Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Schnecksville Fire Hall in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Saturday, April 13, 2024. (Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

(WASHINGTON) — Former President Donald Trump maintained in a new interview that he’d leave it up to individual states whether or not they want to monitor women’s pregnancies to determine if someone gets an abortion after their state’s legal ban and then prosecute them.

Asked whether he’s comfortable with states prosecuting women who have abortions after the legal limit, which now varies widely by state, Trump told Time magazine: “It’s irrelevant whether I’m comfortable or not. It’s totally irrelevant, because the states are going to make those decisions.”

Time also asked, “Do you think states should monitor women’s pregnancies so they can know if they’ve gotten an abortion after the ban?”

“I think they might do that. … You’ll have to speak to the individual states,” Trump responded.

When previously asked if doctors should be punished for performing abortions, Trump had said it was a “state’s rights issue.”

Trump also repeatedly dodged a question from Time about whether he’d vote for an abortion referendum in Florida in November that would overturn the state’s six-week abortion ban — even as he doubled down on his previous comment that he believes that time frame is “too severe.”

“I don’t tell you what I’m gonna vote for,” he said. “I only tell you the state’s gonna make a determination.”

As his general election fight against President Joe Biden heats up, Trump is now seeking to stake out a seemingly more cautious stance on abortion.

He said in early April that, with the reversal of Roe v. Wade’s nationwide abortion access protections, the issue should be left to individual states as long as they include exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the pregnant woman.

However, he has repeatedly touted his role in ending Roe by naming three of the U.S. Supreme Court justices who overruled it in 2022.

He has also called out some abortion policies he disagrees with, including saying a Civil War-era ban in Arizona, which was recently ruled to be enforceable, goes too far.

The rival Biden campaign, and the president himself, have seized on Trump’s role in overruling Roe and in abortion bans across the country. Trump’s shift in rhetoric has also drawn some criticism from abortion opponents who contend he’s being “inconsistent.”

“It shouldn’t matter where in America you live,” Biden said in a speech last week. “This isn’t about states’ rights, this is about women’s rights.”

Biden’s campaign manager slammed Trump’s comments to Time on Tuesday, saying in a statement, “Simply put: November’s election will determine whether women in the United States have reproductive freedom, or whether Trump’s new government will continue its assault to control women’s health care decisions.”

Throughout his new interview with Time, Trump also laid out his agenda for a potential second term, including on immigration, tariffs and more.

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