Former President Donald Trump gloated Friday about his role in the Supreme Court’s seismic decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, saying the decision was “only made possible because I delivered everything as promised, including nominating and getting three highly respected and strong Constitutionalists confirmed to the United States Supreme court.”
Friday’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization fulfilled one of Trump’s signature presidential campaign vows: that he would nominate Supreme Court justices who were ideologically opposed to abortion rights and would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
In the 5-1-3 decision, his three nominees to the Supreme Court — Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — provided the crucial votes to overturn the federal right to abortion.
In a social media post on Friday, the ex-president’s son Donald Trump Jr. crowed, “Fuck around and find out!!!” with a meme bragging that Roe v. Wade was overturned as a consequence of former President Barack Obama making fun of his father in 2011.
Trump was a supporter of abortion rights before he sought to be the presidential nominee for the Republican Party. He once described himself as “very pro-choice.” But as a candidate for president, in exchange for electoral support from the party’s far-right grassroots groups, he publicly pledged his opposition to abortion. In March 2016, he went so far as to say “there has to be some form of punishment” for people who receive abortions illegally.
He later walked back those comments, but not his commitment to supporting conservatives’ 50-year project to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“That … will happen automatically in my opinion because I am putting pro-life justices on the court,” he said in an October 2016 debate with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. “Another two or perhaps three justices.”
At the behest of Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, candidate Trump also promised to try to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding and make permanent the Hyde Amendment, which curtails the use of federal health care funds to cover abortions.
In return, SBA List and its super PAC lavished millions of dollars and mobilized hundreds of thousands of conservative voters to support Trump’s election and to preserve a Republican majority in the Senate during his presidency.
Trump’s nominees were necessary to produce a drastic power shift on the court.
Only a year before he was elected president, the court had rejected a Texas law posing a major challenge to the rights established in Roe v. Wade. Without the votes of Trump’s justices, it is unlikely that the Supreme Court would have even taken up Dobbs v. Jackson, because the Mississippi law at its core was such an extreme violation of previous precedent.
“I think, in the end, this is something that will work out for everybody,” Trump said earlier on Friday in an interview with Fox News. “This brings everything back to the states where it has always belonged.”
In 2016, Trump acknowledged that overturning the right to abortion would likely force millions to obtain abortions illegally and perhaps dangerously:
“You go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places,” he said at the time. “But you have to ban it.”
More on the Supreme Court abortion ruling:
- Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade, dismantling decades-old precedent
- Roe overturned: The fight begins
- Abortion is now illegal in these states
- Liberal justices dissent with “sorrow” for “millions of American women”
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “We have to fill the streets”
- Clarence Thomas: Cases protecting gay marriage and contraception should be next
- Republicans make it clear they want to ban abortion nationwide
- Donald Trump praises SCOTUS decision
- West Coast states launch a plan to protect out-of-state abortion patients
- Here’s how the world is reacting to the end of Roe