As Trump Flip-Flops on Birth Control, Remember Republicans Are Absolutely Going After It

In the span of hours, the former president went from saying he’s “looking at” restrictions on contraception to posting on Truth Social that he has “never, and will never advocate imposing restrictions on birth control.” 

Politics
As Trump Flip-Flops on Birth Control, Remember Republicans Are Absolutely Going After It

At a certain point, flip-flopping hardly feels like a strong enough word: Within hours of an interview with a local Pittsburgh news station in which former President Trump said he’s “looking at” restrictions on contraception, he logged onto Truth Social and insisted that he has “never, and will never advocate imposing restrictions on birth control.” 

Early Tuesday, a reporter asked Trump, “Do you support any restrictions on a person’s right to contraception?” He responded: “We’re looking at that, and I’m going to have a policy on that very shortly and I think it’s something that you’ll find interesting,” helpfully adding that we’ll all “find it very smart.” The former president assured us he’ll roll out a “very comprehensive policy” on contraceptives “within a week or so,” and further word-vomited, “Things really do have a lot to do with the states and some states are going to have different policies than others.” Insightful!

But later that same day, Trump seemed to forget the very words out of his mouth, which stated that he was eyeing restrictions. “This is a Democrat fabricated lie, MISINFORMATION/DISINFORMATION… I DO NOT SUPPORT A BAN ON BIRTH CONTROL, AND NEITHER WILL THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!” he wrote on Truth Social.

Of course, a couple of points of clarification: As president, Trump rolled out a regulation to expand which employers could deny birth control coverage for religious purposes, while also threatening to defund health care providers and family planning organizations (through which many people access birth control) if they provided information about abortion care.

And, as Trump sorts out his memory loss and recall issues, contrary to his denials the Republican Party absolutely is after birth control. As soon as the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, opening the door for further rights (such as the right to contraception) to be scaled back, almost 200 House Republicans voted against a bill to establish a right to birth control. Hot mic audio published by ProPublica in November 2022 showed a top anti-abortion group counseling Tennessee Republicans to wait before inevitably going after birth control and IVF. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signaled interest in banning emergency contraception around the same time as that audio leak.

And the attacks have only become more blatant: Just this week, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) vetoed a bill that would have codified the right to obtain and use contraception in state law, arguing it was unnecessary—in doing so, ironically proving exactly why it is necessary. In February, Tennessee Republicans blocked a bill to codify IVF and birth control protections from even coming out of the state House committee because—tellingly—they argued it would weaken and possibly limit the totality of the state’s abortion ban. Relatedly, the end of Roe has made the rights to all reproductive decision-making, from rights to IVF and fertility treatments, to access to contraception, exponentially more vulnerable.

Meanwhile, in Texas, as of a court ruling in March, teens in the state can no longer get birth control confidentially as the case proceeds amid ongoing litigation. This comes after an appeals court sided with a father in Texas who needlessly filed a lawsuit because Title X (which funds family planning services) does not require parental consent for birth control. 

Taken all together, Trump’s bullshit is frankly astounding, even coming from someone as famously incoherent—especially on reproductive rights—as he is. More recently, Trump tried to posture as “moderate” on abortion by insisting that the issue be left up to the states—all while last month giving states the OK to criminalize and imprison people who have abortions as they see fit. And all while very clearly not even knowing what the Comstock Act (a 19th-century law that, if enforced, could be wielded to ban the shipping of abortion pills or supplies to abortion clinics) is, Trump also assured us last month that he’ll share a plan on the law “over the next week or two, but I don’t think it will be shocking, frankly.” Exciting! 

Don’t trust or listen to this man on anything, obviously, but certainly disregard anything he has to say about not restricting birth control.

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