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Trump vows he'll have a 'statement' on abortion 'next week'

The former president addressed a question from NBC News about whether he supports Florida's six-week abortion ban.
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Former President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that his campaign will address the issue of abortion next week, just after a Florida court paved the way for a six-week ban on the procedure. 

At a campaign rally here, Trump addressed a question from NBC News: “Do you support the six-week abortion ban the Florida Supreme Court just upheld?”

Amid boos from the crowd at the question, Trump, a Florida resident, responded as he shook hands with others on the stage, “We will be making a statement next week on abortion.

President Joe Biden and his campaign were quick with a dig at Trump.

Image: FFormer President Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event Tuesday in Grand Rapids, Mich.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

"You already made your statement, Donald," Biden tweeted, attaching a past post by Trump with certain words circled in red: "I was able to kill Roe v. Wade."

Biden campaign spokesperson Sarafina Chitika said in a statement: “Donald Trump said that women should be punished for having an abortion, is running on a national ban, and supports cruel state bans like Florida’s. Trump is ‘proud’ he overturned Roe v. Wade, and he is responsible for every extreme abortion ban, every attack on contraception, and every cruel, dangerous restriction placed on women because of it.”

Florida's Supreme Court allowed for the six-week ban, making it one of the most restrictive laws in the nation. 

Abortion is among the thorniest of issues for Trump’s candidacy. While he is quick to remind conservatives that he appointed three Supreme Court justices who helped form the majority that overturned abortion protections in 2022, he has so far steered clear of saying what should come next.

Some in his party are angling for a national abortion ban, and Trump himself has said he was mulling a national ban at 15 or 16 weeks. In an interview last month with Sid Rosenberg on WABC radio of New York, Trump floated 15 weeks. 

“The number of weeks now, people are agreeing on 15, and I’m thinking in terms of that, and it’ll come out to something that’s very reasonable,” he said. “But people are really — even hard-liners are agreeing — seems to be 15 weeks, seems to be a number that people are agreeing at.”

The Trump campaign didn’t clarify details about what, if anything, will be coming “next week.” During his presidency, Trump would often promise that he would be making big announcements in “two weeks” — even though they often took much longer.

Trump's comments — in which he seems to back a standard for abortion restrictions — appear to be at odds with a statement issued Tuesday by his campaign, in which senior adviser Brian Hughes said Trump "supports preserving life but has also made clear that he supports states’ rights because he supports the voters’ right to make decisions for themselves."

Asked in March by NBC News whether there were plans to release a concrete proposal around supporting a federal abortion ban, Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt was vague.

“As President Trump has repeatedly stated, he will sit down with both sides and negotiate a deal that everyone will be happy with," she said. "In his first term, 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.” 

Trump has openly opined about how politically fraught the abortion issue has been for his party, calling on other Republicans to “learn how to talk” about abortion.

“This issue cost us unnecessarily, but dearly, in the Midterms,” he said in September on Truth Social. 

In an NBC News poll in January, 44% of registered voters said they thought Biden would handle abortion better than Trump, with 32% saying the reverse. 

Trump's backing of a federal abortion ban could be troubling for swing-state Republicans down ballot who have attempted to moderate their positions on an issue that’s popular among the electorate. 

It’s a potent issue that Democrats are seizing on in battleground states and nationally. Biden’s campaign released an ad Tuesday noting Trump’s past boasts of having a hand in overturning Roe v. Wade. 

“Donald Trump doesn’t trust women,” Biden says in the ad. “I do.” 

Natasha Korecki reported from Chicago, and Gabe Gutierrez reported from Grand Rapids.