Trump Says Abortion Law Should Be Left to the States

Former President Donald J. Trump said in a video statement on Monday that abortion rights should be left up to the states, remarks that came after months of mixed signals on an issue that he and his advisers have worried could cost him dearly in the election.

Mr. Trump said his view was that the states should decide through legislation, and that “whatever they decide must be the law of the land, and in this case, the law of the state.” But he added that he was “strongly in favor of exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.”

“Many states will be different, many will have a different number of weeks or some will have more conservative than others, and that’s what they will be,” Mr. Trump said in the video, which he posted on his Truth Social website.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about will of the people,” he added. “That’s where we are right now and that’s what we want — the will of the people.”

Mr. Trump appeared to be trying to move past the issue of abortion rights as quickly as possible without discussing a federal ban, which would face steep odds in the House and Senate. He has privately discussed supporting such a ban.

But politically, Mr. Trump’s announcement that abortion should be left to the states will allow Democrats to tag him with some of the strictest abortion laws in the country, including a six-week ban in Florida that he has said was a “terrible mistake.” And his remarks on Monday underscored how Republicans across the country are grappling with their approach to abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, a few months before the midterm elections.

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