Donald Trump says if he’s elected president, he will appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices who will overturn the Roe v. Wade abortion decision.
At the final presidential debate on Wednesday night, moderator Chris Wallace asked the GOP nominee if he wants the Supreme Court to overturn the landmark 1973 decision.
“I am pro-life and I will be appointing pro-life judges,” Trump said, adding that it would then be up to individual states to decide whether abortion should remain legal.
When pressed to say whether he personally wants to see the decision overturned, Trump evaded the question and replied, “If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that will happen. And that will happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court.”
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was offered the chance to respond, and vowed to strongly defend Planned Parenthood and Roe v. Wade.
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Trump then condemned late-term abortion and described it in graphic, erroneous terms: “In the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”
“You can say that’s okay and Hillary can say that’s okay. But it’s not okay with me,” he said.
Clinton shook her head and took issue with his characterization of the controversial, last-resort medical procedure.
“Well, that is not what happens in these cases and using that kind of scare rhetoric is terribly unfortunate,” she said.
“This is one of the worst possible choices that any women and her family has to make and I don’t believe the government should be making it … The government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families, in accordance with their faith, with medical advice,” Clinton continued. “And I will stand up for that right.”
Clinton also reminded voters that Trump previously “said women should be punished; that there should be some form of punishment for women who obtain abortions. And I could just not be more opposed to that kind of thinking.”
Trump faced bipartisan backlash in March when he suggested that women should be punished for having abortions if the procedure was banned.
He later attempted to walk those comments back, saying in a statement at the time: “If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed — like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.”