During his appearance on NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that he would like the Republican platform changed to include exceptions to abortion.
Co-host Savannah Guthrie noted to Trump during the broadcast that the current platform does not cite any exceptions, and asked Trump if he would like them to be included.
“The Republican platform, every four years, has a provision that states that the right of the unborn child shall not be infringed. And it makes no exceptions for rape, for incest, for the life of the mother. Would you want to change the Republican platform to include the exceptions that you have?” she asked.
“Yes, I would,” he replied. “Yes, I would. Absolutely. For the three exceptions, I would.”
“Would you have an exception for the health of the mother?” Guthrie inquired.
“I would leave it for the life of the mother,” Trump responded, “but I would absolutely have the three exceptions.”
The current Republican platform reads in part, “Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”
As previously reported, in January, Trump wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Examiner that he supports abortion exceptions.
“Let me be clear—I am pro-life,” he stated. “I support that position with exceptions allowed for rape, incest or the life of the mother being at risk.”
Trump said that he “did not always hold [his current] position,” but, without explanation conveyed that he “had a significant personal experience that brought the precious gift of life into perspective for me.” Trump stated that he now sees that Roe v. Wade has resulted in the deaths of millions of Americans.
“Over time, our culture of life in this country has started sliding toward a culture of death,” he wrote. “Perhaps the most significant piece of evidence to support this assertion is that since Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Count 43 years ago, over 50 million Americans never had the chance to enjoy the opportunities offered by this country.”
Roe v. Wade, however, centered on a Texas woman named Norma McCorvey who sought an abortion over an alleged rape, which Trump states that he would allow for an exception. McCorvey later admitted that she had lied, as she was never raped. She also never obtained an abortion, but placed her child up for adoption and became a vocal pro-life advocate.
Trump’s statements allowing for exceptions are similar to those made by other recent Republican presidents, including George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
“My own position on abortion is well-known and remains unchanged. I oppose abortion in all cases except rape or incest, or where the life of the mother is at stake,” George H.W. Bush said in 1992.
”My position has always been three exceptions: rape, incest and the life of the mother,” George W. Bush likewise outlined in 2006.
Last month, following controversy over his remarks about abortion, Trump said that “at this moment, the laws are set, and I think we have to leave it that way.”
“You had told Bloomberg in January that you believe abortion should be banned in some pregnancies,” John Dickerson with CBS’ “Face the Nation” asked. “Where would you like to see a ban…?”
“Well first of all, I would’ve preferred states’ rights,” Trump said. “I think it would’ve been better if it were up to the states. But right now, the laws are set. And that’s the way the laws are.”
“But do you have a feeling on how they should change?” Dickerson asked. “There are a lot of laws you wan to change. You’ve talked about them—everything from libel to abortion. Anything you’d want to change on abortion?”
“At this moment, the laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way,” Trump replied.