Former President Donald Trump proudly took credit Tuesday for ending the constitutional right to an abortion in the United States.
“I’m the one who got rid of Roe v. Wade and everyone said that was an impossible thing to do," Trump said in an interview with Newsmax.
A Langer Research Associates poll released earlier this month found that 66% of Americans oppose the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
"I brought on three Supreme Court justices. Very few people have had that privilege or honor," Trump added.
Past Trump concerns about the end of Roe v. Wade
Prior to the Supreme Court's ruling to end the constitutional protections for women to obtain an abortion, Trump reportedly told donors and friends that such a decision would be "bad for Republicans," in part because it would anger suburban women voters and result in a backlash at the ballot box.
GOP election losses
Republican losses in multiple high-profile races in which abortion rights proved a central issue seemed to confirm Trump's fears but have done little to dissuade the party from pursuing more state restrictions on the procedure. In April, after liberal candidate Janet Protasiewicz defeated conservative Dan Kelly in the race for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat, thanks in large part to her support for preserving access to abortion, the Wall Street Journal editorial board issued a stark warning to the GOP.
“Republicans had better get their abortion position straight, and more in line with where voters are or they will face another disappointment in 2024,” wrote the board. “A total ban is a loser in swing states. Republicans who insist on that position could soon find that electoral defeats will lead to even more liberal state abortion laws than under Roe."
Trump CNN town hall
Earlier this month, Trump appeared to have difficulty answering a question during a CNN town hall about whether he would, if elected again, sign a national ban on abortion.
"What I will do is negotiate so that people are happy," Trump responded
That answer didn't satisfy CNN moderator Kaitlan Collins. "You would sign an abortion ban into law?" she pressed.
"I want to do what's right," Trump responded, "and we're looking."
"Where is President Trump on the issue?" Collins asked again.
"President Trump is going to make a determination on what he thinks is great for the country and what he thinks is fair for the country," he said.
Abortion feud with Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis
In April, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who Yahoo News/YouGov polls show is Trump's strongest challenger for the Republican presidential nomination, signed a six-week abortion ban into law. On Monday, Trump impied in an interview that he believed the ban was "too harsh."
“Many people within the pro-life movement feel that that was too harsh,” Trump told the Messenger.
DeSantis seized on the remark.
“Protecting an unborn child when there’s a detectable heartbeat is something that almost 99% of pro-lifers support,” DeSantis said at a news conference, adding, “As a Florida resident, you know, he didn’t give an answer about, ‘Would you have signed the heartbeat bill that Florida did, that had all the exceptions that people talk about?’”
'Able to kill Roe v. Wade'
The back and forth between DeSantis and Trump over who is a greater ally to Americans opposed to abortion shows no signs of slowing. While that could change come the general election, Trump, in a Wednesday post on Truth Social, reiterated his boast about ending abortion rights.
"After 50 years of failure, with nobody coming even close, I was able to kill Roe v. Wade, much to the 'shock' of everyone, and for the first time put the Pro Life movement in a strong negotiating position over the Radicals that are willing to kill babies even into their 9th month, and beyond," Trump wrote. "Without me there would be no 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 15 weeks, or whatever is finally agreed to. Without me the pro Life movement would have just kept losing. Thank you President TRUMP!!!"
President Joe Biden also wasted no time in highlighting Trump's comments, which, ironically, could become exactly the kind of political liability that Trump had warned his donors and allies about a year ago.
"That’s about as clear as it gets," Biden said in a tweet posted Wednesday. "Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans are responsible for killing Roe v. Wade. And if you vote for them, they’ll go even further."