Trump Outlines Stance on Abortion, In Vitro Fertilization: Let the States Decide

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(Casey Harper, The Center Square) Former President Donald Trump laid out his stance on abortion and in vitro fertilization Monday after recent major court cases reshaped the landscape on both those issues.

In a video posted online, Trump expressed support for IVF and said abortion laws should be handled by the states.

“Under my leadership, the Republican party will always support the creation of strong, thriving and healthy American families,” Trump said.

“We want to make it easier for mothers and families to have babies, not harder,” he added. “That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every state in America.”

Trump’s support comes after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in February that embryos should be treated as children, creating major questions about the future and legality of IVF.

IVF usually works by creating embryos outside the womb and then implanting them within the womb.

Often, because of the failure rate of those implantations, those seeking IVF treatment will create many more embryos than they expect to have as children. Later, if a couple decides to stop trying to have children, the remaining embryos are either donated or destroyed, but destroying them could have been illegal under the new ruling.

In response, Alabama lawmakers passed a law in March providing criminal and civil immunity to IVF clinics that destroy or damage embryos.

“Today, I’m pleased that the Alabama legislature has acted very quickly and passed legislation that preserves the availability of IVF in Alabama,” Trump said. “The Republican party should always be on the side of the miracle of life and the side of mothers, fathers, their beautiful babies, and that’s what we are.”

Trump went on to say he has continued to receive questions about his stance on abortion since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, something he took credit for in the video. He said whatever states decide will be the final say.

“It must be remembered that the Democrats are the radicals on this one because they support abortion up to and even beyond the ninth month,” Trump said.

“The concept of having an abortion in the later months and even execution after birth, and that’s exactly what it is, the baby is born, and the baby is executed after birth, is unacceptable and almost everyone agrees with that,” he added.

Trump’s decision not to support efforts to enact a federal abortion ban led to backlash from one of its biggest proponents, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Following criticism from Graham, Trump pushed back, suggesting that the senator and his colleagues had bigger priorities to address, like border security.

“Senator Lindsey Graham should spend more time focusing on all of the many people being killed because of our now non-existent Border, and the millions of people dying in senseless, never-ending Wars that he constantly favors and promotes,” Trump said in the searing rebuke to his off-again, on-again ally.

A congressional abortion ban would be unlikely to pass in a narrowly split House and Senate even if the issue had not proven to be a political poison pill for the GOP, helping to mobilize many suburban women to become single-issue voters at the ballot box.

Critics contend that not only would it be easy for the next Democrat majority to undo—making the debate over abortion a never-ending seesaw—but it also would be at odds with Trump’s general effort to scale down federal government overreach.

The Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health determined that the earlier Roe court, in 1974, had exceeded its authority in inventing a new constitutional right without going through Congress.

The announcement was a major strategic decision for Trump, as President Joe Biden and Democrats have repeatedly used the abortion issue to rally their base after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the nationwide abortion legalization allowed Roe and sent the issue back to the states.

“Like Ronald Reagan, I am strongly in favor of exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother,” he added.

Abortion has been a significant electoral issue for decades, but the overturning of Roe v. Wade significantly increased its importance. Under the Supreme Court’s ruling, states can decide their own abortion laws.

During his State of the Union Address, Biden made a point of this and claimed he would rally women to his side in November on this issue.

“Clearly those bragging about overturning Roe v. Wade have no clue about the power of women. But they found out,” Biden said in his State of the Union remarks.

“When reproductive freedom was on the ballot, we won in 2022 and 2023, and we will win again in 2024,” he added. “If you—if you, the American people, send me a Congress that supports the right to choose, I promise you I will restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land again.”

Mollie Hemingway, editor of The Federalist, cautioned that Trump’s newly articulated stance may play right into the trap that Democrats are hoping to ensnare Republicans in.

“Leaving abortion ‘up to the states’ means Trump is giving Democrats and abortion giants a free pass to target Republican strongholds with deliberately deceptive ballot measures that promise uninhibited abortion through all nine months of pregnancy,” she noted.

Such a ballot referendum was recently approved in Trump’s home state of Florida. That could prove key to Democrat hopes of reclaiming the “Sunshine State,” which has gone increasingly red over the past several years under the leadership of Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.

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