Donald Trump

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally on April 2, 2024 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

(Photo: Joshua Lott/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

'Whatever They Decide': Trump Backs Eradication of Abortion Rights by States

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is "responsible for the harm and chaos caused by Republicans' abortion bans in the states, and all he is saying is that he wants more of it," said one rights advocate.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump released a video Monday bragging about the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and expressing support for state-level efforts to ban abortion, declaring that "whatever they decide" must be allowed to stand.

In the four-minute video, Trump said he was "proudly the person responsible" for ending Roe and falsely claimed that "all legal scholars, both sides, wanted and in fact demanded" that Roe be overturned.

The 2022 decision rolled back decades of precedent and opened the floodgates to draconian abortion bans in Republican-led states across the country, including a six-week ban in Trump's home state of Florida that's set to take effect next month.

"Many states will be different, many will have a different number of weeks or some will have more conservative than others, and that's what they will be," said Trump. "You must follow your heart—or, in many cases, your religion or your faith."

While Trump did not explicitly endorse a national limit on abortion, reproductive rights advocates said his latest celebration of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization—a ruling backed by three Trump-appointed Supreme Court justices—and his past comments make clear that he would support a federal ban if reelected in November.

Notably, Trump did not say whether he would veto legislation that would enact a federal ban on abortion.

The former president said he is "strongly in favor of exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother"—but such exceptions have proven woefully insufficient in the face of near-total abortion bans enacted by Texas and other GOP-led states.

"Trump is a liar who orchestrated the end of Roe v. Wade—and he's so proud of it that he bragged about it again in his statement," Mini Timmaraju, president and CEO of Reproductive Freedom for All, said in response to Trump's remarks, which came in the form of a video posted to Truth Social.

"He knows that publicly supporting bans loses voters, so he deployed dangerous disinformation about abortion in order to distract from the truth about what he will do if elected," said Timmaraju, alluding to Trump's false claim that Democrats support "execution after birth."

Timmaraju, who criticized corporate media outlets over their benign portrayal of the former president's stated position, added that Trump is "responsible for the harm and chaos caused by Republicans' abortion bans in the states, and all he is saying is that he wants more of it."

"The stakes couldn't be higher," Timmaraju continued, "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 pledged for months to announce a position on abortion that would "make both sides happy," and he previously floated a 15-week ban at the national level.

But his statement Monday angered both reproductive rights advocates and Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, the nation's leading anti-abortion organization. The group supports a national ban on abortion and has said it views any presidential candidate who declines to back a federal ban as "disqualified" for the White House.

"We are deeply disappointed in President Trump's position," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.

But Dannenfelser signaled that the group would still throw its weight behind Trump in November, vowing to "work tirelessly" to defeat incumbent President Joe Biden.

Opinion polls have repeatedly shown that a majority of the American public supports abortion rights, a finding bolstered by state-level ballot victories in the wake of Dobbs—including in GOP-controlled states.

In a Monday statement, Biden said that Trump "made it clear once again today that he is—more than anyone in America—the person responsible for ending Roe v. Wade."

"He is—more than anyone in America—responsible for creating the cruelty and the chaos that has enveloped America since the Dobbs decision," the president said. "Trump once said women must be punished for seeking reproductive health care – and he's gotten his wish. Women are being turned away from emergency rooms, forced to go to court to seek permission for the medical attention they need, and left to travel hundreds of miles for health care. In states like Florida, abortion will likely soon be illegal before many women know they're pregnant."

"Trump is scrambling," Biden added. "He's worried that since he's the one responsible for overturning Roe the voters will hold him accountable in 2024. Well, I have news for Donald. They will."

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