Former President Trump on Tuesday sought to clarify his position on abortion after facing backlash from some conservatives for calling Florida’s ban on the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy a “terrible thing.”
“I was able to do something that nobody thought was possible, end Roe v. Wade,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “For 52 years, people talked, spent vast amounts of money, but couldn’t get the job done. I got the job done! Thanks to the three great Supreme Court Justices I appointed, this issue has been returned to the States, where all Legal Scholars, on both sides, felt it should be.”
Trump reiterated that he believes in exceptions to abortion restrictions for cases of rape, incest and life of the mother, arguing that Republicans will struggle to win elections if they do not support exceptions.
“In order to win in 2024, Republicans must learn how to talk about Abortion. This issue cost us unnecessarily, but dearly, in the Midterms,” Trump wrote, adding that Republicans should paint Democrats as “Radicals on the Abortion issue.”
He also repeated a false claim that Democrats support abortion “even after birth,” which no one has actually backed. Vice President Harris earlier this month dismissed claims that Democrats support abortion until the moment of birth as “ridiculous.”
Trump’s lengthy statement on the topic of abortion comes as he has faced criticism from conservatives and rival Republican campaigns for comments he made on “Meet the Press” when moderator Kristen Welker asked if he thought Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) made a mistake by signing the state’s six-week abortion ban into law.
“I think what he did is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake,” Trump said. He went on to say both sides would come together to find a solution on abortion, an incredibly unlikely scenario given partisan divisions over the issue.
The former president, who is the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, has repeatedly dodged questions about whether he would support a federal abortion ban if elected in 2024.
But he is likely to take fire from all sides on the issue of abortion over his latest comments.
Rivals like DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as some activists, have argued Trump is inconsistent on an issue that is important to many socially conservative voters and does not support tougher restrictions.
“It’s never a ‘terrible thing’ to protect innocent life. I’m proud of the fetal heartbeat bill the Iowa legislature passed and I signed in 2018 and again earlier this year,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) posted Tuesday on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Democrats, meanwhile, will seize on Trump’s comments taking credit for the end of Roe v. Wade, which for decades protected a woman’s right to have an abortion. The Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling last year overturning the landmark decision helped lead to major Democratic turnout in special elections and in the midterms last November.
“Bragging about overturning Roe. Is that still ‘hedging’?” Biden campaign spokesperson Kevin Munoz wrote on X.