Home » News » Trump keeps teasing an announcement on abortion ‘soon’ but dodges on specifics

Trump keeps teasing an announcement on abortion ‘soon’ but dodges on specifics

On the heels of the Florida Supreme Court upholding the state’s 15-week abortion ban and paving the way for a six-week ban with few exceptions, former President Donald Trump on Tuesday teased that he will announce his own abortion plan “next week” — but offered no further details on an issue that could shape the 2024 race.

Trump’s brief comment, answering a shouted question about the Florida abortion ban at the end of a press conference-style campaign event in Michigan, comes after months of the former president dodging questions about his stance on the specifics of abortion restrictions.

At the same time, he has championed his role in the end of Roe v. Wade, which he has celebrated for preventing abortions while saying it boosted states’ rights.

Tuesday was not the first time Trump teased an update on abortion, telling Fox News’ Howard Kurtz just last month that he’ll be making a decision “pretty soon” and that “there will be a certain spot” and he wants to “make both sides happy.”

Walking out of a polling location in Florida last month after voting for himself in the state’s Republican primary, Trump again said he’ll be “talking about that soon,” while not saying when.

The Trump campaign has also declined to say if he supports or opposes a measure on the November ballot that would broaden abortion access in Florida and undo the current restrictions.

MORE: Florida state Supreme Court upholds 15-week abortion ban, paving way for 6-week ban

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority conference at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C., June 24, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

On the campaign trail so far this election cycle, Trump has mainly avoided stating whether he supports or opposes a specific number of weeks when it comes to abortion bans, insisting it’s “probably better” that the discussion be left up to the states as long as they uphold three exceptions: rape, incest and the life of the mother.

In private conversations with allies and advisers, however, Trump has expressed support for a 16-week national abortion ban with those same exceptions, ABC News reported in February, citing two sources. At the time, his campaign did not deny the reporting but issued a statement that said he would work to find middle ground on abortion, which has become a familiar refrain for him on the trail.

In an interview with NBC News in September, Trump made a point of criticizing Florida’s six-week ban, which is now on the verge of taking effect, as a “terrible thing and a terrible mistake.”

MORE: Jill Biden takes on Trump on abortion rights at launch of ‘Women for Biden’

“I think the Republicans speak very inarticulately about this subject,” he said then, contending then that there would be some kind of politically viable compromise.

“Other than certain parts of the country, you can’t — you’re not going to win on this issue. But you will win on this issue when you come up with the right number of weeks,” he said.

He’s also been repeating a broad rhetoric about his support for abortion opponents, touting his role in the end of Roe through his three Supreme Court justice appointments as the evidence that he’s a champion of the anti-abortion cause.

“We did something that was a miracle,” he said during a town hall in January, suggesting that the lack of abortions since the court ruling two years ago had “saved” millions of lives.

“Nobody has done more in that regard than me,” he said.

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump addresses the 2024 National Religious Broadcasters Association International Christian Media Convention, as part of the NRB Presidential Forum in Nashville, TN, Feb. 22, 2024. (Seth Herald/Reuters/FILE)

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump addresses the 2024 National Religious Broadcasters Association International Christian Media Convention, as part of the NRB Presidential Forum in Nashville, TN, Feb. 22, 2024. (Seth Herald/Reuters/FILE)

On the Florida Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday, Trump campaign senior adviser Brian Hughes sought to stress his support for states’ rights to their own abortion laws — while rival Joe Biden’s campaign tried to tie Trump to the “extreme” Florida restrictions to argue that the issue would boost him at the ballot box.

“Protecting abortion rights is mobilizing a diverse and growing segment of voters to help buoy Democrats,” Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez wrote in a strategy memo, in part.

Trump’s adviser pushed back, slamming what he called Democrats’ far more permissive abortion policies.

“President Trump supports preserving life but has also made clear that he supports states’ rights because he supports the voters’ right to make decisions for themselves,” Hughes said in a statement to ABC News.

MORE: Trump privately signals support for 16-week abortion ban: Sources

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump addresses the 2024 National Religious Broadcasters Association International Christian Media Convention, as part of the NRB Presidential Forum in Nashville, TN, Feb. 22, 2024. (Seth Herald/Reuters/FILE)

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump addresses the 2024 National Religious Broadcasters Association International Christian Media Convention, as part of the NRB Presidential Forum in Nashville, TN, Feb. 22, 2024. (Seth Herald/Reuters/FILE)

In recent weeks, however, Trump has alluded to the possibility of some level of restriction at the federal level, repeatedly mentioning discussions about a 15-week or 16-week ban during media interviews, while still claiming he’s not committed to a specific number and praising himself for sending the rights back to the states.

“I’m hearing about 15 weeks and I haven’t decided yet,” Trump said during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity in February. “Also, we got it back to the states where it belongs,”

“Now it’s in the states — a lot of states who are taking a vote of their citizens and votes are coming out both ways — but largely they’re coming in with a certain number of weeks, and the number 15 is mentioned,” Trump continued.

“I haven’t agreed to any number. I’m going to see — we want to take an issue that was very polarizing and get it settled and solved so everybody can be happy,” he told Hannity.

Trump similarly floated 15 weeks during an interview with WABC last month, claiming “even hard-liners” seem to be agreeing that “15 weeks seems to be a number that people are agreeing.”

Then he promised: “I’ll make that announcement at the appropriate time.”

Trump keeps teasing an announcement on abortion ‘soon’ but dodges on specifics originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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