NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 25: Former U.S. President Donald Trump appears in court during his trial ...
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Trump Would Let States With Strict Abortion Laws Monitor Pregnant Women

In an interview with TIME, former President Donald Trump said he was not opposed to states monitoring pregnant women in order to ensure they did not abort.

In an interview with TIME published April 30, former President Donald Trump emphatically and repeatedly asserted that abortion access was a matter for states and states alone to decide. When asked about his support of a federal abortion ban, Trump said, “You don’t need a federal ban. We just got out of the federal ... If you go back on Roe v. Wade ... it wasn’t about abortion so much as bringing it back to the states.” But lest anyone mistake this attitude a progressive shift from previous rhetoric, the Republican nominee signaled no opposition to states’ monitoring of pregnant people to ensure that they do not get an abortion.

Trump did not go so far as to say he supports the move, but did not signal any disapproval of the idea. “I think they might do that,” he said when asked whether states should enact such monitoring. “Again, you’ll have to speak to the individual states. Look, Roe v. Wade was all about bringing it back to the states.” He went on to state, in contradiction of fact, that “every legal scholar” believed Roe to be a “very bad law ... from a legal standpoint.” When pushed on whether he was comfortable with the idea of prosecuting women who obtained abortions in defiance of state law, Trump again demurred. “The states are going to say,” he asserted. “It’s irrelevant whether I’m comfortable or not. It’s totally irrelevant, because the states are going to make those decisions.”

This time last year, the former president was very happy to tout his role in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. “After 50 years of failure, with nobody coming even close, I was able to kill Roe v. Wade, much to the ‘shock’ of everyone, and for the first time put the Pro Life movement in a strong negotiating position over the Radicals that are willing to kill babies even into their 9th month, and beyond,” he posted to Truth Social in May 2023. “Without me there would be no 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 15 weeks, or whatever is finally agreed to. Without me the pro Life movement would have just kept losing. Thank you President TRUMP!!!” He’s previously called for federal level abortion bans, including, reportedly, earlier this year, per reporting from The New York Times. But Trump has also expressed displeasure at those who continue to run on regressive abortion policies, as it has, indeed repeatedly hurt GOP candidates at the polls.

On the subject of the legality and availability of the so called “abortion pill” mifepristone, which the Supreme Court will be ruling on sometime next month, Trump offered no comment, but did say he had “strong views” on the subject, which he considers a “very important issue” and would be releasing a statement in the coming weeks.

Trump’s tossing the question back to the states, therefore, appears to be back-pedaling some of his more conservative, if often changing, attitude on abortion policies ahead of the November election. According to the Pew Research Center, 61% of Americans across the political spectrum believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. A 2023 Gallup poll found similar results, with just 13% of respondents saying abortion should be illegal in all cases.

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the Associated Press reports that many states’ healthcare systems have been thrown into confusion and disarray due to a patchwork of often ill-defined, confusing laws pertaining to pregnancy care. This, the outlet reports, has led to a slew of federally filed complaints regarding a lack of federally protected care under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act and even pregnancy loss.