Former President Donald Trump took credit Wednesday night for overturning Roe v. Wade, saying at a town hall in Iowa that the reversal of the landmark Supreme Court decision that had affirmed the right to an abortion was a “miracle.”
“For 54 years, they were trying to get Roe v. Wade terminated, and I did it. And I’m proud to have done it,” Trump said at the town hall, which was hosted by Fox News ahead of Monday’s Iowa caucuses.
The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022 by a vote of 5-4. Trump appointed three of the five conservative justices voting in the majority that overturned the decision.
Before the court overturned it, the ruling in Roe v. Wade in 1973 had affirmed the constitutional right to an abortion before fetal viability, which is considered to be around 24 weeks’ gestation. State lawmakers that tried to put limits on abortion procedures before the viability threshold had been blocked from doing so.
However, once Roe was overturned, decisions about the legality of abortion were left to the states. Some passed new bans or enforced bans that were already on the books but had been blocked from enforcement.
In Michigan, a 1931 law that made it a felony to assist anyone in getting an abortion was declared unconstitutional under Roe. However, it went back into effect after Roe was overturned. Courts once again blocked the 1931 ban from being enforced after a new legal challenge was filed.
In the meantime, a citizen-led initiative to enshrine abortion rights in the Michigan Constitution qualified for inclusion on the 2022 ballot. The measure ultimately passed with more than 56% of the vote, nullifying the 1931 ban. In April 2023, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that officially repealed the law.
Trump, for his part, took credit for overturning Roe even though the reversal of the decision is unpopular with voters.
An NBC national poll conducted in June, one year after Roe was reversed, found 61% of respondents disapproved of the court’s decision.
In Michigan, 54% of adults think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to a Pew Research Center poll.