In his first major interview after winning the presidency, President-elect Donald Trump hinted at what the future of abortion could look like in America. In a wide-ranging interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes, Trump reaffirmed his stance as “pro-life” and said that he would seek to appoint a Supreme Court justice who shares his views.
“Here’s what’s going to happen,” Trump told CBS’s Leslie Stahl. “I’m going to — I’m pro-life. The judges will be pro-life.” He said that if the landmark case Roe v. Wade were overturned, abortion would become an issue decided on a state-by-state basis. “Having to do with abortion — if it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states,” he said. “So it would go back to the states.” Women might still be able to get an abortion, he added, but “they’ll perhaps have to go, they’ll have to go to another state.” When Stahl asked Trump if it would be “okay” for women to travel to other states for the procedure, Trump said, “We’ll see what happens.” He added, “It’s got a long way to go, just so you understand.”
Trump will be tasked with appointing another justice to fill the seat held by former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, who died unexpectedly in February. Republicans refused to hold hearings on President Barack Obama’s replacement nominee to the court, Merrick Garland. Trump’s appointment to the court would restore the 5-4 conservative-to-liberal tilt of the high court. That could change, however, depending on the future plans of the most elderly judges on the Supreme Court. Three of the judges are currently more than 78 years old (Scalia died at 79). At 83, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the oldest presiding judge on the court, followed by Justice Anthony Kennedy, at 80, and Stephen Breyer, at 78.
While campaigning this year, Trump also had harsh words regarding a woman’s right to choose. In March, he was widely quoted as saying women who got an abortion should face “some form of punishment,” but he then reversed his stance amid criticism and said Congress should decide. The future of women’s reproductive rights also looks bleak, considering Trump’s transition team includes congresswoman Masha Blackburn. Blackburn is a fierce and vocal critic of Planned Parenthood and she is infamous for her “witch hunt” against the organization. Things aren’t looking good for pro-choice advocates.