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Trump called Florida's 6-week abortion ban a 'terrible mistake.' He'll say more on the issue next week

Max Greenwood, Miami Herald on

Published in Political News

MIAMI — Well before Donald Trump stormed onto the political scene nearly a decade ago, he was far from a staunch opponent of abortion rights.

“I’m very pro-choice,” Trump said in a 1999 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject. But you still — I just believe in choice.”

But in the years since he became the GOP’s standard bearer, Trump’s position on abortion rights has become increasingly complicated.

He has bragged about the fact that he appointed three of the U.S. Supreme Court justices that helped overturn Roe v. Wade, while also criticizing members of his own party for going too far to clamp down on abortion access, even blaming those restrictions in part for the Republican Party’s worse-than-expected performance in the 2022 midterm elections.

Now, Florida’s most famous resident is facing political pressure once again after a pair of court rulings in his home state. One of those decisions effectively allowed a six-week abortion ban to go into effect in the state, while the other allowed a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee abortion rights until fetal viability to appear on the ballot in November.

“Trump has tried to dance around the issue for years,” said former Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo. “He knows there’s a lot of risk for him, and so he’s tried to have it both ways, claiming a major victory with the overturning of Roe and criticizing policies he thinks are too strict.”

 

With the issue of abortion on the ballot in Florida, Curbelo said, Democrats are virtually guaranteed to link the former president to broader Republican efforts to restrict access to the procedure.

“He’s going to be identified with a more restrictive approach to abortion so to the extent that drives voter behavior there are real risks for him,” Curbelo said.

Since the Florida Supreme Court handed down its decisions on Monday afternoon, Trump — who will have a chance to vote on whether to expand abortion access in his state when he presumably casts a ballot in support of his presidential bid this fall — has mostly remained silent on the matter.

Asked during a stop in Michigan on Tuesday about the six-week abortion ban in Florida, Trump said that he’ll “be making a statement next week on abortion.”

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