Facing backlash, Trump walks back comments on restricting contraceptives

Trump's campaign claims he was talking about the abortion pill mifepristone.

May 22, 2024, 1:16 PM

Facing backlash, former President Donald Trump has tried to walk back comments he made suggesting he's open to restricting contraceptives.

During an interview with Pittsburgh TV station KDKA-TV, Trump was asked if he supports any restrictions on a person's right to contraceptives.

"Well, we're looking at that and we're going to have a policy on that very shortly," Trump responded with. "And I think it's something you'll find interesting and it's another issue that's very interesting."

Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attends a campaign rally in Wildwood, N.J., May 11, 2024.
Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters, FILE

When asked to clarify if he was suggesting he was open to supporting some restrictions on contraceptives, "like the morning-after pill," Trump dodged.

"Things really do have a lot to do with the states -- and some states are going to have different policy than others."

His comments come in an election year as abortion and contraception access remain key issues for many voters.

President Joe Biden's campaign quickly seized on Trump's comments, painting him as a president who would restrict birth control and emergency contraceptives.

"While Trump works overtime to roll back the clock and rip away women's freedoms, President Biden and Vice President Harris are fighting nonstop to protect access to birth control and women's right to make their own personal health care decisions," said Biden's campaign spokesperson Sarafina Chitika.

The former president quickly took to social media to clarify his position, claiming that he was not advocating for restrictions on contraceptives.

"I HAVE NEVER, AND WILL NEVER ADVOCATE IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON BIRTH CONTROL, or other contraceptives," he posted on his social media platform.

The Trump campaign further attempted to clarify, claiming the policy the former president was referring to during the interview was the abortion pill mifepristone.

However, Trump was not asked about the abortion medication. The local journalist asked if he supports any restrictions on a person's right to contraception. The former president has repeatedly boasted about the three Supreme Court justices he appointed that led to the overturning of Roe v. Wade; however, in recent weeks has attempted to quell discourse over the highly contentious issue by advocating for certain exceptions and for it to be dealt with at the state level.

PHOTO: Justices of the Supreme Court pose for their official photo at the Supreme Court, Oct. 7, 2022.
Justices of the Supreme Court pose for their official photo at the Supreme Court, Oct. 7, 2022. (Seated from left) Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Samuel Alito and Associate Justice Elena Kagan, (Standing behind from left) Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Trump continues to face a myriad of questions regarding his abortion stance, often promising to release certain policy details pertaining to the issue.

In an interview with TIME released three weeks ago, Trump said he would have a statement out in two weeks explaining his position on mifepristone; however, when pressed on when the delayed announcement would be revealed, campaign sources told ABC News it would happen soon.

Trump is seemingly being intentionally vague when it comes to reproductive rights as he himself acknowledges the importance of not alienating voters with his position in order to win elections. However, his continued questioning on the topic showcases how the issue continues to remain one of the top issues heading into November's election.