Trump Repeats His Same Old Abortion Lies During Debate

Abortion came up early in CNN’s presidential debate Thursday night, with Donald Trump repeating his head-scratching claim that “everybody” wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The subject arose when debate moderators Dana Bash and Jake Tapper asked the former president whether he would block access to medication abortion, something the U.S. Supreme Court just voted to protect. Trump responded that he respects the court’s decision but quickly pivoted to what’s become his go-to claim.

“Everybody, without exception ― Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives ― everybody wanted it,” Trump said of the court overturning the landmark abortion rights ruling two years ago, allowing states to enact severe restrictions on the procedure.

“Every legal scholar throughout the world, the most respected, wanted it brought back to the states,” Trump insisted. That is false.

It’s become clear over the past two years that abortion is a losing issue for Republicans, making it a difficult topic for Trump to navigate. In May, he insisted that abortion rights is “not that big of an issue” and that it “should be largely taken off the table because the individual states are doing what they’re doing.”

In reality, polling shows that 1 in 6 women of reproductive age say abortion is the single most important issue to their vote this year, and about half of women believe this year’s elections will have a “major impact” on abortion access. About half of all voters say abortion is a “very important issue.”

Facing pressure to clarify his position on what types of abortion crackdowns he’d support, Trump made vague remarks in April that people should “do what’s right for our country.” He offered a slightly clearer stance days later, saying he wouldn’t sign a national abortion ban if elected. But he said nothing about the possibility of a backdoor plan to ban the distribution of abortion pills by mail.

Trump and Biden also got into a heated exchange about limits on abortion rights after a certain number of weeks of pregnancy.

“The idea that the Founders wanted politicians to be the ones making decisions about that is ridiculous,” Biden said of abortion restrictions. “A doctor should be making those decisions.”

Trump fired back: “So that means he can take the life of the baby in the ninth month and even after birth. … He’s willing to rip the baby out of the womb and kill the baby.”

Abortions late in pregnancy are extremely rare. It’s illegal in every state to kill a baby after it’s born.

“That is simply not true. Roe v. Wade does not provide for that,” Biden said, adding that Democrats are “not for late-term abortion.”

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