Trump claims he supports states' rights to regulate abortion - TAI News
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Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night party at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia, South Carolina, Feb. 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

After months of contradictory statements about his stance on abortion, former President Donald Trump said on April 8 that he believes abortion is up to the states to regulate.

“My view is that now that we have abortion where everyone wanted it from a legal standpoint, the states will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land, in this case, the law of the state,” the former president shared on his Truth Social media platform.

The former president and presumptive Republican candidate has shifted from supporting a federal abortion ban to taking credit for the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in June 2022 to calling Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing of a law banning abortion at six weeks’ gestation a “terrible mistake.” 

Anti-abortion activists pushed back against Trump’s latest stance.

Sen. Lindsey Graham was quick to disagree, calling for a federal abortion policy in a post on X: “I will continue to advocate that there should be a national minimum standard limiting abortion at fifteen weeks because the child is capable of feeling pain, with exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America said in a statement

“Unborn children and their mothers deserve national protections and national advocacy from the brutality of the abortion industry. … Saying the issue is ‘back to the states’ cedes the national debate to the Democrats who are working relentlessly to enact legislation mandating abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. If successful, they will wipe out states’ rights.”

In his statement on Monday, Trump thanked Supreme Court justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Neil Gorsuch “for having the courage to allow this long-term, hard-fought battle to finally end.”

He said Democrats “are the radical ones on this position,” falsely claiming they support “abortion up to and even beyond the ninth month. The concept of having an abortion in the later months and even execution after birth, and that’s exactly what it is, the baby is born, the baby is executed after birth, is unacceptable, and almost everyone agrees with that.”

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 93.5% of all abortions in the United States occur before 13 weeks of pregnancy, and less than 1% are performed after 21 weeks of pregnancy. Katherine Kraschel, an assistant professor of law and health at Northeastern University, told the Guardian in 2023 that “late-term abortions” simply aren’t real. “It’s a term created by people who oppose abortion to spread disinformation and shame people who have abortion. It has no basis in medicine or science,” she said.

Trump compared himself to former President Ronald Regan, saying he supports exceptions to abortion bans in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in danger. He continued, “You must follow your heart on this issue, but remember you must also win elections to restore our culture, and in fact, to save our country, which is currently, and very sadly, a nation in decline.” 

Mini Timmaraju, president and CEO of Reproductive Freedom for All, a pro-abortion rights group, pointed out in a statement that Trump’s latest comments on abortion were largely made because “publicly supporting bans loses voters.” 

She added, “The stakes couldn’t be higher, and we need to elect reproductive freedom majorities in Congress and send President Biden and Vice President Harris back to the White House to restore the federal right to abortion and expand access.”

Trump has flip-flopped on the issue in recent months. In March, he floated his support for a 15-week federal ban.

During a call in March with Sid Rosenberg, the host of New York radio station WABC’s show “Sid & Friends in the Morning,” Trump said: “The number of weeks now, people are agreeing on 15. And I’m thinking in terms of that. And it’ll come out to something that’s very reasonable. But people are really, even hard-liners are agreeing, seems to be, 15 weeks, seems to be a number that people are agreeing at.”

Last year, Trump proudly took credit for overturning Roe, writing on Truth Social, “After 50 years of failure, with nobody coming even close, I was able to kill Roe v. Wade, much to the ‘shock’ of everyone.” 

Trump has gone from saying he was “very pro-choice” in 1999 to threatening to defund Planned Parenthood in 2016 to saying that there should be “some form of punishment” for women who have abortions if the procedure were banned. He reportedly has said privately that he would support a 16-week federal ban.

A 2023 survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for the Wall Street Journal found that 55% of respondents believed a pregnant woman should be allowed to obtain an abortion.

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