Trump trumpets overturning of Roe, accuses Democrats of post-birth killing schemes, and urges national unity in abortion statement News
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Trump trumpets overturning of Roe, accuses Democrats of post-birth killing schemes, and urges national unity in abortion statement

Former US President Donald Trump credited himself with overturning the landmark reproductive rights case Roe v. Wade and accused Democrats of advocating for the killing of newborn babies before calling for national unity in an abortion position statement released Monday morning.

“Many people have asked me what my position is on abortion and abortion rights, especially since I was proudly the person responsible for the ending of something that all legal scholars — both sides wanted and, in fact, demanded, be ended. Roe v. Wade. They wanted it ended,” he said in the statement. During his presidency,

Trump successfully nominated three conservative justices to the nation’s highest court: Neil Gorsuch, who replaced conservative predecessor Antonin Scalia; Brett Kavanaugh, who replaced the swing-voting Anthony Kennedy, and Amy Coney Barrett, who replaced progressive icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This cohort was among the justices who issued the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling in 2022, which overturned the reproductive rights established by Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion across the US. In Dobbs, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion was not a constitutional right, and rather that it is a state issue, laying the foundation for states to ban abortion entirely or at specific gestational milestones. Since then, reproductive rights have become increasingly fragmented. Some 14 states have banned abortions with limited exceptions since the decision. According to the Guttmacher Institute, an advocacy organization that monitors abortion policy across states, in the first full calendar year since Dobbs, abortion rates across the US have increased despite expanded restrictions.

“This 50-year battle over Roe v. Wade took it out of the federal hands and brought it into the hearts minds and votes of the people in each state,” Trump said.

He added that he is in favor of abortion options for victims of rape and incest, as well as in cases involving potentially fatal health complications.

He also voiced support for in vitro fertilization (IVF), a course of treatments where fertility specialists inseminate eggs with sperm outside of the body and subsequently implant an embryo into the uterus for gestation. IVF has sparked national debate after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in February that frozen embryos are children, for legal purposes. The decision had an immediate chilling effect on fertility treatments in the state, prompting Alabama lawmakers to grant civil and criminal immunity to IVF clinics. “Under my leadership, the Republican Party will always support the creation of strong, thriving, and healthy American families. We want to make it easier for mothers and families to have babies, not harder. That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every state in America … I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby,” he said. 

Trump accused Democrats of advocating for the killing of newborn babies. “It must be remembered that the Democrats are the radical ones on this position because they support abortion up to and even beyond the ninth month, the concept of having an abortion in the later months and even execution after birth. And that’s exactly what it is — the baby is born, the baby is executed after birth — is unacceptable, and almost everyone agrees with that,” he said. He did not cite any sources for this claim, but may have been referring to a controversial academic article released in 2013 that argued the killing of newborns was ethically on par with abortion. Florida Governor and Trump’s former rival for the Republican ticket Ron DeSantis faced backlash last year for making a similar claim without evidence.

He then called for unity — suggesting everyone, whether “Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative — everyone,” should work together to “save our country, which is currently and very sadly, a nation in decline.”

US President Joe Biden, who will face off against Trump in November, has made the fight for reproductive rights a hallmark of his presidency. In his State of the Union address last month, Biden criticized Trump for the end of Roe, saying: “Like most Americans, I believe Roe v. Wade got it right. … But my predecessor came to office determined to see Roe v. Wade overturned. … Clearly, those bragging about overturning Roe v. Wade have no clue about the power of women in America. They found out though when reproductive freedom was on the ballot and won in 2022, 2023, and they will find out again, in 2024. If Americans send me a Congress that supports the right to choose, I promise you, I will restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land again.”