Former President Donald Trump says each state should follow “the will of the people” and pass state-specific laws on abortion.   

“My view is now that we have abortion where everybody wanted it from a legal standpoint, the states will determine by vote or legislation, or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land, in this case, the law of the state,” Trump said in a video posted Monday morning on Truth Social.  

Trump’s position on abortion has previously been unclear looking toward the 2024 presidential election, despite the fact that the former president appointed three Supreme Court justices who ultimately made it possible to overturn Roe v. Wade in June 2022 by a majority vote.  

“I want to thank the six justices: Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Neil Gorsuch,” Trump said. He called them “incredible people, for having the courage to allow this long-term, hard-fought battle to finally end.”

Trump appointed Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett.

“This 50-year battle over Roe v. Wade took it out of the federal hands and brought it into the hearts, minds, and vote of the people at each state,” Trump added. “Now it’s up to the states to do the right thing.” 

Further clarifying his view on abortion, he said he supports “exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.”

“You must follow your heart on this issue, but remember, you must also win elections to restore our culture and in fact to save our country, which is currently and very sadly a nation in decline,” he added.

“We are deeply disappointed in President Trump’s position,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said in a statement Monday morning.  

“Unborn children and their mothers deserve national protections and national advocacy from the brutality of the abortion industry. The Dobbs decision clearly allows both states and Congress to act,” Dannenfelser said, referring to the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, ultimately used by the high to overturn Roe v. Wade.  

“Saying the issue is ‘back to the states’ cedes the national debate to the Democrats who are working relentlessly to enact legislation mandating abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy,” Dannenfelser said. “If successful, they will wipe out states’ rights.”

Trump criticized Democrats’ abortion positions in his remarks, saying: “Democrats are the radical ones in this position, because they support abortion up to and even beyond the ninth month. 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, the baby is executed after birth—is unacceptable, and almost everyone agrees with that.” 

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life Action, praised Trump for “celebrating ‘the ultimate joy in life’—children and family” in his comments.

“That kind of love and support for the bedrock of society, the family, will be a welcome change in the White House,” Hawkins said. However, she added, “We clearly have some work to do to educate the Trump administration to come on the many ways that abortion has been made federal.”  

CatholicVote President Brian Burch also responded to Trump’s abortion video, arguing that the “federal government cannot abandon women and children exploited by abortion. Leaving abortion policy to the states is not sufficient.”

“President Trump’s latest statement also reflects the electoral minefield created by Democrat abortion fanaticism,” Burch said. “The fact remains that pro-life voters need to win elections to protect mothers and children. Further, Democrats are now preparing a billion-dollar election-year barrage with radical abortion as its centerpiece. While Trump did not commit to any specific pro-life policies, he notably will not stand in the way of states that have acted to protect innocent children from the violent abortion industry.” 

Trump began the video, which runs 4 minutes and 23 seconds, by expressing his support for the family and the creation of families through in vitro fertilization, or IVF.  

“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. That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every state in America.” 

“Like the overwhelming majority of Americans, including the vast majority of Republicans, conservatives, Christians, and pro-life Americans, I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby,” the former president said.