President Donald Trump said in an interview published Saturday that there could one day be a “vote” on whether abortion would remain legal in the United States, while falsely claiming that the issue was a “50/50 question in this country.”
Trump was speaking during his trip to the United Kingdom, just days after nominating conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the retiring Anthony Kennedy. The pick reignited the contentious debate over abortion, given that Trump promised during his campaign to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling legalizing abortion, Roe v. Wade.
Speaking to friend Piers Morgan in a Daily Mail interview that took place aboard Air Force One, Trump opted not to restate his personal views on abortion.
“Well, look, I’m a conservative as you know,” he said. “I have my views, but I’ve been told it’s truly best not to talk about it. That’s a little bit of an interesting stance but that’s the right thing to do, now.”
But when pressed on the concern felt by women at the prospect of Roe v. Wade being overturned, Trump suggested that its future lay in the balance.
“I do understand, but I also understand that you know, that’s a 50/50 question in this country,” he said. “I think [Kavanaugh] is going to be confirmed and someday in the distant future there could be a vote. There’s also a very good chance there won’t be a vote. We’ll have to see what happens. A case has to get up there. It could be a long time before a case ever gets up there.”
It appears that Trump was using the word “vote” to refer to a ruling by the Supreme Court. His comment about the country being slip on abortion is false, however.
A Gallup poll released Thursday indicated that 64 percent of Americans wanted Roe v. Wade to remain in place, with just 28 percent wanting to see it overturned.
Kavanaugh’s nomination has sparked a fierce response from many Democrats.
“The ramifications of this battle will last a generation or more,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “I’m going to fight this nomination with everything I’ve got.”