Trump Wants 16-Week National Abortion Ban: Report

Trump National Abortion Ban

Donald Trump wants to implement a 16-week national abortion ban, The New York Times reported on Friday.

The former president has largely avoided taking on reproductive rights during the Republican primary, although he has at times made a point to take credit for the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The decision has been blamed for the GOP’s lackluster showing in the 2022 midterm elections, and Rolling Stone reported last year that Trump has privately griped that the party is “getting killed on abortion.”

According to the Times, the 16-week ban Trump favors should have three exceptions: rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. 

That position would put Trump roughly in-step with Susan B. Anthony List, the powerful anti-abortion advocacy group, which has advocated for a 15-week national ban. Trump reportedly wants the ban to be a week longer, because it’s a nice, round number. “Know what I like about 16?” Trump told a person who spoke with the Times. “It’s even. It’s four months.”

The Times also notes that Trump often asks if potential running mates are “OK on abortion,” and that the former president is “instantly dismissive” when he hears a candidate for vice president doesn’t support his “three exceptions.” 

By his criteria, many of the names that have been floated as possible additions to the ticket would be disqualified, including Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) both of whom supported the Life at Conception Act — effectively a total ban on abortion. 

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) could also be disqualified. As governor, Noem has publicly supported the state law banning abortion in cases of rape or incest. 

When he was still running against Trump for the GOP presidential nomination, Scott told NBC: ‘If I were president of the United States, I would literally sign the most conservative, pro-life legislation that they can get through Congress.”

As Rolling Stone has reported, Trump believes he can campaign as a “moderate” on abortion, despite having built the conservative Supreme Court supermajority that overturned Roe and eliminated the federal right to an abortion. Currently, 21 states have abortion bans or laws limiting the procedure beyond what was previously allowed under Roe. Conservatives are pushing to restrict abortion access at the Supreme Court even further this term. One case would limit the availability of the abortion pill, mifepristone. The other case would allow states to block hospitals from providing emergency abortion care.  


A Trump spokesperson called the Times’ report “fake news” in a statement on Friday. “As President Trump has stated, he would sit down with both sides and negotiate a deal that everyone will be happy with,” his campaign’s press secretary, Karoline Leavitt, said. “President Trump appointed strong Constitutionalist federal judges and Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade and sent the decision back to the states.”

The decision is not entirely in the hands of the states, though, as Congress still has the power to ban abortion nationwide. Trump pushing for a 16-week ban should he retake the White House could result in exactly that.

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