During debate, Trump and Biden make clear where they stand on abortion

RiseupforAbortionRights rallies throughout downtown opposing the recent Supreme Court decision to strike down Roe v Wade.
Demonstrators in Los Angeles in 2022 protest the Supreme Court's decision striking down Roe vs. Wade. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Abortion took center stage during Thursday's debate between President Biden and former President Trump.

CNN anchor Dana Bash opened the conversation by asking Trump whether he'd block abortion medication.

"The Supreme Court just approved the abortion pill, and I agree with their decision to have done that, and I will not block it," Trump responded, referring to the recent Supreme Court decision that dismissed a conservative Christian group’s claim that the abortion medication used by more than 5 million American women is unsafe and should be withdrawn from the market.

Trump then pivoted to something he touts in his usual campaign speech — that he put three justices on the Supreme Court, which ultimately overturned Roe vs. Wade.

Read more: The Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade in 2022. Here’s the state of abortion rights in the U.S.

The Dobbs case in 2022 returned decision-making power on the issue of abortion to the states, where a patchwork of laws has played out in the last two years. Now, women have access to abortion care in places such as California but not in states such as Texas. At least 10 states are expected to have abortion-related measures on the ballot in November, which polls show motivate Democrats to go to the polls. Several states, including California, have added abortion access protections to their constitutions.

"We brought it back to the states and the country is now getting back together," Trump said. Repeatedly, he said that "everyone" supported repealing Roe.

Biden pounced on the Roe ruling and Trump's appointments to the Supreme Court.

"It's been a terrible thing, what you've done," Biden retorted. "The idea that states are able to do this is a little like saying we're going to turn civil rights back to the states, but each state have a different role."

Read more: The newest election battlefield for abortion: State supreme courts

Biden promised that if he won, he would restore the rights under Roe.

The two candidates sparred over how late in a pregnancy a person can get an abortion. Trump repeated false claims that abortions would be allowed "even after birth." The law under Roe vs. Wade would allow for abortions in the third trimester under extremely rare circumstances, usually because of serious fetal issues or the risk to a mother's health, according to Politifact.

"We are not for late-term abortion period, period, under Roe v. Wade," Biden said.

Trump said he believes in having exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. "Some people don't, follow your heart," he said of the exceptions.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.