While discussing the Supreme Court at the final presidential debate, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump whether or not he’d want his appointed justices to help overturn Roe v. Wade (1973), the landmark decision that rendered abortion legal in the United States. Trump said he did, though his reasoning didn’t really pass muster — especially when the Republican nominee suggested this would happen “automatically.”
“Well if that would happen, because I am pro-life and I will be appointing pro-life judges, I would think that that would go back to the individual states,” Trump explained, adding: “If they overturned it, it would go back to the states.” Realizing Trump seemingly hadn’t understood his original question, Wallace noted he was asking, “Do you want to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade?”
Trump’s response to the question’s second asking? “Well if we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that’s really what’s going to be… will happen. That’ll happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court,” he said. “It will go back to the states, and the states will then make a determination.”
Wallace then turned the spotlight to Hillary Clinton, who emphasized Roe v. Wade‘s importance, but not at the expense of many states’ legislative attempts to hinder women’s access to related healthcare services. Trump then tried to counter Clinton’s input with a rather graphic description of partial-birth abortion, but not even conservative media pundit Glenn Beck was buying it.