Trump says abortion legislation should be left to states


Former President Donald Trump said Monday that abortion rights should be left to the states, offering his clearest stance yet on one of the most delicate and contentious issues in American politics.

“My view is 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,” Trump said in a video posted to his Truth Social account.

“Many states will be different,” Trump continued. “Many will have a different number of weeks, or some will have more conservative than others, and that’s what they will be. At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people.”

Trump had previously suggested he could support a 15-week federal ban with exceptions in the cases of incest, rape and when the life of the mother is in danger. However, his ultimate decision to punt the politically fraught issue to the states and not back a national ban was swiftly denounced by a major anti-abortion rights organization, which said his position did not go far enough.

In Monday’s video, Trump said he was “proudly the person responsible” for the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which he said took the issue “out of the federal hands and brought it into the hearts, minds, and vote of the people in each state.”

The former president did not indicate the number of weeks during a pregnancy at which he thought it would be appropriate to ban abortion but reiterated his support for exceptions. He previously publicly derided six-week state abortion bans as “terrible” and acknowledged that the debate over the procedure has plagued Republicans at the ballot box since Roe was overturned in 2022.

Trump told reporters last week that he would be making a “statement” on abortion when pressed about Florida’s six-week abortion ban, which is set to become law after a recent state Supreme Court ruling.

Trump’s video Monday garnered immediate backlash from leading anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, which set a 15-week national ban as its standard for Republican candidates in the presidential primary.

“We are deeply disappointed in President Trump’s position. Unborn children and their mothers deserve national protections and national advocacy from the brutality of the abortion industry. The Dobbs decision clearly allows both states and Congress to act,” the group’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, said.

Trump also falsely claimed in his video that “all legal scholars, both sides” wanted Roe v. Wade terminated and that we now have “abortion where everybody wanted it, from a legal standpoint.” Many scholars who support abortion rights, as well as a clear majority of Americans in opinion polls, did not support the overturning of the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized the procedure nationwide.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Alayna Treene and Steve Contorno contributed to this report.

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