Trump says abortion should be left to states after mixed signals

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Former president donald trumpthat has oscillated between highlighting or downplaying its role in reducing abortion rights, suggested on Monday that the politically volatile issue should be left to the states, after months of conflicting signals about their position.

in a video posted on social media, Trump took credit for revoking Roe v. Wade and said that “it is now up to the states to do the right thing.”

“My opinion is that we now have abortion where everyone wanted it from a legal standpoint, the states will determine it by voting or legislation or maybe both, and what they decide should be the law of the land. In this case, the law of the state,” Trump said in the video.

Trump campaigned in 2016 to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade and became an advocate of the anti-abortion movement. But he has hesitated on the subject since Roe fell in 2022, as Republicans across the polls have paid a political price for unpopular bans. Democrats have made abortion a central element of their case against Trump, relentlessly reminding voters of their Supreme Court picks who helped end the nation’s right to the procedure.

Trump had promised a “statement” on abortion last week, as reporters pressed him for his opinion on a six-week ban taking effect in Florida. That sparked a wave of last-minute lobbying by abortion opponents who are divided over the best path forward. Some urged Trump to support a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, while others warned that such restrictions are not workable in Congress and could further galvanize the left.

On Sunday, he joked an imminent announcement on social media, saying that “Republicans, and everyone else, must follow their hearts and minds,” while emphasizing that he supports exceptions to abortion bans for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Trump added: “We must use common sense to realize that we have an obligation to save our nation… to win elections.”

The presumptive Republican presidential candidate began his video by stating his support for in vitro fertilization, a process that fertilizes eggs outside the uterus to help produce a pregnancy.

A nationally observed sentence of the court In Alabama in February, they threatened to stop fertility treatment, arguing that frozen embryos are people. Republican candidates were largely quick to distance themselves from the ruling, although some in Congress have supported legislation that would recognize a fertilized egg as a human being entitled to legal protection under the 14th Amendment.

Trump’s emphasis on support for IVF underscored the issue’s potential danger to conservatives at the polls. He praised Alabama Republicans for quickly passing a law protecting IVF in the state, saying “we want to make it easier for mothers and families to have babies, not harder.”

Trump has repeatedly highlighted the political consequences of abortion for Republicans. He has suggested on social media that the GOP’s losses in the 2022 midterms were due to the “abortion issue,” which he described as “poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those who adamantly insisted on no exceptions.” .

Trump spent much of the Republican primary refusing to take a firm stance on federal legislation and even described Florida’s six-week abortion ban, signed by his rival, Gov. Ron DeSantis, as a “terrible mistake.” During a CNN town hall last year, Trump refused to say whether he would sign a federal abortion ban into law and insisted that repealing Roe put the anti-abortion movement in a “very good negotiating position.”

In a September interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Trump predicted that “both sides will come together.” He said the deal could be state or federal, adding, “Frankly, I don’t care.”

More recently, he said in a radio interview in March that “people are agreeing to 15 [weeks], and I’m thinking in terms of that.” But he also said that “all jurists on both sides agree: it is a matter of state. “It shouldn’t be a federal issue.”

Many anti-abortion activists consider federal restrictions on abortion to be impractical, given the difficulty of obtaining the 60 Senate votes needed to overcome a filibuster. A 15-week ban introduced by some Republicans in Congress has gone nowhere. Social conservatives planning a second Trump term have focused on actions federal agencies could take without Congress to make it harder to obtain abortions.

At the same time, some Republicans have argued that GOP candidates should talk about abortion more explicitly to avoid ceding the issue to Democrats.

When a court cleared the way last week for Florida’s six-week abortion ban to go into effect, the Trump campaign gave reporters a statement that made no mention of Trump’s role in ending it. Roe. “President Trump supports the preservation of life, but he has also made clear that he supports states’ rights because he supports the right of voters to make decisions for themselves,” said the statement from campaign adviser Brian Hughes. .

Democrats were quick to remind voters of Trump’s record. On social media, President Biden called attention to Trump’s earlier statement that “without me, there would be no 6 weeks.”

“You already made your statement, Donald,” Biden wrote last week after Trump promised to further address abortion.

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