Trump's latest abortion statement draws ire from pro-life groups

Donald Trump said Monday that abortion rights should be decided at the state level, clarifying his position after months of mixed messages and "deeply disappointing" anti-abortion activists.

"Many people have asked me what my position is on abortion and abortion rights," Trump said in a video posted on his Truth Social site. "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. And whatever they decide must be the law of the land — in this case, the law of the state."

The former president said in the video that he was "proudly the person responsible for the ending" of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court case that made abortion a constitutional right. Trump appointed three conservative justices to the high court, giving it a 6-3 conservative majority. But he has stopped short of supporting a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, despite implying in a recent radio interview that he might. 


Former US President Donald Trump during a campaign event in Green Bay, Wisconsin, US, on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. Photographer: Daniel Steinle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, has been vocal in his support for exceptions to abortion bans — in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk — and he has also repeatedly criticized fellow Republicans for being too hard-line on the issue.

SBA Pro-Life America, one of the country's most prominent groups opposed to abortion rights, immediately released a statement criticizing Trump’s stance.

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"We are deeply disappointed in President Trump’s position," the group's president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, said in a statement. "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."

Trump had long argued that the Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe gave those who oppose abortion rights "tremendous power to negotiate."

"Everybody agrees — you’ve heard this for years — all the legal scholars on both sides agree: It’s a state issue. It shouldn’t be a federal issue, it’s a state issue," he said in a recent WABC radio interview.

Biden's campaign said Trump was "endorsing every single abortion ban in the states, including abortion bans with no exceptions."

"And he’s bragging about his role in creating this hellscape," campaign spokesperson Ammar Moussa said on X.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.