Trump: It’s up to states to monitor pregnancies, prosecute abortions

April 30, 2024

Former President Trump in a new interview suggested states with restrictive abortion bans might monitor women’s pregnancies and should be left to decide whether to prosecute women for having the procedure.

Trump sat for an interview earlier this month with Time Magazine about his plans for a possible second term. When asked about various abortion policies and how he would handle them if he is elected in November, Trump repeatedly said it should be left up to individual states to decide.

“I think they might do that. Again, you’ll have to speak to the individual states,” Trump told Time of states monitoring women’s pregnancies.

When asked whether he would be comfortable with “states prosecuting women for having abortions beyond the point the laws permit,” Trump told the outlet, “It’s irrelevant whether I’m comfortable or not. It’s totally irrelevant, because the states are going to make those decisions.

“And by the way, Texas is going to be different than Ohio,” he said. “And Ohio is going to be different than Michigan. I see what’s happening.”

The outlet reported that Trump refused to commit to vetoing any federal abortion ban if it reached his desk.

“I don’t have to do anything about vetoes because we now have it back in the states,” Trump told Time.

Abortion is a major issue heading into the 2024 election, and a significant vulnerability for Trump. The former president has repeatedly taken credit for the Supreme Court’s decision in June 2022 to overturn Roe v. Wade because he appointed three conservative justices.

Trump, in an effort to get around the issue, has taken the position that abortion policy should be left up to the states through legislation or ballot referendums as GOP-led states enact restrictive policies. But that, too, has prompted attacks, including from some on the right who expressed disappointment the former president was not embracing a federal minimum standard for abortion.

Meanwhile, abortion has driven turnout for Democrats in the elections since the 2022 decision, helping the party win the Kentucky governor’s mansion, the Virginia state legislature and other key races.

President Biden and his campaign have sounded the alarm constantly that a second Trump term would lead to nationwide restrictions on abortion access, something Biden has vowed to protect if he is reelected.

“Donald Trump’s latest comments leave little doubt: if elected he’ll sign a national abortion ban, allow women who have an abortion to be prosecuted and punished, allow the government to invade women’s privacy to monitor their pregnancies, and put IVF and contraception in jeopardy nationwide,” Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement on Tuesday responding to Trump’s comments.

“Simply put: November’s election will determine whether women in the United States have reproductive freedom, or whether Trump’s new government will continue its assault to control women’s health care decisions,” she added. “With the voters on their side this November, President Biden and Vice President Harris will put an end to this chaos and ensure Americans’ fundamental freedoms are protected.”

Updated at 9:31 a.m. EDT