Trump ‘privately favours 16-week national abortion ban’

Ex-president unwilling to air views publicly before clinching nomination to avoid alienating conservatives, according to New York Times

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has privately expressed support for a 16-week national abortion ban, with exceptions in cases of rape, incest or risk to a mother’s life, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing two sources.

The Trump campaign issued a statement in response to what it called a “fake” article. “As president Trump has stated, he would sit down with both sides and negotiate a deal that everyone will be happy with,” the statement said, without providing any detail on what such a “deal” would look like.

The New York Times reported that Mr Trump did not want to air his views publicly yet to avoid turning off conservatives before he formally clinched the Republican presidential nomination.

Mr Trump is expected to win the nomination, but his only remaining rival, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, has refused to drop out.


The former president has taken credit for appointing three conservative US supreme court justices who helped overturn Roe v Wade, which recognised a woman’s constitutional right to abortion, in 2022. Mr Trump’s picks shifted a court that had been ideologically deadlocked with four liberals and four conservatives to a solid conservative majority.

But he has also blamed the abortion issue for Republican electoral losses since the ruling and has remained vague publicly on his stance.

President Joe Biden, whom Trump will likely face in the November presidential election, is putting abortion rights front and centre in 2024, arguing that abortion access is a personal freedom that Mr Trump and Republicans are denying women.

Anti-abortion advocates, with the backing of Christian evangelical groups, argue that stricter limits are needed at the state and national level.

Republicans have issued restrictive abortion laws in nearly two dozen states since the supreme court reversal of abortion rights. — Reuters