Trump: ‘Very Important’ Supreme Court Nominee Will Overturn Roe v. Wade, Let States Control Abortion

By Dustin Siggins Published on November 14, 2016

In a wide-ranging interview with 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday night, President-elect Donald Trump reiterated his vow to nominate a Supreme Court justice who will vote to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

“I’m pro-life. The judges will be pro-life,” said Trump, adding that if Roe v. Wade “ever were overturned, it would go back to the states.” Pressed by reporter Lesley Stahl on the consequences of abortion legalization being left up to the individual states, Trump said that women who want abortions will “have to go to another state” if the one in which they live bans the procedure.

During the campaign, Trump promised to sign a late-term abortion ban, vowed to defund Planned Parenthood as long as it conducts abortions, and to make permanent an annually-approved budget rider that bans federal funding for most abortions. While Trump’s positions are being widely hailed by pro-life groups, Trump’s answer also suggests that he would not try to make abortion widely illegal outright.

As for the High Court itself, Trump has promised to make nominating a replacement for deceased Justice Antonin Scalia a top priority once in office. This promise and others on abortion and religious liberty helped drive faith-based voters to back Trump. ABC News reports that 57 percent of voters who considered the Court their number one issue backed Trump, compared to 40 percent for Clinton. Exit polls showed that over one-fifth of voters said the Court was their most important issue.

The full exchange between Trump and Stahl on abortion and the Court is below:

Lesley Stahl: One of the things you’re going to obviously get an opportunity to do, is name someone to the Supreme Court. And I assume you’ll do that quickly?

Donald Trump: Yes. Very important.

Lesley Stahl: During the campaign, you said that you would appoint justices who were against abortion rights. Will you appoint– are you looking to appoint a justice who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade?

Donald Trump: So look, here’s what’s going to happen– I’m going to– I’m pro-life. The judges will be pro-life. They’ll be very—

Lesley Stahl: But what about overturning this law–

Donald Trump: Well, there are a couple of things. They’ll be pro-life, they’ll be– in terms of the whole gun situation, we know the Second Amendment and everybody’s talking about the Second Amendment and they’re trying to dice it up and change it, they’re going to be very pro-Second Amendment. But having to do with abortion if it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states. So it would go back to the states and–

 Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but then some women won’t be able to get an abortion?

 Donald Trump: No, it’ll go back to the states.

Lesley Stahl: By state—no some —

 Donald Trump: Yeah.

 Donald Trump: Yeah, well, they’ll perhaps have to go, they’ll have to go to another state.

 Lesley Stahl: And that’s OK?

Donald Trump: Well, we’ll see what happens. It’s got a long way to go, just so you understand. That has a long, long way to go.

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