Trump primary challenger Weld says he feels 'terrible' about anti-abortion laws

Trump primary challenger Weld says he feels 'terrible' about anti-abortion laws
© Moriah Ratner

Former Massachusetts Gov. William WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump demands Bidens testify Pence files paperwork for Trump to be on New Hampshire ballot Trump primary challengers to be excluded from Minnesota ballot MORE, who is challenging President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination, said Saturday that the government should not interfere with a woman's right to an abortion. 

“The way I look at it, it’s kind of a power issue,” Weld said while campaigning in New Hampshire, according to The Associated Press. “And who wants a lot of big, fat, white guys who live in Washington 700 miles away making the decision about what’s going to happen about a family pregnancy where the family has basis for some views and maybe wants to terminate the pregnancy.”

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Weld reportedly added that he felt "terrible" about the passage of laws that place further restrictions on abortion. He also said that he's “the most pro-choice person you’re ever going to meet," the AP noted, a stance that breaks with much of the Republican Party. 

Weld's comments come amid increasing scrutiny on states that have passed laws that curtail a woman's ability to receive an abortion. Last week, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed into law the most restrictive abortion policy in the nation. 

The measure bans abortions in virtually all instances, including in cases involving rape and incest. Abortion would only be legal in the event that it's necessary to save a woman's life. Someone who provides an abortion in Alabama could face up to 99 years in prison. 

Other states, including Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio, have passed laws that ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, something that generally occurs within six weeks, often before a woman knows she is pregnant. 

Some GOP lawmakers have said that the Alabama law goes too far. Trump on Saturday said he's "strongly pro-life," but that he thought exemptions should be made for rape, incest and the mother's health.