Trump Says Abortion Law Should Be Left to the States

Former President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday said in a video statement that abortion rights should be left up to the states, remarks that came after months of mixed signals on an issue that he and his advisers have worried could cost him dearly in the election.

Mr. Trump said his view was that the states should decide by legislation, “and whatever they decide must be the law of the land, and in this case, the law of the state.” But he added that he was “strongly in favor of exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.”

“Many states will be different, many will have a different number of weeks or some will have more conservative than others and that’s what they will be,” Mr. Trump said in the video, which he posted on his Truth Social website.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about will of the people,” he added, falsely claiming that “all legal scholars “on “both sides” of the political aisle had wanted to see Roe v. Wade end. “That’s where we are right now and that’s what we want — will of the people.”

Politically, Mr. Trump’s announcement that abortion to be left to the states will allow Democrats to tag him with some of the strictest abortion laws in the country, including a six-week ban in Florida that Mr. Trump has said was a “terrible mistake.”

That messaging began on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, by President Biden’s campaign aides shortly after the video posted. And Mr. Trump’s statement underscores that Republicans across the country are grappling with how to handle the issue of abortion since the Dobbs v. Jackson decision rolling back Roe v. Wade came down during 2022, a few months before the midterm elections.

Michael Gold contributed reporting.

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