Trump refuses to answer key abortion questions in new interview

NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump refused to answer key questions about abortion in a major new interview published Tuesday, including whether pregnant women should be monitored during pregnancies, if the abortion pill should be banned and how he will vote on Florida’s crucial abortion-rights referendum.

Seeking to walk a political tightrope, Trump told Time Magazine's Eric Cortellessa that he wouldn’t intervene even if hardline anti-abortion state officials prosecute women for ending their own pregnancies.

“The states are going to make that decision,” Trump said. “The states are going to have to be comfortable or uncomfortable, not me.”

He also shrugged off the possibility that Republican-run states might monitor pregnant women’s health to assess compliance with harsh abortion bans.

“I think they might do that,” Trump said. “Again, you’ll have to speak to the individual states.”

The interview marks Trump’s latest effort to defuse the political danger from the lightning-rod issue of abortion.

Democrats have enjoyed a major advantage on the abortion issue for two years since the conservative-dominated Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.

With his campaign against President Joe Biden heating up, Trump has sought to pass the buck on abortion to the states while boasting of his role in appointing the three Supreme Court judges who rolled back Roe.

At the same time, Trump has said he doesn’t back a nationwide ban on abortion, sparking some criticism from his conservative base of abortion opponents.

One of next big milestones in the abortion fight could come in the summer when the Supreme Court rule on a proposed ban on abortion medication, the most commonly used method of ending pregnancies in the U.S.

Trump admitted that he has an opinion about whether the abortion pill should remain legal as it has been for decades, but has refused to say what that opinion is, only saying he would reveal a position in the next two weeks.

“I have an opinion on that, but I’m not going to explain. I’m not gonna say it yet,” he said, without elaborating.

He similarly dodged a simple question on how he will vote on an abortion-rights constitutional amendment that will be on the November ballot in his home state of Florida.

The measure, which needs a 60% majority to pass, would overturn the state’s newly enacted draconian ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, an edict Trump has derided as too strict.

“I don’t tell you what I’m gonna vote for,” he said.