Trump: Abortion Policy Should Be Decided by States

Donald Trump | Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump said Monday that abortion policy should be left up to the states — countering previous statements where he considered backing national restrictions on abortion.

“The states will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land,” Trump said in a video on Truth Social. “Many states will be different, many will have a different number of weeks, or some will be 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.”

“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,” Trump continued.

“Our nation needs help, needs unity — Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative — everyone, we have to work together. We have to bring our nation back from the brink,” said Trump.

Monday’s statement from Trump came as a disappointment to anti-abortion groups and some Republican lawmakers who pushed for Trump to back a 15-week national abortion ban. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said Trump’s announcement “cedes the national debate to the Democrats who are working relentlessly to enact legislation mandating abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy.”

“We are deeply disappointed in President Trump’s position,” she told Politico.

Sen. Lindsey Graham similarly condemned Trump’s announcement.

“I respectfully disagree with President Trump’s statement that abortion is a states’ rights issue,” Graham wrote on X. “Dobbs does not require that conclusion legally and the pro-life movement has always been about the wellbeing of the unborn child – not geography.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence issued a lengthy statement in opposition to Trump.

“President Trump’s retreat on the Right to Life is a slap in the face to the millions of pro-life Americans who voted for him in 2016 and 2020,” he posted. “By nominating and standing by the confirmation of conservative justices, the Trump-Pence Administration helped send Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history where it belongs and gave the pro-life movement the opportunity to compassionately support women and unborn children.”

“Republicans win on life when we speak the truth boldly and stand on the principle that we all know to be true – human life begins at conception and should be defended from womb to tomb,” he continued. “However much our Republican nominee or other candidates seek to marginalize the cause of life, I know pro-life Americans will never relent until we see the sanctity of life restored to the center of American law in every state in this country.”

Last month, Trump said that he would consider backing a national abortion restriction when it comes to the 15-week national abortion ban.

“The number of weeks now, people are agreeing on 15. And I’m thinking in terms of that,” Trump said, per The Associated Press. “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.”

“We’re going to come up with a time — and maybe we could bring the country together on that issue,” added Trump.

A Fox News poll in March 2024 found that 59% of respondents believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, up from 44% in April 2022.

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