DeSantis schools CBS News as they try (and fail) to paint him as an extremist on abortion

By Dave Andrusko

It’s not news—at least not for us—that pro-life candidates are routinely grilled, as reporters look for something to turn respect for unborn life into an attack on women.

For example, in a two-part interview that aired first on Tuesday night, with the remainder airing on Wednesday night, CBS News host Norah O’Donnell told Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that she had read the bill protecting unborn children after six weeks.

“It says just this, it does include jail time and fines for quote, ‘any person who willfully performs or actively participates in a termination of pregnancy.’”

“Right, and that’s for the providers,” DeSantis noted. “That is not for the women.”

“Is a woman not actively participating in the termination of her pregnancy?” O’Donnell asked.

“No because she’s not a medical practitioner,” DeSantis again said.

“So you not for criminalizing women?” O’Donnell snapped, as if there even a possibility.

Gov. DeSantis responded, “No, no, absolutely not, that will not happen in Florida.”

Previously in the conversation, O’Donnell said, “There is new data out that the number of abortions in Florida has actually increased — and increased since Dobbs [the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe]. “For those who oppose abortion rights, is it time to enact a national ban on abortion?”

DeSantis responded, “Well, the issue with Florida is that the southeastern states have very, very strong pro-life laws. Florida is litigating under a 15-week, and so we have become, against our wishes, a destination.”

“Now, we’ve also done the Heartbeat Protection Act, which would go into effect once the courts clear this which I think would probably stop the whole abortion tourism thing,” he continued. “So we don’t want to be an abortion tourism destination.”

DeSantis added, “I support pro-life policies. I’ll be a pro-life president. But at the same time, you know, I’ve got to chart the course and be honest with people about, ‘Okay, how do you advance the ball like we did in Florida?’ And the way you do that is really bottom up.”

An aside, because it is not about our issue. At the end of second part, O’Donnell told the audience that there were so many important issues but they could find the discussion on the CBS website. She ended with a slanted take on a highly controversial issue which was left just hanging, a cheap shot, even by O’Donnell’s standards.