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Trump signals support for 15-week abortion ban

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump listens to a question from a reporter after voting in the Florida primary election in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump listens to a question from a reporter after voting in the Florida primary election in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday.

NEW YORK >> Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that he’d support a national ban on abortions around 15 weeks of pregnancy, voicing for the first time support for a specific limit on the procedure.

The Republican former president has taken credit for striking down a federally guaranteed right to abortion by appointing three U.S. Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. As he seeks the White House a third time, Trump has refrained from embracing any specific limit on the procedure, warning it could backfire politically and instead suggesting he would “negotiate” a policy on abortion that would include exceptions for cases of rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother.

But in a radio interview Tuesday, Trump criticized Democrats for not endorsing a ban that would limit abortions in states that still allow the procedure.

“We’re going to come up with a time — and maybe we could bring the country together on that issue,” Trump said while calling into the “Sid & Friends in the Morning” show on WABC.

Trump went on to say: “The number of weeks now, people are agreeing on 15. And I’m thinking in terms of that. And it’ll come out to something that’s very reasonable. But people are really, even hard-liners are agreeing, seems to be, 15 weeks seems to be a number that people are agreeing at.”

At the same time, Trump seemed to suggest reluctance to a federal ban.

“Everybody agrees — you’ve heard this for years — all the legal scholars on both sides agree: It’s a state issue. It shouldn’t be a federal issue, it’s a state issue,” he said.

Last month, Trump’s campaign dismissed reports that he privately had expressed for a ban on abortion after 16 weeks of pregnancy, calling the report “fake news.” The campaign did not offer details on Trump’s plans, only saying he planned to “negotiate a deal” on abortion.

Later Tuesday, after casting his ballot in Florida’s Republican presidential primary, Trump was asked by a reporter about a ban on abortions at 16 weeks and said, “We’ll be talking about that soon.”

Abortion rights have been a galvanizing issue for voters in recent years, and Democrats and President Joe Biden’s campaign are preparing to spotlight the issue as a clear split from Trump in the 2024 election.

Polling has consistently shown that most Americans believe abortion should be legal through the initial stages of pregnancy. About half of U.S. adults said abortions should be permitted at the 15-week mark, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll conducted last June.

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