April 9, 2024

Trump and Abortion

Former President Donald Trump said Monday he believes abortion limits should be left to the states, outlining his position in a video in which he declined to endorse a national ban… ‘Many people have asked me what my position is on abortion and abortion rights,’ Trump said in the video posted on his Truth Social site. ‘My view is now that we have abortion where everybody 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.’” AP News

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From the Left

The left criticizes Trump’s comments, and argues that his administration would likely restrict abortion rights.

The presumptive GOP nominee left all kinds of relevant questions unanswered. Would Trump sign a federal ban if congressional Republicans passed one? Would Trump veto federal protections for IVF if congressional Democrats passed one? Would Trump use the Comstock Act to ban medication abortions? Will Trump vote to leave Florida’s six-week abortion ban intact?…

“Does Trump intend to keep stacking the federal courts with opponents of reproductive rights? What are Trump’s expectations for officials throughout his prospective administration — from the FDA to the Justice Department — in pursuing new restrictions on reproductive care? None of these questions was answered in [yesterday] morning’s video.”

Steve Benen, MSNBC

“Anti-abortion activists with close ties to Trump’s campaign have developed a wide array of plans for restricting reproductive freedom through executive action. Today, more than half of all abortions in the United States are induced by pills such as mifepristone. The existence of such drugs makes it more difficult for conservatives to fully stamp out abortion, even in red states. But Republicans believe that existing law gives the executive branch the authority to ban such pills nationwide…

“Some aim to achieve this by directing the FDA to rescind its approval of abortion-inducing drugs. Others are eyeing a little-known 1873 law called the Comstock Act. Long rendered a dead-letter statute by Roe, Comstock bans the delivery of ‘every article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion.’ Conservative legal scholar Jonathan F. Mitchell… has suggested that Comstock bans not only the delivery of abortion pills, but of all the equipment required to conduct an abortion procedure.”

Eric Levitz, Vox

Dobbs has clearly been the GOP's Achilles heel for the past two years, and Trump most certainly does not want the election to be about reproductive rights…

“But publicly supporting abortion rights in the more than 20 states where the procedure remains legal could cost Trump with his most committed voters—white evangelical Christians. Eighty-four percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump in 2020, along with 57 percent of white Catholics… While some Republicans might be satisfied with the end of Roe and abortion bans or impossible restrictions in 21 states, the most religious white evangelicals want total victory. And Trump just told them they won't get it.”

David Faris, Newsweek

From the Right

The right generally supports Trump’s comments, arguing that focusing on abortion will help the Biden campaign.

The right generally supports Trump’s comments, arguing that focusing on abortion will help the Biden campaign.

“Of course, President Biden (whose only issue is abortion) responded by insisting, ‘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.’… There’s no chance of any such bill passing any decade soon, but Biden’s handlers hope fearmongering will still work.”

Editorial Board, New York Post

“A Trump who moderates his stance on abortion is a Trump that Joe Biden fears challenging in November

“If Trump continues to position himself [in] the middle of this issue, he will find himself in a great place heading to the 2024 presidential election. With a less-than-ideal record on immigration, crime, and the economy, Democrats have been banking on abortion to attract independents and mobilize their base. The game is changing now.”

Juan P. Villasmil, Newsweek

“The long-term outlook is important, and if Republicans agree to a re-federalization of the abortion issue, it will be just a matter of time before Democrats gain enough votes to take out the filibuster and pass an ‘abortion rights’ bill that undoes every victory since Dobbs. The GOP must stand strong on the position that it's a state issue

“With all that said, don't kid yourself. Trump is still going to be attacked over abortion, and Republicans better start winning hearts and minds instead of thinking there's some magic position that eliminates the issue from the discussion. It's not going away, and Democrats will shift their messaging, but again, the right position is the right position. Trump took it, and he gets credit for that.”

Bonchie, RedState

“If anything, Trump understates the radicalism of Democrats on abortion. They want abortion to be affirmatively subsidized and promoted by the federal and state governments; they want to eliminate conscience protections for doctors and nurses who object to performing abortions; they want to shield abortion from the sorts of regulation that govern any other medical procedure…

“At a minimum, pro-lifers should want to see rolled back the various Biden administration legal initiatives and challenges to state abortion laws, as well as rolling back federal funding for abortion and the use of federal facilities to perform abortion. The federal government should take seriously the Comstock Act, which after all is an actual federal law, and that at least means stopping the use of interstate mails to send abortion pills into states where their use is illegal.”

Dan McLaughlin, National Review

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