Trump Says He Won’t Sign an Abortion Ban. That’s Not a Good Thing

Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday that if reelected, he would not sign a national abortion ban—but he’s not fooling anyone.

During an exchange with a reporter on the tarmac of Atlanta’s airport, Trump simultaneously managed to celebrate the overturning of Roe v. Wade as an “incredible achievement” while also slamming the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision to revive an abortion ban from 1864 as going too far.

“So for 52 years the people have wanted to end Roe v. Wade to get it back to the states. We did that. It was an incredible thing, an incredible achievement,” Trump said. “Now the states have it, and the states are putting out what they want. It’s the will of the people.

“So Florida’s probably going to change,” he continued. “Arizona is going to definitely change, everybody wants that to happen. And you’re getting the will of the people. It’s been pretty incredible when you think about it.”

Trump then went on to say that he would not sign any formal abortion bans that crossed his desk if he reclaimed the White House in November—though his track record, and his opponents, call that into question.

Trump has made abortion a key component of all three of his campaigns, repeatedly promising over the last eight years to ban the medical procedure at every available opportunity. While in office, he expressed support for a bill that would have banned abortion nationwide at 20 weeks.

Since then, he has used scare tactics to spread disinformation about the procedure, erroneously claiming as recently as Monday that Democrats support “execution after birth.” And Trump’s track record includes the most egregious offense against national access—the appointment of three Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

What’s more, declining to sign a national abortion ban is just as dangerous as signing one. Abortion rights activists warned that by claiming he thinks states should set abortion regulations, Trump is really backing the cruelest laws, such as those in Texas and Florida.

“Actions speak louder than words,” posted Jim Messina, White House deputy chief of staff under President Barack Obama, noting that Trump is once again attempting to “muddy the waters.”

“That’s always been the case with Trump—what he says has never mattered,” Messina continued. “He just says what he needs to wiggle out of whatever situation he’s in. Trump has only one track record: overturning Roe v. Wade and ushering in these horrifying bans.”