Donald Trump Is Plotting National 16-Week Abortion Ban: Report

The former president denied the report from The New York Times that he's discussed supporting a 16-week federal abortion ban.
Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press in New York City on Feb. 15, 2024.
Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press in New York City on Feb. 15, 2024.
ANGELA WEISS via Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump has discussed supporting a national 16-week abortion ban, according to a Friday report from The New York Times.

Trump reportedly said that if he were to win the 2024 presidential election, he would support a 16-week abortion ban nationwide with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the pregnant person, according to two people close to Trump who spoke with the Times. The idea of a 16-week ban falls out of line with abortion restrictions that other conservatives have pushed at the state level, including six-week and 15-week abortion bans.

The former president reportedly said in a private conversation shared with the Times that he likes the idea of a 16-week federal ban because it’s an “even” four months. He also reportedly said that he will not consider any vice presidential candidate who does not support exceptions for rape, incest or life of the mother.

The Trump campaign denied the Times’ report, calling it “fake news” in a press release.

“As President Trump has stated, he would sit down with both sides and negotiate a deal that everyone will be happy with,” said Karoline Leavitt, a press secretary for the Trump campaign.

“President Trump appointed strong Constitutionalist federal judges and Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade and sent the decision back to the states, which others have tried to do for over 50 years,” Leavitt said. “Joe Biden and virtually every Democrat in Congress is on the record supporting radical on-demand abortion up until the moment of birth, and after birth, as well as using American tax dollars to fund the killing of the most vulnerable.”

One of the largest and most extreme anti-abortion groups in the country praised Trump in a Friday statement.

“We strongly agree with President Trump on protecting babies from abortion violence at 16 weeks when they feel pain,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.

Trump has previously shied away from discussing abortion, likely in an attempt to appeal to a wider group of voters. Big Republican losses in the past two years have signaled that extreme anti-abortion policies are not popular on a national level. Trump himself has even attributed his party’s setbacks in the 2022 midterms to candidates’ extreme stances on abortion.

“Today, Roe v. Wade is no longer the law of the land. And that’s because of one person: Donald Trump,” Biden said in a press statement.

“Now, after being the one responsible for taking away women’s freedom, after being the one to put women’s lives in danger, after being the one who has unleashed all this cruelty and chaos all across America, Trump is running scared,” the president’s statement continued. “He’s afraid the women of America are going to hold him responsible for taking away their rights and endangering their rights at the ballot box in November. Which is exactly what’s going to happen.”

Biden’s reelection campaign held a press call Friday afternoon to discuss the news around Trump. Julie Chávez Rodriguez, Biden’s campaign manager, along with Mini Timmaraju, the president of Reproductive Freedom for All, and Jessica Mackler, the interim president of EMILY’s List, joined the call.

“The fundamental choice in this election is going to be between Joe Biden and [Vice President] Kamala Harris, who are running to restore Roe as the law of the land against Donald Trump, who’s out here every single day bragging about the role that he personally played in overturning Roe,” Michael Tyler, the Biden campaign’s communications director, said during the press call.

“He is now planning to ban abortion across the country. As the president said, he doesn’t have a clue about the power of American women, and he’s about to find out in November.”

Nearly 75% of voters in a 2023 Change Research survey said that recent abortion restrictions have gone too far, including 51% of those who voted for Trump in 2020.

“We’ve long known where Donald Trump stands on abortion and it’s at odds with the majority of Americans,” Jenny Lawson, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes, said in a statement.

“He is chiefly responsible for the ongoing public health crisis that has allowed 21 states to ban all or some abortions and yet, he claims to want to find a ‘compromise’ on this issue. To be clear, there is no compromising on the basic right to control our lives and bodies.”

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