It’s Not Enough for Biden to Say ‘Trump Bad’ on Abortion

Trump bragged about ending Roe v. Wade at a town hall, and Biden quickly used his words against him. But… what’s his plan to make things less shitty??

It’s Not Enough for Biden to Say ‘Trump Bad’ on Abortion

While Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis continued their try-hard, deeply pathetic race for second place during the fifth GOP debate on Wednesday night, Donald Trump held a town hall in Iowa and gleefully declared that he is the one who ended Roe v. Wade. A voter asked about his commitment to ending all abortions (which is impossible, by the way!) and whether his position on the issue is better than DeSantis’. “[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 replied. “Nobody else was going to get that done but me, and we did it, and we did something that was a miracle.”

The former president went on to assure us that despite boasting about ending a decades-old legal precedent that accorded women and pregnant people a basic human right, he’s actually very reasonable. He rambled incoherently about his support for rape exceptions, the importance of winning elections (despite how vastly unpopular abortion bans are), and the importance of finding “something where people are happy”—how very realistic when we’re talking about what may be the most polarizing, black-and-white issue in American politics! In sum, his comments did not make any sense—and they didn’t have to! All President Biden needed was a clip of the former president’s first lines for some quick and easy political points.

Shortly after Trump made these comments, Biden sent an email to supporters merely quoting Trump and letting the former president’s words speak for themselves:

Note that the email adds nothing, really, on top of Trump’s own words. It doesn’t say how Biden will try to restore the utterly decimated access to abortion if he wins reelection, nor any plan to maximize the power of the executive branch to help those living in the dozen-plus states where embryos have more personhood rights than pregnant women. It actually doesn’t even include the word abortion. The reality is, Trump sucks—but it’s not enough to just say so. That’s not a plan. And it’s definitely not a winning strategy. Plus, you can’t have it both ways: You can’t say you’re “not big on abortion,” which Biden did last summer, while also positioning yourself as our champion just because you’re not Trump.

What is Biden’s plan to protect access to medication abortion? His plan to stop pregnant people facing medical emergencies and nonviable pregnancies from being denied emergency care? His plan to help people afford the high costs of both abortion and traveling to access the procedure? To stop people from facing criminal charges for losing a pregnancy or self-managing an abortion? Merely quoting an anti-abortion cartoon villain like Donald Trump doesn’t tell us any of this.

Abortion is a winning issue: Polls show broad bipartisan support for abortion rights. Candidates even in deep red states like Kentucky have won their races by vocally championing abortion rights. Every single abortion rights ballot measure since Roe fell, from Kansas to Ohio, has won decisively. Of course Biden wants to align himself with this—but he’s yet to show any willingness to actually do the work, fight, push, and get his hands dirty to meaningfully help us.

Biden’s campaign is in trouble right now, especially in key swing states like Michigan, where Muslim and Arabic communities are rightfully outraged by how the president is handling the ongoing crisis in Gaza, and among young voters demanding a ceasefire. At the same time that he’s posturing as a champion for reproductive rights in contrast with Trump, the president’s unconditional support for Israel is yielding unthinkable reproductive health crises in Gaza. In the face of all this, it’s nowhere near enough to just quote Trump’s predictably insane words. It’s past time for Biden to tell us what he’s offering, what he’s willing to do to make any of our lives better or make the world marginally less cruel—because from what we’re seeing, it doesn’t seem like a whole lot.

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