Trump Repeatedly Deflected Abortion Question

Former president was proud of overturning Roe v. Wade, but wouldn't answer on federal abortion ban
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2023 8:44 AM CDT
Abortion Discussion Went According to Trump's Plan
Former President Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association Convention in Indianapolis on April 14, 2023.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Former President Trump said he was the mastermind behind overturning Roe v. Wade during CNN's town hall Wednesday while refusing to say whether he would institute a federal abortion ban if he returns to the presidency. Five separate times, moderator Kaitlan Collins asked him directly if he would sign a federal abortion ban, as Rolling Stone points out. Trump didn't directly answer the question. "I want to do what's right ... what's right for everybody," he said at one point. "But what's right?" Collins asked. Trump went on to boast of overturning Roe v. Wade and saving "so many lives." "Because of what I've done, we have a great negotiating ability," he continued. "But what do you mean 'negotiating ability'?" Collins pressed, again trying to get him to give a clear answer.

"Some people are at six weeks, some people are at three weeks," Trump said, referring to the number of weeks into pregnancy that an abortion ban could take effect. "Where's President Trump?" Collins asked. "President Trump is going to make a determination [based on] what he thinks is great for the country and what's fair for the country," he answered. Collins again pressed him to say whether he would sign a federal abortion ban. "I've given you the answer probably four times already," he said. "Which one is it then?" Collins asked. "I'm looking at a solution that's going to work," he said, before falsely claiming that "they could kill the baby at any time they wanted to," including after birth, before the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Collins did not challenge that claim, though the "vast majority" of third trimester abortions "happen because the fetus is unlikely to survive" or "the carrier's life is risked by continuing the pregnancy," per Rolling Stone. CNN's Sunlen Serfaty offered more fact-checking of Trump's comments on Thursday. "Late term abortions, they are very, very rare," she said, noting less than 1% of abortions occurred at 21 weeks or later in 2020. Pregnancy usually lasts about 40 weeks. All in all, the discussion appears to have gone to plan for Trump. Ahead of the event, the New York Times reported he "might not stipulate a number of weeks at which abortion should be illegal," but would "turn to attacking Democrats by describing horrific images of late-term abortions." (More Donald Trump stories.)

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