Sep 17, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump: I "don't frankly care" if abortion is regulated at federal or state level

Former President Trump tiptoed around whether or not he would sign a federal abortion ban at 15 weeks if re-elected.

The big picture: The 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner hasn't committed to supporting a federal abortion ban if re-elected but has spoken of the federal government's role in opposing abortions.

What he's saying: "It could be state or it could be federal, I don't frankly care," Trump said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday when repeatedly asked if he would sign a federal abortion ban at 15 weeks.

  • "No, no. Let me just tell you what I'd do. I'm going to come together with all groups, and we're going to have something that's acceptable," Trump said when asked about a 15-week ban Sunday.
  • "I would sit down with both sides and I'd negotiate something, and we'll end up with peace on that issue for the first time in 52 years. I'm not going to say I would or I wouldn't," he added.
  • Trump also called Democrats "radicals" on abortion, claiming that some Democrat-led states like New York allow for abortions after birth.
  • New York law only allows an abortion after 24 weeks if the life of the pregnant person is at risk or the fetus is non-viable.

Trump criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' abortion ban signed into law earlier this year, which does not allow for abortions in the state after six weeks.

  • "I think what he did is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake. But we'll come up with a number, but at the same time, Democrats won't be able to go out at six months, seven months, eight months and allow an abortion," Trump said.
  • "[B]oth sides, and this is a big statement, both sides will come together," he added.

Zoom out: Abortion remains one of the most contentious issues among GOP presidential candidates, who have clashed over what, if any, federal ban they would impose if elected president.

  • Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, federal protections for abortion have ended, and a growing number of states have banned or restricted the procedure.
Go deeper