Former President Donald Trump called “heartbeat” abortion laws that ban the procedure after the sixth week of pregnancy “a mistake” during an interview broadcast Sunday.
During an interview with Kristen Welker on NBC News’s “Meet The Press,” Trump specifically addressed the bill signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, describing it as “a terrible thing and a terrible mistake.”
Welker sought clarity about Trump’s stance on abortion, asking if he would sign federal legislation banning abortion at 15 weeks if it crossed his desk in the Oval Office.
“No, no, let me tell you what I’d do: I’m going to come together with all groups, and we’re going to have something that’s acceptable,” he responded. “Right now, to my thinking, the Democrats are the radicals.”
Trump emphasized his desire to reach consensus on the issue.
“What’s going to happen is you’re going to come up with a number of weeks or months, you’re going to come up with a number that’s going to make people happy,” Trump said, adding, most Democrats “don’t want to see abortion after a certain period of time.”
When pressed again about a potential 15-week abortion ban, Trump mentioned that 15 weeks is a duration that many are currently discussing.
“I would sit down with both sides and I’d negotiate something, and we’ll end up with peace on that issue for the first time in 52 years,” Trump said.
When asked about whether such legislation would be federal or state-level, Trump remarked, “It could be state or it could be federal. I don’t, frankly, care.”
The conversation then shifted to DeSantis’ decision to sign the heartbeat law.
“I mean, DeSanctus is willing to sign a five-week and six-week ban,” Trump said, referring to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). “I think what he did is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake.”
Several Republican states have adopted heartbeat laws or even stricter regulations, according to a report from The Daily Wire.
Florida’s Supreme Court is currently reviewing challenges to the state’s 15-week abortion ban, the report noted. If the Court upholds this law, the new heartbeat law will be implemented 30 days later.
States that have enacted heartbeat laws include Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.