President-elected Donald Trump has stated that the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Justices he will appoint during his term will likely overturn Roe v. Wade, which makes it a federally protected right for women to seek safe abortions.
During an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” the business mogul said that while he believes same-sex marriage is settled law, his SCOTUS appointees would likely overturn the 1973 decision that made the right to an abortion the law of the land.
“I’m pro-life,” Trump said. “The judges will be pro-life… If it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states.”
When asked what would happen to women who live in states that choose to ban abortion, the President-elect said that they would just have to cross state lines.
“Yeah, well, they’ll perhaps have to go, they’ll have to go to another state,” Trump said.
When asked whether or not it is right to force women to travel in order to receive an abortion under any conditions, the President-elect responded “Well, we’ll see what happens. It’s got a long way to go, just so you understand.”
Litigation director Julie Rikelman of the Center for Reproductive Rights pointed out the even if Trump replaces the late Justice Antonin Scalia with a pro-life judge, the balance of the court would still be ideologically opposed to overturning Roe v. Wade. If Trump were able to appoint a second judge during his administration, then the sheer precedent of the SCOTUS decision may still preserve the decision.
“Roe v. Wade has now been the law of the land for over 40 years,” Rikelman told Vox. “It has lasted through a number of anti-choice administrations, including those who vowed to put justices on the court that would overturn… but it wasn’t.”
Vice President-elect Mike Pence has been a vehement opponent of abortion of any kind. The former Republican governor of Indiana is against abortions even in the case of rape or incest and previously signed a bill that would mandate women to hold funerals for aborted fetuses. He is also against women using contraceptives, according to Slate Magazine.
In January 2013, a study conducted by Pew Research Center found that 63 percent of the American public was against overturning Roe v. Wade while 29 percent were in favor.