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Trump says Arizona's abortion ban goes too far

Florida Sen. Rick Scott softens position after Florida Supreme Court ruling
Trump says Arizona's abortion ban goes too far
Posted at 1:41 PM, Apr 10, 2024

Donald Trump said Wednesday that an Arizona law that criminalizes nearly all abortions goes too far and the former president called on Arizona lawmakers to change it, while also defending the overturning of Roe v. Wade that cleared states to ban the procedure.

Also, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida is joining other Republican incumbents scrambling to strike a balance in their abortion rights messaging. He says he opposes his state's ballot initiative that would protect abortions until viability in the state's law, but he agrees with Trump's stance on leaving abortion laws up to individual states.

The former president told supporters and journalists after landing in Atlanta for a fundraiser: "It'll be straightened out and as you know, it's all about states' right. It'll be straightened out, and I'm sure that the governor and everybody else are going to bring it back into reason and that'll be taken care of, I think, very quickly."

Trump faces political pressure on abortion rights, which Democrats hope will be a defining issue in November's election, after issuing a video statement this week declining to endorse a national abortion ban and saying he believes limits should be left to the states. His earlier statement angered religious conservatives and energized allies of President Joe Biden who see abortion rights as one of Trump's weaknesses.

The Arizona Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday cleared the way for the enforcement of an 1864 law that bans abortion at all stages of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Trump maintains he is proud that the three Supreme Court justices he nominated voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, saying states will have different restrictions. He supports three exceptions in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk.

He also spoke about a Florida law that bans abortions after six weeks, saying that "is probably maybe going to change also."

"For 52 years, people have wanted to end Roe v. Wade, to get it back to the states. We did that. It was an incredible thing, an incredible achievement," he said. "Now the states have it, and the states are putting out what they want. It’s the will of the people. So Florida is probably going to change."

Trump ignored questions about how he plans to vote himself on Florida’s pending state constitutional amendment that would enshrine abortion access as a right of his home state's residents. He did not elaborate on what he thinks the level of restrictions and access should be in Arizona or any other state.

Gov. Rick Scott worth nearly $150 million

Gov. Rick Scott

Scott joined the ranks of Republican incumbents scrambling to strike a balance on reproductive rights, saying he opposes a November ballot initiative to strike down his state's six-week abortion ban but thinks Congress should leave those decisions to the states.

Scott, who is seeking reelection this fall, was one of multiple senators who followed Trump's lead in softening GOP messaging on abortion.

Democrats, buoyed by a series of wins in state ballot initiatives and other contests since then, have made it clear that they hope to put the issue front and center this November.

After the Florida Supreme Court approved the abortion amendment for November's ballot, Scott said in a statement that he believes in "reasonable limits placed on abortion" and is focused on ensuring that in vitro fertilization treatments are protected and adoptions are more affordable.

"We all know that life is the greatest gift we have ever received, we want to welcome every unborn baby into life, and we prefer adoption over abortion," Scott said.

Scott is softening his messaging amid roiling politics on abortion across the country.

Scott has been flagged by national Democrats as a prime target this year in their efforts to preserve a narrow majority in the Senate, though Democrats are defending more seats than Republicans. The stakes are especially high for Scott, who said last month that he is "seriously considering" running for Senate leadership. In 2022, he ran against U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell to be the Senate’s top Republican but lost with a 37-10 vote.

McConnell recently announced his intention to step down from Senate leadership later this year.

SEE MORE: Trump says abortion rights should be left to states


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