Donald Trump said Thursday he would change the Republican Party platform’s position on abortion to include exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.
Trump made the remarks during a town hall on the “Today” show on NBC on Thursday morning when host Savannah Guthrie asked him about abortion exceptions.
“The Republican platform every four years has a provision that states that the right of the unborn child should not be infringed,” Guthrie said. “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 (abortion) exceptions that you have?”
“Yes, I would. Yes, I would. Absolutely,” Trump said. “For the three exceptions, I would.”
Currently, the Republican platform abortion policy reads: “We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”
While the official party platform doesn’t explicitly outline or endorse any abortion exceptions, GOP presidential candidates in the past have supported them, including Mitt Romney, John McCain and both Bush presidents.
Among Trump’s remaining GOP presidential rivals, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has said he opposes exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich has said he supports them.
After flip-flopping all week about his abortion position back in March, Trump’s current positions on abortion exceptions are not out of line with some of the other candidates. Trump has also stated that women who get abortions should be faced with punishment, then backtracked and said doctors should be punished. Also in his 2000 book “The America We Deserve,” Trump then wrote that he supported a woman’s right to choose. Then changed his tune to pro-file in July 2015 after declaring his candidacy.
Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973.
The official Republican stance on abortion is very extreme as it gives zero exceptions for any reason. Historically only 15-20% of Americans are in line with the Republican party and believe abortion should be completely illegal, compared to around 50% believing that abortion should be legal in some instances, and around 30% believe it should be legal in all instances.