on crowd goers to pray for Supreme Court justices as they "weather the storm of criticism from protecting innocent life."

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 

The former New Jersey governor's stance running as an “unabashedly pro-life Republican” was well-received — at least until Christie was vehemently booed for his hardline stance against former President Donald Trump.

“And being pro-life, I would suggest to all of you, has to be longer than the nine months in the womb," Christie said. "Every life, I was taught, is a precious gift from God. And that life and its gift doesn’t end when the child is born, it only begins. And our needs to protect that life only begins then.” 

Christie did not get into specifics on whether he’d support a federal ban. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

DeSantis stuck by the six-week state abortion ban he signed in April, but he would not engage on Graham's proposal for a 15-week federal ban.

“We have also delivered in Florida on promoting a culture of life," DeSantis said. "And that means signing the heartbeat bill into law that protects unborn children when there’s a detectable heartbeat. It was the right thing to do. Don’t let anyone tell you it wasn’t.” 

While DeSantis has signed one of the more limiting abortion bills in the country, he hasn't gone much further on the campaign trail than touting it in his stump speech.

Former President Donald Trump will close out the conference on Saturday night, when he is set to deliver keynote remarks.