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  /  News   /  Abortion access proves divisive in Trump-Biden debate

Abortion access proves divisive in Trump-Biden debate

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(NewsNation) — Now more than ever, abortion policy is paramount to a candidate’s success. A June Gallup poll found that a record-high 32% of American voters would only cast a ballot for a candidate that shares their same stance on abortion.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump tackled the issue in the first presidential debate since Roe v. Wade was overturned, effectively removing the constitutional right to an abortion in the United States.

Roe v. Wade decision

Biden said the overturning of Roe v. Wade has “been a terrible thing” for America, adding that no politician should be making such decisions for a woman. He vowed to restore Roe v. Wade if reelected.

“We’re in a state where in six weeks, you don’t even know whether you’re pregnant or not, but you cannot see a doctor and have him decide on what your circumstances are, when you need help,” Biden said. “The idea that states are able to do this is a little like returning civil rights to the states.”

Trump jabs Biden: ‘I really don’t know what he said at the end of that sentence’

Trump called the aftermath of the SCOTUS decision a “complex, but not really complex,” claiming “everybody” wanted to give abortion control back to the states following Roe v. Wade.

“What I did, I put three great Supreme Court justices on the court, and they voted in favor of killing Roe v. Wade and moving it back to the states,” Trump said. “This is something that everyone wanted.”

“The fact is, the vast majority of counselors and scholars supported Roe when it was decided. This idea that they were all against it is just ridiculous,” Biden quipped in return.

Trump posts climate talking points online before debate with Biden

Trump also said he believes in exceptions for abortion, such as rape, incest and a mother’s safety: “Personally, I think it’s important to believe in the exceptions. You have to follow your heart.”

Abortion medication, mifepristone

“The Supreme Court just approved the abortion pill, and I agree with the decision to have done that. I will not block it,” Trump said.

Biden did not comment on mifepristone.

Late-term abortions

Trump accused Democrats of being “radical,” alleging that they advocate for abortions in the eighth and ninth month of pregnancy. He also accused Democratic states, includingVirginia, of taking a baby’s life after birth.

“That is simply not true. Roe v. Wade does not provide for that. That’s not the circumstance. Only if a woman is in danger and is going to die, that’s the only circumstance that could happen,” Biden said. “Not for late-term abortion. Period.”

Live: RFK Jr. supports sealing border, says he’s pro-choice in debate response

Biden blamed Trump’s appointees for the loss of codified abortion rights, saying “he takes credit for taking it away.”

Trump, Biden’s previous abortion stances

Previously, Trump has publicly shared a variety of viewpoints on abortion. In a May 2023 CNN town hall, the former president called the landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade “a great victory.”

Less than one year later, he said he was in favor of exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother on Truth Social. In that same post, he advocated for states to have full control over their abortion policies.

He also posted on Truth Social that he “strongly” supports fertility treatments and that he “has never and will never” advocate for restricting birth control and contraceptives.

During his presidency, Biden has continually shared support for abortion and contraceptive access, establishing the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access, signing an executive order that bolsters state compliance with federal laws and defending FDA approval of abortion medication.

The sitting president at the time of the Dobbs decision, Biden called the overturning of Roe v. Wade “extreme.”

Most recently, Biden pledged to continue the fight for reproductive care and contraception, claiming he will urge congress to restore the rights Roe v. Wade protected.