Trump Is Faking a Moderate Abortion Position & Now the Worst People You Know Are Fighting

"Leaving abortion up to the states" is by no means a middle-ground position. Everyone involved in this escalating rift among Republicans and anti-abortion leaders is wrong.

Trump Is Faking a Moderate Abortion Position & Now the Worst People You Know Are Fighting

Ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, abortion rights have been left up to the states. The result has been catastrophic, with abortion access completely decimated in some regions, people with life-threatening pregnancy complications getting denied emergency abortions, and Republicans in some states trying to ban people from even traveling for abortion.

Well, on Monday morning, former President Trump bucked with top anti-abortion leaders when he shared a Truth Social video in which he rejects a national abortion ban—despite previously supporting a national ban at 16 weeks—and says abortion should be left up to the states in order for Republicans to win elections.

“My view is now that we have abortion where everyone wanted it from a legal standpoint, the states will determine by vote or legislation, or perhaps both. And whatever they decide must be the law of the land. In this case, the law of the state,” Trump said. “Many states will be different,” he continued. “Many will have a different number of weeks, or some will have more conservative than others, and that’s what they will be. At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people. You must follow your heart or in many cases, your religion or your faith. Do what’s right for your family and do what’s right for yourself.” I’m sure being told to “follow your heart”—among other Veep-tier levels of word salad—will be great consolation to someone with an ectopic pregnancy who’s denied an emergency abortion from her local hospital!

Of course, in the same video, Trump says he’s “proudly the person responsible” for the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe, given that he appointed a third of the justices. He also claimed he’d taken abortion rights “out of the federal hands and brought it into the hearts, minds, and vote of the people in each state,” which… is bullshit since pregnancy-related health care decisions should be up to the patient and their doctors, not legislatures and QAnon-pilled voters.

In any case, I repeat: Leaving abortion rights “to the states” is the current state of affairs and it’s destroying the health care system and subjecting pregnant women to unthinkable cruelty. Yet, Trump’s stance has predictably pissed off top anti-abortion leaders who support a national abortion ban and fetal personhood. And now, all the worst people you know are fighting.

“We are deeply disappointed in President Trump’s position. Unborn children and their mothers deserve national protections and national advocacy from the brutality of the abortion industry. The [Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health] decision clearly allows both states and Congress to act,” Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. “Saying the issue is ‘back to the states’ cedes the national debate to the Democrats who are working relentlessly to enact legislation mandating abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. If successful, they will wipe out states’ rights.”

Beneath all the jargon and medically inaccurate nonsense, it’s pretty clear what Dannenfelser is really admitting is that abortion rights are widely popular. So, leaving the issue up to state ballot measures and elections probably isn’t going to work too well for them. Meanwhile, Trump is acknowledging the popularity of abortion rights by stating point-blank that Republicans can’t run and win by outright promising to ban abortion.

In addition to Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has also come out against Trump’s position: “I respectfully disagree with President Trump’s statement that abortion is a states’ rights issue,” Graham said in a statement.  “I will continue to advocate that there should be a national minimum standard limiting abortion at 15 weeks,” he added, in addition to medically inaccurate bullshit about when fetuses can “feel pain.” Other Republican leaders have stayed quiet, while President Biden issued a statement warning that—obviously—there’s no reason to trust Trump: “Let there be no illusion. If Donald Trump is elected and the MAGA Republicans in Congress put a national abortion ban on the Resolute Desk, Trump will sign it into law,” Biden said. He continued, “Trump is scrambling. He’s worried that since he’s the one responsible for overturning Roe the voters will hold him accountable in 2024. Well, I have news for Donald. They will.”

The conflict between Trump and top anti-abortion leaders reflects an ongoing rift between—again—the worst people you know on how to approach reproductive rights and elections amid a critical election year when we’ve seen time and again that support for abortion rights galvanizes critical blocs of the electorate. Some factions of the Republican Party would prefer to be more underhanded and quiet about where they stand on abortion, even as their positions are still wildly harmful and dehumanizing for pregnant people. Meanwhile, top anti-abortion leaders are on the record not just demanding a national ban but cracking down on IVF and birth control, and working toward enacting fetal personhood.

As this internal divide gets progressively messier, it’s important to not lose sight of the fact that all of these people are wrong, and no one—certainly not Trump—in this debate is being “reasonable” or “moderate” or working toward a middle ground. A national abortion ban would be devastating, “leaving abortion up to the states” is devastating, and of course, since apparently it needs to be asked: Why should any of us believe Trump or any Republican who says they wouldn’t ban abortion? Instead, we should be listening to the voices of pregnant people forced to travel hundreds of miles for basic care, who almost died from being denied emergency abortion, and everyone who’s been impacted by the abortion bans that already exist.

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