Trump says federal abortion ban is not needed ‘because we broke Roe v. Wade’

April 12, 2024

Former President Trump on Friday said there was no need for a federal law limiting abortion because “we broke Roe v. Wade,” and said states were working “brilliantly” as many GOP-led legislatures restrict access to abortion.

Trump took questions from reporters at Mar-a-Lago after delivering remarks with Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) when he was asked why voters should trust him when he said earlier this week he would not sign a federal abortion ban.

“Because we don’t need it any longer. Because we broke Roe v. Wade, and we did something that nobody thought was possible,” Trump said. “We gave it back to the states. And the states are very working very brilliantly, in some cases conservative, in some cases not conservative. But they’re working and it’s working the way it’s supposed to.”

“You’re having some very, very beautiful harmony to be honest with you,” Trump said.

Trump earlier this week said it should be left up to the states to determine abortion policy, while appearing to say he would not sign a federal ban.

Trump has frequently expressed pride in appointing the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022. His White House supported GOP legislation that passed the House during his first term that would have banned most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The former president’s comments on Friday were immediately elevated by Democrats, who have hammered Trump over abortion restrictions implemented nationwide since the end of Roe v. Wade in June 2022.

Trump has been on defense all week over abortion, particularly after the Arizona Supreme Court ruling upheld an 1864 law and made performing the procedure a felony.

The former president has said the court went too far with its ruling, and earlier Friday he urged Arizona lawmakers to act “as fast as possible” to adjust the state’s abortion policy, even as Republicans in the state legislature blocked attempts by Democrats to repeal the 1864 law.

The century-old law makes abortion a felony punishable by two to five years in prison for anyone who performs or helps a woman obtain an abortion. It includes an extremely narrow exception allowing for an abortion “when it is necessary” to save a pregnant person’s life.