Trump Is Fine With States Monitoring Pregnant Women So They Don't Get Abortions

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said states with abortion bans should be free to monitor pregnant women to make sure they don’t terminate their pregnancies, suggesting that would be in line with his newfound position of leaving abortion rights up to the states.

“I think they might do that,” Trump said in a TIME interview published Tuesday, when asked if he thinks states with abortion bans should track women who are pregnant.

“Again, you’ll have to speak to the individual states,” he continued. “Look, Roe v. Wade was all about bringing it back to the states.”

After months of giving mixed messages on abortion rights, Trump declared a few weeks ago that his position is that it’s up to states to decide their own laws.

But his position has longbeen that he opposes abortion rights.

He campaigned in 2016 on nominating conservative Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. That is exactly what happened, and the three justices he put on the court were the driving force behind a ruling that removed the country’s 50-year constitutional right to abortion.

Trump’s positioning now, by putting the onus on state governments, aims to absolve him of any responsibility for restrictions that GOP-led states are currently placing on abortion. Reproductive rights are going to be a huge issue in the November elections, and Trump is trying to appear neutral on an issue he’s never been neutral on.

But the problem he’s created for himself — and for Republicans following his lead — is that by saying he supports states doing whatever they choose, he is implicitly accepting whatever restrictions they may impose, including steps as extreme as monitoring pregnant women to stop them from having abortions.

In his TIME interview, Trump, who is currently facing 88 felony charges in four criminal trials, repeatedly declined to answer questions about whether he is comfortable with states punishing women who getillegalabortions in states where the procedure has been severely restricted or banned. Fifteen states currently have near-total abortion bans.

“I don’t have to be comfortable or uncomfortable,” he said. “The states are going to make that decision. The states are going to have to be comfortable or uncomfortable, not me.”

Pressed on how he feels about the prospect of women being prosecuted for having abortions in state with abortion bans, the twice-impeached former president said it doesn’t matter what he thinks.

“It’s irrelevant whether I’m comfortable or not,” said Trump. “It’s totally irrelevant, because the states are going to make those decisions.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump refused to say whether he'd be OK with anti-abortion states monitoring pregnant women to make sure they don't have abortions.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump refused to say whether he’d be OK with anti-abortion states monitoring pregnant women to make sure they don’t have abortions. Pool via Getty Images

Elsewhere in the interview, Trump said he wouldn’t “have to do anything about vetoes” if Congress were to pass a national abortion ban. He also said he has an opinion on GOP efforts to ban abortion medication, “but I’m not going to explain.” He hinted he may have an opinion in the next two weeks.

President Joe Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chávez Rodriguez, said Trump’s latest comments “leave little doubt” about what his presidency would mean for Americans.

“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,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

“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 said. “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.”


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