Here's where the 2024 presidential candidates stand on abortion

Abortion is one of the most discussed issues among 2024 presidential candidates.

October 4, 2023, 1:38 PM

Reproductive rights are among the most discussed issues in the 2024 presidential election.

When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in 2022, ending the constitutional guarantee for abortion access, the court left it up to individual states to decide on regulations.

Since then, 16 states have ceased nearly all abortion services. At the same time, some other states have moved to enshrine abortion rights.

While Republicans have called for a range of restrictions on abortion, Democrats have said they support abortion access and have called on Congress to codify Roe.

Here’s a brief look at where the major candidates stand on the issue.

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, supports access to abortion and has called on Congress to codify protections for the right to abortion that were guaranteed by Roe. He has said he would veto any legislation that would ban abortions federally.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., another Democratic primary candidate, previously expressed support for a three-month federal abortion ban, a position that put him at odds with many in his party.

Kennedy’s campaign quickly walked his statement back, saying he misheard a question about it and that he believes "it is always the woman’s right to choose. He does not support legislation banning abortion."

Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson, a long shot challenger to Biden in the Democratic primary, is a supporter of abortion rights and has said she would seek to codify federal protections that were established under Roe.

She has said she believes the decision to get an abortion is up to a woman and "the dictates of her conscience and in communion with the God of her understanding."

PHOTO: In this Oct. 1, 2022, file photo, counter-protestors hold signs in front of a rally to add a permanent abortion ban to Kentucky's state constitution, at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky.
In this Oct. 1, 2022, file photo, counter-protestors hold signs in front of a rally encouraging voters to vote yes on Amendment 2, which would add a permanent abortion ban to Kentucky's state constitution, on the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump, the current front-runner in the Republican primary despite his criminal charges and other controversies -- he denies wrongdoing -- has touted his support for abortion restrictions and his role in appointing three conservative Supreme Court justices, all of whom helped strike down Roe in a 5-4 vote.

Earlier this year at a Faith & Freedom convention, Trump said there should be some role for the federal government on the abortion issue but most other times has remained skeptical of a federal ban, most recently saying it is "probably better" to leave it to the states.

Ron DeSantis

In the last two years, Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a six-week trigger ban -- that has not yet gone into effect -- and a 15-week ban in his state, but DeSantis has not said if he would support a national abortion ban.

The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments in a legal challenge to the state's 15-week ban and has yet to issue a decision on whether it will uphold the ban. Of the seven justices on the state's Supreme Court, five were appointed by DeSantis.

If the ban is upheld, the six-week trigger ban will go into effect.

DeSantis has often said he would be a "pro-life president."

In this June 24, 2022, file photo, abortion rights protesters gather at a rally outside the state capitol in Lansing, Mich.
Paul Sancya/AP, FILE

Nikki Haley

As the only woman in the Republican field, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has taken a different approach than many of her opponents on the issue of abortion access. She's called for a national "consensus" and to stop "dehumanizing" the issue.

Haley has said that passing a federal abortion ban would be highly unlikely without more Republicans in Congress. But, she has also said she would "absolutely" sign a 15-week federal abortion ban into law.

Vivek Ramaswamy

Republican Vivek Ramaswamy has said he is "unapologetically pro-life" and believes that "most Americans share pro-life instincts" too. While he plans to implement anti-abortion policies and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood if he is elected, he does not support a federal ban on abortion.

Ramaswamy sees no constitutional basis to not leave regulation of abortion up to the states.

Mike Pence

Former Vice President Mike Pence, a Republican, supports federal abortion restrictions. Like Trump, he touts how he says he helped make the overturning of Roe happen with the appointment of three conservative justices while he was in office.

Pence supports exceptions for abortion access in the cases of rape, incest and to save the life of a mother, but not with nonviable pregnancies. He’s called on the rest of the 2024 field to support a 15-week federal abortion ban, at minimum.

Chris Christie

Former New Jersey governor and GOP hopeful Chris Christie has repeatedly said he believes each state should make its own decision on how to regulate abortion but that he would govern as a "pro-life" president.

When he ran for president in 2016, Christie supported a 20-week abortion ban and said in September that he would "absolutely consider signing" a 20-week abortion ban if it reached his desk.

In this June 30, 2022, file photo, abortion rights activists protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the last day of their term, in Washington, D.C.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images, FILE

Tim Scott

South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott has said he is strongly "pro-life."

"When I am president of the United States, I will sign the most pro-life legislation the House and Senate can put on my desk. We should begin with a 15-week national limit," Scott said in an op-ed in The Des Moines Register.

At a town hall in Charleston, South Carolina, Scott was asked about the state implementing a six-week ban and whether he would do the same. He said that as president, "I would still continue to advocate on behalf of the 15-week national limit."

Doug Burgum

Republican Gov. Doug Burgum -- who backed a strict six-week ban in his home state of North Dakota -- said he wouldn't outlaw abortion at the federal level if elected president.

"I think the decision that was made returning the power to the states was the right one. And I think we have a lot of division on this issue in America. And what's right for North Dakota may not be right for another state ... the best decisions are made locally," Burgum said on his first day on the campaign trail.

"I personally think having a late-term abortion -- having an abortion one day before a child is born -- is abhorrent to me. Some states allow that. I think that's extreme, but states get to decide where they want to fit on that spectrum," Burgum said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press."

PHOTO: In this June 24, 2022, file photo, anti-abortion campaigners celebrate outside the Supreme Court.
In this June 24, 2022, file photo, anti-abortion campaigners celebrate outside the Supreme Court. The conservative-dominated court overturned the landmark 1973 "Roe v Wade" decision that enshrined a woman's right to an abortion and said individual states can permit or restrict the procedure themselves.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Asa Hutchinson

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he would sign a federal abortion ban if Congress was able to pass the legislation with exceptions. The Republican candidate supports exceptions to abortion bans for cases of rape, incest and to save the life of a mother but not for cases of nonviable pregnancies.

As a governor, he signed a six-week abortion ban into law, with an exception only to save the life of the mother.

ABC News’ Gabriella Abdul-Hakim, Libby Cathey, Abby Cruz, Hannah Demissie, Fritz Farrow, Lalee Ibssa, Soo Rin Kim, Nicholas Kerr, Will McDuffie, Kendall Ross and Kelsey Walsh contributed to this report.