Trump says states should decide whether to prosecute women for abortions

Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a Fox News town hall at the Greenville Convention Center on February 20, 2024, in Greenville, South Carolina. South Carolina holds its Republican primary on February 24.
Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a Fox News town hall at the Greenville Convention Center on February 20, 2024, in Greenville, South Carolina. South Carolina holds its Republican primary on February 24. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump appeared to suggest that he would allow states to prosecute women who have abortions as he continues to face blowback from both sides of the debate over his stance on the issue. 

In an interview with Time Magazine published Tuesday, Trump discussed many topics as he outlined his vision for a second term if he wins the 2024 presidential election.

The abortion topic has received a lot of attention following the U.S. Supreme Court's 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision that determined that the U.S. Constitution does not have a right to abortion. The ruling opened the door for several states to enact near-total bans on abortion or laws that restrict abortion to the earliest parts of a pregnancy in the last two years. 

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The 2022 ruling has also ignited a debate about what role the federal government should have in legislating abortion policy. To the chagrin of many pro-life activists who would like to see federal law limiting access to abortion nationwide, Trump has argued that abortion policy should be decided at the state level. 

Trump doubled down on that position during his interview with Time. When asked if he was comfortable with states prosecuting women who have abortions in violation of state laws, the former president responded, "It's irrelevant whether I'm comfortable or not."

"It's totally irrelevant because the states are going to make those decisions," he added. "And by the way, Texas is going to be different than Ohio. And Ohio is going to be different than Michigan. I see what's happening."

The Republican Study Committee, which contains over 80% of Republicans currently serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, has included the Life at Conception Act in its fiscal year 2025 budget proposal. When asked if he planned to veto the bill, Trump insisted, "I don't have to do anything about vetoes" because "we now have it back in the states."

Trump continued to defend his position: "Every legal scholar for 53 years has said that issue is a state issue from a legal standpoint. And it's starting to work that way."

The 77-year-old insisted that the prospect of a national abortion ban of some kind passing is not practical due to the partisan makeup of the U.S. Senate.

"You're never going to have 60 votes," he said. "You're not going to have it for many, many years, whether it be Democrat or Republican. Right now, it's essentially 50-50. I think we have a chance to pick up a couple, but a couple means we're at 51 or 52. We have a long way to go. So it's not going to happen because you won't have that."

The current makeup of the U.S. Senate is almost evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, with 51 Democrats and 49 Republicans.

The RealClearPolitics Senate map, which predicts the outcomes of the U.S. Senate races on the ballot this year based on polling and other factors, forecasts that at least 43 seats will be won by Democrats and at least 49 will be won by the Republicans. Of the eight toss-up races, the RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Republicans leading in only two: the Republican-held seat in Texas and the Democrat-held seat in Maryland

With the Democrat-held seat in West Virginia listed as a safe Republican pickup, Republicans would hold 51 seats if the current RealClearPolitics polling averages accurately predict what happens on Election Day. Because most legislation needs 60 votes to pass the U.S. Senate, Republicans would almost certainly lack the votes to pass a national abortion ban even if they hold a majority of seats after the election in light of the fact that all Democrats and even a few Republicans would oppose such a measure.

Trump's comments come as a debate was sparked on social media this week among pro-lifers after podcaster Steve Cruz of "The Regular Man Podcast" said he thinks women who get abortions should be killed. The comment prompted a response from former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis, who called the comment "disgusting and vile."

"[It's] no way to speak of any human being made in God's image, including a woman who has had an abortion," Ellis stated. "This isn't pro-life, or the way to deal with this issue."

Trump's Time interview also touched on the debate about the abortion pill. When asked if he thought "women should be able to get the abortion pill," Trump replied, "I have an opinion on that, but I'm not going to explain."

"I'm not going to say it yet. But I have pretty strong views on that. And I'll be releasing it probably over the next week," Trump said. 

The current RealClearPolitics average of polling of the 2024 presidential election, expected to be a rematch between President Joe Biden and Trump, shows Trump with a 1.5% lead over Biden. In a five-way race that includes Biden, Trump, independent candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West and prospective Green Party nominee Jill Stein, Trump's lead expands to 2.2%. 

The RealClearPolitics Electoral College map, which predicts how each state will vote in the presidential election, shows Trump likely to win at least 219 electoral votes while Biden will likely win at least 215. The remaining states, which boast a combined 104 electoral votes, are listed as toss-ups. The "no toss-ups" map, which predicts how states will vote based on their current polling averages, shows Trump is favored to win with 312 electoral votes to Biden's 226. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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