Trump signals support for 15-week abortion ban

Former president Donald Trump has now indicated that he would support a 15-week federal abortion ban after months of avoiding giving a clear-cut position on the issue.

“The number of weeks now, people are agreeing on 15, and I’m thinking in terms of that, and it’ll come out to something that’s very reasonable,” Mr Trump said in an interview with WABC on Tuesday.

“But people are really — even hard-liners are agreeing — seems to be 15 weeks, seems to be a number that people are agreeing at.”

“You have to have exceptions” for rape, incest, and life of the mother, he added.

However, he stopped short of making that a policy, saying he would announce a specific time frame “at the appropriate time”.

Despite discussing a federal ban, Mr Trump then appeared to contradict himself by saying: “The issue of abortion, we brought it back to the states.”

“And everybody agrees, you’ve heard this for years, all the legal scholars on both sides agree, it’s a state issue. It shouldn’t be a federal issue, it’s a state issue,” he said.

In Tuesday’s interview, Mr Trump also falsely claimed that Democrats are “okay with abortions in the ninth month”.

In 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade— with three Mr Trump-appointed justices supporting that decision.

Donald Trump has signalled his support for a ban (AP)
Donald Trump has signalled his support for a ban (AP)

Throughout the primaries, as Mr Trump’s rivals voiced their support for a specific time limit on abortions, the former president was reluctant to take a firm stance.

In February, The New York Times reported that the former president had quietly expressed support for a 16-week ban — with exceptions in the cases of rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother.

However, he told his advisers he wanted to keep his opinions private until the end of the Republican presidential primary, the paper reported.

The 16-week number is said to have appealed to Mr Trump because it was an even number, a staffer recalled him saying. “It’s even. It’s four months,” Mr Trump allegedly said.

Mr Trump’s position comes in sharp contrast with his 2024 rival President Joe Biden’s campaign, which has made the issue of abortion rights a central focus. At his State of the Union address earlier in March, Mr Biden vowed to restore abortion protections and bashed the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v Wade.

“With all due respect, justices, women are not without ... electoral or political power,” he said.