Fact Check

Did Trump Claim Credit for Overturning Roe v. Wade?

The former U.S. president was speaking at a Fox News town hall in January 2024.

Published Jan 11, 2024

 (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
Claim:
During a Fox News town hall, former U.S. President Donald Trump claimed credit for overturning Roe V. Wade, saying, “For 54 years they were trying to get Roe v. Wade terminated, and I did it. And I’m proud to have done it."
Context

The U.S. Supreme Court made the actual decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, though Trump can take credit for appointing the conservative justices who made it possible.

On Jan. 10, 2024, former U.S. President Donald Trump participated in a Fox News town hall during which he boasted that it was he who "terminated" Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that guaranteed federal abortion protections for all women.

Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court on June 24, 2022.

A number of Democratic social media accounts, including U.S. President Joe Biden’s verified X account, shared video of Trump's remarks: “For 54 years they were trying to get Roe v. Wade terminated, and I did it. And I’m proud to have done it. [...] Nobody else was gonna get that done but me, and we did it. And we did something that was a miracle.”

Some observed that in saying this, Trump was taking credit for the Supreme Court's 2022 ruling:

Trump did indeed say those words in response to a question from a Republican voter about his position on abortion. We rate this claim as a Correct Attribution.

The voter said, “In this campaign you’ve also blamed pro-lifers for some of the GOP losses around the country and you’ve called heartbeat laws like Iowa’s “terrible.” [...] I’d like you to reassure me that you can protect all life, every person’s right to life, without compromise.”

Trump's full response can be heard below:

Trump added that they would not be having this conversation were it not for him. When president, he nominated three of the conservative Supreme Court justices to the bench—Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett— all of whom voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

He did, however, say there had to be exceptions to bans and those would be necessary to win elections. “[But] I happen to be for the exceptions like Ronald Reagan, with the life of the mother, rape, incest. I just have to be there, I feel.

“You have to win elections. Otherwise you’re going to be back where you were, and you can’t let that ever happen again," he continued.

He criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing a six-week abortion ban with some exceptions.

"If you talk five or six weeks, a lot of women don't know if they're pregnant,” Trump said. “This has been tearing the country apart for 50 years, nobody's been able to do anything." He did not commit to a formal position on the topic, however, vaguely arguing, “We are going to come up with something that people want and people like.”

While Trump took credit for overturning Roe v. Wade, his main contribution in that regard was nominating the conservative Supreme Court justices whose votes were critical in reversing the law.

Sources

“Donald Trump Says He’s ‘Proud’ To Have Overturned Roe v. Wade.” HuffPost, 11 Jan. 2024, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/donald-trump-abortion-roe-v-wade-2024-election_n_659f5ff5e4b0712b12c38e97. Accessed 11 Jan. 2024.

Gold, Michael. “‘I’m Not Going to Have Time for Retribution,’ Trump Says at Town Hall.” The New York Times, 11 Jan. 2024. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/10/us/politics/trump-town-hall-fox.html. Accessed 11 Jan. 2024.

Rinaldi, Olivia, and Shawna Mizelle. Trump Brags about Role in Overturning Roe v. Wade but Urges GOP Caution on Abortion - CBS News. 11 Jan. 2024, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-abortion-brags-about-role-in-overturning-roe-v-wade-urges-gop-caution-on-issue/. Accessed 11 Jan. 2024.

“Trump Boasts of Role Ending Roe v. Wade, Says Abortion Bans Must Have ‘Concessions.’” ABC News, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-boasts-role-ending-roe-wade-abortion-regulations/story?id=106280890. Accessed 11 Jan. 2024.

"Video: Iowa Voter Asks Trump about His Stance on Abortion. Hear His Response." CNN Politics, 2024. www.cnn.com, https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2024/01/11/abortion-donald-trump-fox-news-town-hall-iowa-caucus-cnntm-ldn-vpx.cnn. Accessed 11 Jan. 2024.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.