Florida Gov. and flailing presidential candidate Ron DeSantis (R) dabbled in some light fetal personhood during a Fox News interview about women voters in which he endorsed the concept of making men pay child support to embryos and fetuses. The chyron blared, without a bit of irony: “WOMEN OF AMERICA VOTE: 2024 / DESANTIS ON PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT & SUPPORT FOR WOMEN.”
Former Donald Trump press lackey and current Fox host Kayleigh McEnany asked DeSantis about a bill Republicans unveiled in the wake of Roe v. Wade getting overturned which would require impregnators to pay child support starting “the month during which the child was conceived.” (It’s called the Unborn Child Support Act, and it’s co-sponsored by 10 Senators.) It’s a backdoor attempt to give embryos and fetuses legal personhood, a status that would enable even more prosecutions for pregnancy loss and drug use and subject women and pregnant people to second-class status more generally.
NEWS: (1/4) I asked Governor @RonDeSantis about @marcorubio’s “Unborn Child Support Act,” which would require states to enforce child support obligations during pregnancy.
He says, that men “should absolutely be providing support” to women during pregnancy. “They should… pic.twitter.com/WONrdkXgoC
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) September 6, 2023
DeSantis went on to tout Florida policies like promoting foster care and adoptions and expanding healthcare access to a full year postpartum for low-income people. Which yes, fine, those things are good, but adoption is an alternative to parenting, not pregnancy, and Florida is one of 10 states that haven’t expanded Medicaid, so low-income women may not qualify for any health insurance until they’re pregnant—something experts say is a driver of maternal mortality.
Then he pivoted back to the concept of men paying women when they’re pregnant so they wouldn’t have abortions. “I think a lot of it comes down to whether women think it’s financially feasible to do that, and when they don’t get support from the father, then it can be overwhelming,” he added. “So we in Florida are sympathetic to those women in that situation.”
If he really supported women in that situation, he’d simply let them have abortions if that’s what they wanted! It’s pretty funny that McEnany began this segment by noting that it’s “extremely important” for Republicans “to win over women, suburban women.” The pro-choice position keeps winning statewide votes, even in purple states like Ohio and red states like Kansas, Kentucky, and Montana. Something tells me doubling and tripling down on the most extreme anti-abortion positions won’t go over very well for Ron if he were to somehow become the nominee.
More from Jezebel