Trump indicates openness to letting states ban or restrict birth control

May 21, 2024

Former President Trump suggested Tuesday that he was open to letting states restrict access to birth control and suggested his campaign would be releasing a “very comprehensive policy” shortly. 

When asked during an interview with Pittsburgh’s KDKA whether he supported restricting a person’s right to birth control, Trump did not rule it out. 

“We’re looking at that, and I’m going to have a policy on that very shortly, and I think it’s something that you’ll find interesting,” he said. 

When pressed about whether that meant he was open to states banning specific types of birth control such as Plan B, “the morning-after pill,” Trump indicated he supported leaving the decision to the states. 

“Things really do have a lot to do with the states, and some states are going to have different policies than others,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said, adding more details would be coming “within a week or so.” 

Trump has a history of punting uncomfortable questions by saying a plan will be coming in “two weeks.”  

In an interview with Time magazine last month, Trump said a “big statement” on mailing abortion pills and enforcement of the Comstock Act was coming “over the next 14 days.”  

When the reporter followed up with a phone call two weeks later, Trump again said a statement would be coming “over the next week or two.” 

Trump has long avoided directly commenting on hot-button policy topics such as abortion and contraception that have been tripping up Republicans ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.  

Still, Trump regularly takes credit for the decision, and he did so again Tuesday. 

“We did something that everybody wanted. We got rid of Roe v. Wade,” Trump said. 

But the former president has avoided saying just how much he’ll limit those rights if he returns to the White House next year. He dodged a question Tuesday about whether he would veto a national abortion ban, saying, “I don’t think there’d be any reason for it.” 

In a Tuesday post on his Truth Social platform, Trump emphasized he “WILL NEVER ADVOCATE IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON BIRTH CONTROL.”

Trump has taken the position that abortion policy should be left up to the states. 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. 

President Biden and his campaign team have been sounding the alarm on what a second Trump term will mean for women and reproductive rights, and a Biden-Harris campaign spokesperson said Trump’s comments show Republicans are clearly targeting birth control. 

“Women across the country are already suffering from Donald Trump’s post-Roe nightmare, and if he wins a second term, it’s clear he wants to go even further by restricting access to birth control and emergency contraceptives,” Biden-Harris spokesperson Sarafina Chitika said in a statement. 

“It’s not enough for Trump that women’s lives are being put at risk, doctors are being threatened with jail time, and extreme bans are being enacted with no exceptions for rape or incest. He wants to rip away our freedom to access birth control too,” Chitika said.  

— Updated at 2:16 p.m. ET