Donald Trump News: Controversy over comments about contraceptives

Former US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he was open to supporting contraception regulations and that his campaign would release a policy on the issue “very soon,” comments he later said were misinterpreted.

The comments, made during an interview with a Pittsburgh television station, suggested that a future Trump administration could consider imposing mandates or supporting state restrictions on decisions as personal as whether women can access birth control. During an interview with KDKA News, Trump was asked, “Do you support any restrictions on a person’s right to contraception?”

“We’re looking at that and I’m going to have a policy on that very soon,” Trump responded, according to a video of the interview that was briefly posted online before it aired and was later taken down.

The likely Republican presidential nominee was pressed in a follow-up question if that meant he might want to support some restrictions on contraception.

“Things really have a lot to do with the states, and some states are going to have different policies than others,” Trump responded, before repeating that he would release “a very comprehensive policy” on the issue.

Questions about contraceptive policy

Trump previously said he would release a policy on the use of abortion pills in a Time magazine interview published three weeks ago, although he has not yet done so. This is the first time Trump has suggested he would have a policy on contraception since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a national right to abortion two years ago, sparking political battles over aspects of reproductive rights, including contraception and fertilization. in vitro.

Later responding to media reports about his interview, Trump said on his social media platform Truth Social that he “has never and never will” advocate restricting birth control and other contraceptives. Still, the Biden campaign was quick to seize on the interview.

“Women across the country are already suffering from Donald Trump’s post-Roe nightmare, and if he wins a second term, it’s clear he wants to go even further by restricting access to contraception and emergency methods,” the spokeswoman said. Biden-Harris, Sarafina Chitika. in a sentence.

Advocates on both sides of the abortion debate have long pressed Trump on the crucial question of whether he would allow women to access the abortion pill mifepristone through the mail. He has yet to make clear his views on the Comstock Act, a 19th century law that has been revived by anti-abortion groups seeking to block the mailing of mifepristone and other abortion medications.

When asked during an April 12 interview with Time magazine his opinion on the Comstock Act and mail-in abortion pills, the former president promised to make a statement on the issue within the next 14 days, saying: “I am very convinced of it. In fact, I think it is a very important issue.”

During a follow-up interview on April 27, Trump said he would announce his stance “over the next week or two.” It’s been three weeks since the interviews were published on April 30 and more than five weeks since the GOP front-runner told the magazine that he would release a statement.

When asked by The Associated Press for an update on when the announcement would be made, campaign officials reiterated a statement reaffirming Trump’s strategy of ceding the abortion issue to individual states. They did not give an updated timeline for a policy statement on medical abortion.

“President Trump has long been consistent in supporting the rights of states to make decisions about abortion,” the statement said.

Biden campaign spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said Trump allies have already “outlined exactly how they plan to eliminate abortion access across the country with or without Congress.”

“We know the Trump playbook because we’ve seen it,” he said in a statement. “Trump overturned Roe, constantly brags about it, and is proud of the horrible reality in which women’s lives are at risk, doctors are threatened with jail terms, and IVF and access to birth control are under threat.” stroke”.

Defenders’ frustration

Trump has often resorted to the tactic of promising an announcement on a major policy stance in “two weeks” but failing to deliver, including on issues such as the minimum wage, tax policy and infrastructure.

Both abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion groups have expressed frustration over the delay.

“I imagine the events in New York City have been very distracting, but we’re on the lookout for an announcement,” said Kristi Hamrick, a spokeswoman for the anti-abortion group Students for Life, referring to the former president’s hush money trial.

Hamrick said the group has been talking to Trump’s team about what can be done to restrict abortion at the federal level.

Mini Timmaraju, president of the abortion rights group Reproductive Freedom for All, pointed to the GOP’s Project 2025 playbook, a plan to reshape the federal government in the event of a Republican presidential victory in 2024. The Comstock Act is not explicitly mentioned. in the plan, but calls for reversing the FDA’s approval of mifepristone and restricting “mail-in abortions.”

“Trump will say what he wants, but what really matters is what he did, and that is facilitate the end of the constitutional right to abortion and put in place state abortion bans,” she said.

At least 22 states require abortion medications to be delivered in person, either prohibiting mail delivery or requiring the medications to be taken in a doctor’s office, although such laws have been temporarily blocked from taking effect in Kentucky, Montana and Ohio in the midst of legal battles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Associated Press writers Jill Colvin and Michelle L. Price in New York contributed to this report.

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