Trump says abortion should be decided by the states, ‘will of the people’


Former President Donald Trump on Monday announced his position on whether abortion should be banned, following months of not taking a stance on the combustible and crucial issue in his 2024 rematch with President Biden.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee took to his social media platform on Sunday night to say that he would issue a statement on “abortion and abortion rights.” In video posted Monday morning, Trump explicitly affirmed his support for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and he emphasized his support for states determining their own laws for abortion so long as there are exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.

“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,” Trump said. Many states will be different. Many states will have a different number of weeks…at the end of the day it is all about the will of the people.”

The former president told reporters last week at a campaign stop in Michigan that he would make a statement in the coming week, after he was asked about his home state of Florida’s controversial six-week abortion ban, which will soon be going into effect.

WHERE AMERICANS STAND ON ABORTION IN OUR LATEST FOX NEWS POLL

Mike Rogers has Donald Trump's support as he runs for the Senate in Michigan

Former President Donald Trump at a campaign event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on April 2, 2024, teased he would make an abortion announcement in the coming days. (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

Trump reiterated that he was proud of the role he played in overturning Roe v. Wade, saying legal scholars on “both sides” had been in favor of the move.

“The Republican Party should always be on the side of the miracle of life and the side of mothers, fathers and their beautiful babies. IVF is an important part of that,” Trump said.

Majorie Dannenfelser, President of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life, said she was “deeply disappointed” by Trump’s announcement on Monday, arguing his statement was a victory for Democrats.

“Saying the issue is ‘back to the states’ cedes the national debate to Democrats who are working relentlessly to enact legislation mandating abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy,” Dannenfelser added. “If successful, they will wipe out states’ rights.”

The blockbuster move nearly two years ago by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority to overturn the landmark nearly half-century-old Roe v. Wade ruling, which had allowed for legalized abortions nationwide, moved the divisive issue back to the states.

A KEY STATE ISSUES A MAJOR RULING ON ABORTION

And it’s forced Republicans to play plenty of defense in elections across the country, as a party that’s nearly entirely “pro-life” has had to deal with an electorate where a majority of Americans support at least some form of abortion access.

In the wake of the Supreme Court move, Republican-dominated states have implemented a new wave of restrictions on abortion, including Florida’s six-week ban.

As Democrats target Trump and other Republicans over the divisive issue, the former president has tried to thread the needle on abortion.

He regularly takes credit on the campaign trail for appointing the Supreme Court associate who overturned Roe v. Wade and touts that he’s the “most pro-life president in American history.”

But he has also repeatedly criticized fellow Republicans for taking a hard-line stance on the issue, blaming candidates who did not allow for exceptions in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the pregnant person is at risk for GOP’s setbacks in the 2022 midterm elections.

“A lot of politicians who are pro-life do not know how to discuss this topic and they lose their election. We had a lot of election losses because of this, because they didn’t know to discuss it. They had no idea,” he said last year at a leadership summit of the Concerned Women of America.

For over a year, Trump has declined to spell out when in a pregnancy he would push to ban abortions. 

Trump recently suggested in a WABC radio interview that he was considering a 15-wee ban, saying “the number of weeks now, people are agreeing on 15. And I’m thinking in terms of that.”

“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,” he emphasized.

But he’s also said multiple times that rather than implementing a federal ban, the issue should stay in the states.

“Everybody agrees — you’ve heard this for years — all the legal scholars on both sides agree: It’s a state issue. It shouldn’t be a federal issue, it’s a state issue,” Trump said.

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And Trump has also said that if elected he would “come together with all groups” to negotiate something that would “make both sides happy.”

But anything less than a total ban would likely anger anti-abortion hardliners in his own party. And any type of ban would also infuriate many in the abortion rights movement.

Polling has consistently shown that most Americans believe abortion should be legal through the initial stages of pregnancy.

And a recent Fox News poll found that in just the past year, support for a 15-week ban dropped by 12 points, with 54 percent of voters now opposed.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.



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