Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks after voting in the Florida primary election in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, March 19, 2024.
Health Politics

Trump advocates for a nationwide ban on abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time, Donald Trump expressed support on Tuesday for a national ban on abortions at approximately 15 weeks of pregnancy, suggesting that he would be open to the idea.


By selecting three justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who voted to reverse Roe v. Wade, the Republican former president has claimed credit for overturning a constitutionally protected right to an abortion. Trump has declined to support any particular restrictions on the procedure as he runs for president for a third time, stating that doing so could backfire politically. Instead, he has hinted that he would “negotiate” an abortion policy that would allow for exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and to protect the mother’s life.


On Tuesday, however, Trump attacked Democrats in a radio interview for refusing to support a law that would restrict abortions in places where the practice is still legal.


While tuning into WABC’s “Sid & Friends in the Morning,” Trump declared, “We’re going to come up with a time — and maybe we could bring the country together on that issue.”


Trump continued, saying, “People are agreeing on 15 now, the number of weeks.” And that’s what’s on my mind. And the result will be something pretty fair. However, even conservatives are in agreement—15 weeks appears to be a quantity that people are comfortable with.


Concurrently, Trump appeared to imply opposition to a federal prohibition.


ban on abortions
Representational image. AFP

“Everyone knows—you’ve heard this for years—that this is a state issue, as do legal experts on both sides. It’s a state problem, not a federal one, he declared.


Calling the reports “fake news,” Trump’s campaign last month rejected rumours that he had privately advocated for outlawing abortions beyond 16 weeks of pregnancy. Trump’s campaign stated that he intended to “negotiate a deal” on abortion without providing any further information.


Later on Tuesday, following his vote in the Republican primary in Florida, a reporter asked Trump if he would support a ban on abortions before 16 weeks of pregnancy. He responded, “We’ll be talking about that soon.”


Voters’ passion for abortion rights has grown in recent years, and Democrats, along with President Joe Biden’s campaign, are getting ready to highlight the issue as a glaring difference between them and Trump in the 2024 election.


The majority of Americans, according to polls, think that abortion should be permitted up until the first trimester of pregnancy. An Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research study from last June found that roughly half of American citizens believed abortions should be legalized at 15 weeks.


Tracking  Bans on Abortion Across the Country:


Compared to the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, which regulated reproductive rights for almost fifty years until the Supreme Court overturned the ruling last year, twenty-one states either outlaw or restrict abortion earlier in pregnancy.



Bans on Abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy
Representational image. AFP

Advocates have filed lawsuits to overturn prohibitions and restrictions, and in certain places, the legal battle over abortion access is still raging. Other states have taken action to increase access to abortion by enacting new laws.


The Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to an abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, keeping track of state laws pertaining to abortion.



Understanding Ban on Abortion:

Status of elective abortion in the United States
Representational image. AFP

Pre-Roe bans: Most states repealed abortion bans in effect as of 1973 once Roe made them unenforceable. However, some states and territories never repealed their pre-Roe abortion bans. Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe, these states could try to revive these bans.


Trigger bans: abortion bans passed since Roe was decided that are intended to ban abortion entirely if the Supreme Court limited or overturned Roe or if a federal Constitutional amendment prohibited abortion.


Pre-viability gestational bans: laws that prohibit abortion before viability; these laws were unconstitutional under Roe. Gestational age is counted in weeks from the last menstrual cycle (LMP) or fertilization.


Method bans laws that prohibit a specific method of abortion care, most commonly dilation and extraction (D&X) procedures and dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures.


Reason bans: Laws prohibiting abortion if sought or potentially sought for a particular reason. These bans typically name sex, race, and genetic anomalies as prohibited reasons. However, there is no evidence that pregnant people are seeking abortion care because of the sex or race of their fetus.


Criminalization of self-managed abortion (SMA): Some states criminalize people who self-manage their abortion, i.e., end their pregnancies outside of a health care setting.


The laws of each state or other jurisdiction have a considerable impact on the legality of abortion in the United States as well as the different limits placed on the operation. Some states forbid abortion with few exceptions at any point during a woman’s pregnancy, while others only allow it up until a specific point, and yet others authorize it all the way through. Several types of limits on abortion procedures can be found in jurisdictions where the practice is permitted. These include legislation requiring parental approval or notification, requiring patients to see an ultrasound before receiving an abortion, requiring waiting periods, and requiring counselling.


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