Updated Apr 10, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump says he wouldn't sign national abortion ban, opposes Arizona's near-total ban

Trump talking to press

Donald Trump speaks to the media at the Atlanta Airport on April 10. Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

Former President Trump voiced opposition Wednesday to Arizona' near-total abortion ban and said he wouldn't sign a national abortion ban if it was approved by Congress.

Why it matters: The strict Arizona ban handed more ammunition to Democrats this week who hope abortion will drive voters to the polls in November, while highlighting the consequences of Trump's recent stance on the issue.

  • The ban was passed by the state's Supreme Court Tuesday — only one day after Trump declared abortion regulations should be left up to states.

The big picture: Asked by a reporter if he felt the Arizona law went "too far," Trump replied, "Yeah, they did. That'll be straightened out."

  • Trump reiterated that the issue was one of states' rights, but seemed confident that state officials would work to amend the law.
  • "I'm sure that the governor and everybody else are going bring it back to within reason," he said.

What they're saying: Asked if he would sign a national abortion ban if Congress sent it to his desk, Trump said he would not, CNN reported.

  • "You wouldn't sign it?" the reporter asked again.
  • "No," Trump reiterated.

The other side: Biden campaign spokesperson communications director Michael Tyler cast doubt on Trump's claims in a statement Wednesday.

  • "Trump lies constantly – about everything – but has one track record: banning abortion every chance he gets," Tyler said.
  • Asked at a press conference Wednesday what he would say to the people of Arizona witnessing the enactment of such a strict ban, Biden replied, "elect me."

Zoom in: Trump was also asked about Florida's new six-week abortion ban and said that law would also probably be changed.

  • "The will of the people. This is what I've been saying. It's the perfect system," Trump added.
  • Trump lauded his role in overturning Roe v. Wade and turning the issue back to the states to decide.
  • "So Florida's probably going to change. Arizona's going to definitely change. Everybody wants that to happen. And you're getting the will of the people," he added.

State of play: When stating this week that abortion access should be determined by states rather than on the national level, Trump declined to specify at how many weeks of pregnancy he supported banning abortion.

  • The Arizona law highlighted how difficult it can be for Republicans to navigate extreme state abortion laws.
  • Even Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake, who has referred to abortion as a "sin," said Tuesday that she opposed the Arizona law.
  • President Biden slammed the Arizona ban as "extreme and dangerous."

Catch up quick: While running for president in 2016, Trump vowed to appoint Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade. He fulfilled his promise during his presidency, appointing three conservative justices to the court.

  • Trump has repeatedly boasted about his role in overturning federal protections for abortion.
  • He privately expressed support for a 16-week national abortion ban with certain exceptions, the New York Times reported in February.
  • Last month, Trump suggested a national 15-week abortion ban that with exceptions could be "very reasonable."

Go deeper: Trump abortion timeline: Tracking his shifting views on the procedure

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Biden's campaign.

Go deeper