Fact Check: Trump Did NOT Tell Time Magazine 'He'd Force Every Pregnant Woman To Submit To Constant Government Monitoring' If Re-Elected

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Trump Did NOT Tell Time Magazine 'He'd Force Every Pregnant Woman To Submit To Constant Government Monitoring' If Re-Elected Didn't Say It

Did Donald Trump announce in a Time magazine interview that "he'd force every pregnant woman to submit to constant government monitoring" to ensure they don't have an abortion? No, that's not true: The former president outlined many other plans for the next term if he is re-elected, but this specific proposition was not one he explicitly argued for in the interview published April 30, 2023. Trump acknowledged that some states "might" enforce monitoring, but did not say that he supported or opposed it and did not advocate for enforcing such monitoring on the federal level.

The claim originated from a post (archived here) on X, formerly known as Twitter, on May 1, 2024. It read:

Trump just told TIME Magazine that in his second term as president he'd force every pregnant woman to submit to constant government monitoring to ensure she's doing nothing to endanger her 'unborn child' -- like, say, abortion.

A vote for Trump is a vote for The Handmaid's Tale.

This is what it looked like on X at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-05-09 at 11.37.59 AM.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Thu May 9 15:37:59 2024 UTC)

The post, however, did not accurately quote or paraphrase what Trump said in the Time magazine interview (archived here) published on April 30, 2024.

Time national politics reporter Eric Cortellessa asked more than a dozen questions about abortion, trying to clarify where Trump stands on different aspects of the issue, but the former president kept withholding his opinion. The only exception was when he said that "six weeks is too severe."

Answering questions on abortion, Trump continued to repeat that it's a state issue and that states will decide on it -- not him or the federal government.

A similar dynamic came into play when Trump was asked about monitoring pregnancies -- he even said that his opinion on the matter is "irrelevant":

Do you think states should monitor women's pregnancies so they can know if they've gotten an abortion after the ban?

Trump: I think they might do that. Again, you'll have to speak to the individual states. ...

States will decide if they're comfortable or not--

Trump: Yeah the states--

Prosecuting women for getting abortions after the ban. But are you comfortable with it?

Trump: The states are going to say. It's irrelevant whether I'm comfortable or not. It's totally irrelevant, because the states are going to make those decisions. And by the way, Texas is going to be different than Ohio. And Ohio is going to be different than Michigan. I see what's happening.

Additionally, Trump said that "you don't need a federal ban" on abortion, adding, though, that he "won't have to commit" to vetoing such a proposal because "it'll never happen." That wording is not the same as promoting "government monitoring" on the federal level.

The argument about abortion being a matter that should be decided on the state level was not verbalized in a vacuum. Since overturning Roe v. Wade, which used to protect the right to pregnancy termination nationwide, many states saw a push backed by religious and conservative groups to impose abortion bans. As of May 2, 2024, more than 20 states (archived here) restricted access to abortion, and that includes Texas, mentioned by Trump. In Ohio, which was another example he brought up, voters supported (archived here) the inclusion of the right to abortion in the state's constitution but that did not automatically eliminate restrictive laws that had been passed before that.

Even in New York state, which allows abortions up to 24 weeks (archived here), a question of adding respective rights to the state constitution among other rights was removed (archived here) from November ballots by a conservative judge in May 2024.

Talking to USA Today (archived here), Laurence Tribe (archived here), a legal scholar and a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, who posted the claim that is the focus of this fact check, defended his post on X and compared the implementation of the states' rights argument in the context of abortions with how it was used to justify slavery (archived here).

Yet, that does not change that Trump did not say that he supports forcing "every pregnant woman to submit to constant government monitoring."

Other Lead Stories fact checks about Trump can be found here.


  • 2024-05-10T00:50:12Z 2024-05-10T00:50:12Z
    Updated to correct a typo in the date of the TIME Magazine article.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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