Former President Trump attacked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his abortion stance on Monday, suggesting in an interview that Florida’s six-week ban was “too harsh.”
Trump made the statement in a wide-ranging interview with The Messenger published on Monday. Trump refused to elaborate on his own stance regarding abortion, however, instead claiming to have heard that pro-life voters opposed DeSantis’ bill.
“He has to do what he has to do,” Trump said when asked about Florida’s six-week ban. “If you look at what DeSantis did, a lot of people don’t even know if he knew what he was doing. But he signed six weeks, and many people within the pro-life movement feel that that was too harsh.”
When asked about whether he would support a six-week ban, Trump replied, “I’m looking at all options.”
Former President Trump criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing a six-week ban on abortion in Florida. Trump claimed that many pro-life groups opposed such a ban. (Getty Images)
Trump also confirmed in the interview that he supported exceptions in abortion legislation for “the life of the mother, raping and incest.”
“Just as Ronald Reagan was a believer in the exceptions, but I’m a believer in the exceptions,” he added.
DeSantis’ abortion bill, signed in mid-April, bans most abortions beyond six weeks but includes exceptions for rape and incest. Existing state exceptions for the life of the mother also remain in place.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Heartbeat Protection Act into law in mid-April alongside a large crowd of pro-life activists. The legislation bans most abortions after six weeks and includes exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. (Twitter/Ron DeSantis)
Rather than get specific on his abortion stance, Trump went on to tout his role in overturning Roe v. Wade, saying he was the only president who could have done so.
“For 50 years, they’ve been trying to get rid of Roe v Wade. I was able to do it. Nobody else could have done that but me. And I was able to do it [by nominating] three excellent judges on the Justices of the Supreme Court. And I was able to do that,” he said.
“I’m looking at all alternatives. I’m looking at many alternatives,” Trump added when asked if six weeks was too harsh. “But I was able to get us to the table by terminating Roe v. Wade. That’s the most important thing that’s ever happened for the pro-life movement.”
Former President Trump declined to get specific when asked about his stance on abortion on Monday. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)
It is unclear who Trump was referring to when he stated that “many people within the pro-life movement” opposed DeSantis’ bill.
Students For Life President Kristan Hawkins thanked the Florida governor after he signed the legislation in April, saying, “Florida will no longer be the fifth highest abortion state in the nation thanks to the Heartbeat Protection Act. Thank you @GovRonDeSantis for having the courage to do the right thing. You are setting the standard for GOP and they should follow your lead.”
Conservative legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom also celebrated the signing.
“By enacting the Heartbeat Protection Act, Florida is continuing its work to protect the health of pregnant mothers, the dignity of the unborn, and the integrity of the medical profession. We commend @GovRonDeSantis for taking a stand to preserve life,” the organization said.
The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, allowing states to regulate abortion access. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Pro-life activist Abby Johnson claimed DeSantis signing the bill is “one step closer to protecting children from the moment of conception just like they deserve.”
Live Action founder and pro-life activist Lila Rose also praised DeSantis’ move at the time. She tweeted, “BREAKING: @RonDeSantisFL has signed a bill protecting most preborn children 6 weeks gestational age and older from the violence of abortion! This is a big win for Florida and the nation. The next step is completely ending abortion and protecting all of Florida’s children.”