Trump’s abortion gambit is going off the rails

Trump’s abortion gambit is going off the rails

Donald Trump sought to put an end to questions about his position on abortion this week with a video backing the right of states to decide the matter. But his newly adopted states’ rights stance has only fueled more questions.

President Joe Biden immediately responded to Trump’s video,  asserting that his rival would sign a national abortion ban if one landed on his desk. On Wednesday, asked by reporters whether he would sign such a ban, Trump said, “No,” according to CNN.

Trump’s new rejection of a national ban marks a significant reversal from his 2016 promise to anti-abortion activists that he would sign legislation criminalizing abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

In the same exchange with reporters Wednesday, Trump also criticized the Arizona ruling upholding a Civil War-era abortion ban when he was asked if the state Supreme Court went too far. 

“Yeah, they did,” Trump responded. “That’ll be straightened out. As you know, it’s all about states’ rights. That’ll be straightened out. And I’m sure that the governor and everybody else are going bring it back into reason and that will be taken care, I think, very quickly.”


Trump’s rejection of the 1864 law will be news to SBA Pro-Life America president Marjorie Dannenfelser, who hailed the ruling as an “enormous victory for unborn children and their mothers” and a “major advancement in the fight for life.”

But Trump’s estimation that Arizona’s draconian pre-statehood abortion ban would soon be reversed ran into a roadblock Wednesday: Republican state lawmakers.

According to The New York Times, Republicans blocked Democratic efforts in both chambers of the state legislature from advancing bills to roll back the 160-year-old ban. 

Every time Trump has spoken on abortion this week, he has retreated on the issue—first saying the matter should be left up to the states, then declining to sign a national abortion, and finally attacking an Arizona ban that Republican state lawmakers are rallying around. 

It’s a disastrous series of events for the anti-abortion zealots Trump needs to not only vote for him, but also organize and energize a GOP field operation that is already floundering at this early stage of the general election.

Abortion opponents are the base of the party now that MAGA extremism has largely alienated suburban voters in the last several elections.

On Monday, Trump said he had taken abortion “largely out of play” with his states’ rights stance. Two days later, he’s still fumbling his way through the issue, ticking off anti-abortion activists while making a mockery of Arizona Republicans who are trying to keep the state’s draconian ban in place.

The Biden campaign, for its part, posted sound from the tarmac in which Trump called ending Roe v. Wade “an incredible thing.”


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