Trump says US states should determine abortion law, mum on national ban

By Thomson Reuters Apr 8, 2024 | 6:21 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday said he still believed abortion laws should be determined by U.S. state laws and did not address the issue of a national ban on abortion.

In a video post on his social media platform, the former U.S. president said he supported exceptions for rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother. He also reiterated that he supports the availability of in-vitro fertilization.

He did not say that he would seek a national ban on abortion if he returns to the White House in his video on the issue, which is likely to galvanize voters of both political parties in November’s presidential election.

Trump said he was responsible for the 2022 Supreme Court decision ending a federal right to the procedure, alluding to his conservative picks for the U.S. high court.

“My view is now that we have abortion where everybody wanted it from a legal standpoint, the states will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both,” Trump said in his video. “And whatever they decide must be the law of the land. In this case, the law of the state.

He did not specify a week at which he would support a ban on abortion.

Since launching his campaign in late 2022, Trump has largely shied away from the topic of abortion.

The Republican Party has struggled to articulate a message to stanch the political fallout from the 2022 ruling overturning the court’s 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which was made possible by Trump’s appointment of three conservative justices to the court while president from 2017 to 2021.

The reversal triggered a voter backlash that was widely credited with curbing Republican gains in the 2022 congressional midterm elections and propelling Democrats to victories in some state elections last year.

While Americans tend to accept restrictions on abortion after the first trimester, polls also show that a sizable majority prefer to have the decision made by the patient and her doctor, not the government.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Nathan Layne, editing by Ed Osmond and Susan Heavey)