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Trump: 'I was able to kill Roe v. Wade'

The former president and front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination leans into his key role in eliminating federal abortion rights, taking credit for state-level bans.
Donald Trump at a campaign event in Manchester, N.H., on April 27, 2023.
Donald Trump at a campaign event in Manchester, N.H., last month.Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump took credit Wednesday for the elimination of Roe v. Wade, embracing his role in selecting the Supreme Court justices who were instrumental in ending the half-century precedent that protected abortion rights nationwide.

“After 50 years of failure, with nobody coming even close, I was able to kill Roe v. Wade, much to the ‘shock’ of everyone,” Trump, the former president and front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination, said on his social media platform.

Trump said his actions have “put the Pro Life movement in a strong negotiating position” against proponents of abortion rights, giving himself credit for the various bans that are being advanced by conservatives across the country. More than a dozen states have enacted abortion limits since Roe was overturned last summer.

“Without me there would be no 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 15 weeks, or whatever is finally agreed to. Without me the pro Life movement would have just kept losing,” Trump added.

Trump's effort to lean into a key part of his record could be an asset to him in the Republican primary, but it may hurt him in the general election, given the backlash from the majority of Americans who support abortion rights, according to polls.

The former president was recently rebuked by the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America after his campaign said that the issue of abortion should be left to the states.

Trump has not said what types of abortion bans he would support at the federal level, but said at a recent CNN town hall, “I happen to believe in the exceptions, the life of the mother, rape, incest.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is seen as Trump’s main rival for the 2024 nomination, recently signed a six-week statewide abortion ban.

Trump campaigned in 2016 on eliminating Roe v. Wade, saying he would appoint “pro-life” judges who would overturn it. He made good on that promise by picking Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. All three were confirmed by a Republican-led Senate and, along with GOP appointees Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, made up the five-member Supreme Court majority that voted to overturn Roe.

The three Democratic-appointed justices dissented. Chief Justice John Roberts, a Republican appointee, disagreed with the decision to fully overturn Roe nationwide but did support a narrower ruling to uphold Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban at issue.

The Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision, issued last summer, empowers states to impose abortion restrictions and opens the door for Congress to prohibit abortion federally, even in states that want it to be legal.

The Democratic National Committee reacted quickly to Trump’s comments on Wednesday.

“Donald Trump is on a mission to make sure everyone remembers he is responsible for the most extreme abortion bans in the country,” DNC Chair Jaime Harrison said in a statement. “Trump’s record speaks for itself: He is an anti-choice extremist who is hellbent on ripping away a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.”