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Trump Indicates He Would Allow States to Rule on Birth Control Regulations

During Trump’s tenure as president, his administration sought to limit some access to birth control programs.

Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump returns to the courtroom in his criminal trial in New York City on May 20, 2024.

On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump indicated that he is open to allowing states to make their own decisions on the reproductive right to contraception, which has been federally protected by case law for several decades.

Later, when Trump was called out for his statement, he lashed out, falsely claiming that what he said was misinterpreted and a lie “fabricated” by Democrats.

During an interview with a CBS affiliate station in Pittsburgh, Trump was asked whether he supported restrictions on birth control. His initial response was vague, but suggested an openness to allowing states to decide whether the reproductive right should be recognized in their jurisdictions, echoing recent statements he made on abortion rights.

“We’re looking at that, and I’m going to have a policy on that very shortly, and I think it’s something that you’ll find interesting,” Trump said. “I think it’s a smart decision. But we’ll be releasing it very soon.”

When the interview host pressed further, inquiring whether he would back bans on certain forms of birth control (including emergency contraception), Trump said he would release a plan “within a week or so,” adding that the issue could potentially be a “states’ rights” one.

“Things really do have a lot to do with the states, and some states are going to have different policy than others,” he said.

Moments after news of the interview went viral on social media, the Biden campaign pounced on Trump’s words.

“It’s not enough for Trump that women’s lives are being put at risk, doctors are being threatened with jail time, and extreme bans are being enacted with no exceptions for rape or incest. He wants to rip away our freedom to access birth control too,” campaign spokesperson Sarafina Chitika said in a statement.

On Trump’s Truth Social website, he angrily responded to reports that he was promoting restrictions on birth control.

“I HAVE NEVER, AND WILL NEVER ADVOCATE IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON BIRTH CONTROL, or other contraceptives,” Trump said, describing such claims as a “Democrat [sic] fabricated lie” and misinformation.

Trump’s most recent comments don’t rule out that he might back a states’ rights policy on birth control regulations if he wins the election, especially given his past actions to limit contraception access while in the White House. His administration, for example, sought to limit Title X — a federal policy that provides low-income families with access to family planning services — by preferentially funding programs that promote abstinence over those that fund birth control.

Access to birth control is currently protected at the federal level by a number of Supreme Court precedents, including Griswold v. Connecticut, which recognizes a federal right for married couples to seek out contraception, and Eisenstadt v. Baird, which expands that right to non-married individuals. But in the wake of the Court overturning Roe v. Wade in 2022, some states have sought to regulate and outright ban certain kinds of birth control, including emergency contraception.

Arguably, these states were emboldened by the Court’s dismantling of Roe, which was only made possible through Trump’s appointment of three conservative justices during his tenure, a point he regularly brags about when campaigning to his far right base.

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