Donald Trump has no thought what to do on abortion

No fashionable presidency has been as consequential for the antiabortion motion as Donald Trump’s. And maybe no present-day politician seems as unsure about what to do concerning the concern now as Donald Trump.

Affirmation that voters in Trump’s residence state of Florida will quickly vote on whether or not to enshrine abortion rights into regulation — and whether or not to successfully veto Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) and the state GOP’s six-week abortion ban — arrived this week. Related questions may very well be on the poll in lots of different states as Trump seeks a second stint within the White Home.

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee has responded to this improvement with all of the political certainty of a faculty freshman working for sophistication president. And his hemming and hawing — even after successfully locking up the Republican nomination — speaks volumes about how a lot this sudden legal responsibility of a problem looms over the GOP’s 2024 hopes.

Trump’s marketing campaign initially put out a press release Monday saying merely, “President Trump helps preserving life however has additionally made clear that he helps states’ rights, as a result of he helps the voters’ proper to make selections for themselves.”

It’s nice to assist the democratic course of — one thing that isn’t all the time a given with Trump — however that assertion principally says nothing about his personal view on the problem at hand. And when requested for extra specificity Tuesday about Florida’s six-week ban, Trump performed a well-recognized card: I’ll let you know later.

“We’ll be making a press release subsequent week on abortion,” Trump mentioned.

Translation: I actually don’t need to speak about this, and I want to determine my place.

It’s rather a lot like when Trump spent the higher a part of 5 years promising a well being care plan that was all the time simply across the nook — usually “two weeks” away. We’ll see if this plan proves that elusive.

Simply because it’s rather a lot simpler to say “repeal Obamacare” than to place ahead your personal plan to be picked aside, it’s rather a lot simpler to say “overturn Roe v. Wade” than it’s to delineate what restrictions needs to be in place after that.

And his stalling was merely the most recent proof of Trump’s outstanding uncertainty on the subject of the brand new abortion rights paradigm:

  • In April 2023, Trump declined to weigh in on Florida’s six-week ban. His marketing campaign as a substitute mentioned he supported exceptions for rape, incest and the lifetime of the mom, and added it was “a problem that needs to be determined on the State stage.”
  • The following week, he provided a completely equivocal promise: “We’ll get one thing executed the place everybody goes to be very happy. I believe we’ll get it executed on some stage, it may very well be on completely different ranges, however we’re going to get it executed. … We are going to get that taken care of.”
  • A number one antiabortion group quickly known as Trump’s remark that this was a state concern “morally indefensible” and mentioned he should assist a federal 15-week ban. It quickly met with him and warmed to his candidacy, regardless of no indication he had taken its litmus-test place. Neither Trump nor the group elaborated.
  • In September, Trump known as six-week bans “horrible” — a shot at his then-primary opponent DeSantis. However pressed on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump repeatedly punted on each the time-frame and state vs. federal restrictions. “What’s going to occur is you’re going to give you a variety of weeks or months. You’re going to give you a quantity that’s going to make individuals glad,” he mentioned, including: “It may very well be state or it may very well be federal. I don’t frankly care.”
  • In January, a lady at a Fox Information city corridor urged Trump to not “compromise” on abortion. Trump supplied no readability on his place, however he did say 4 occasions that the GOP must “win elections” — the implication being that it shouldn’t alienate voters by being too excessive.
  • As of February, Trump was telling advisers that he preferred a 16-week federal abortion ban, based on the New York Instances. One mentioned Trump preferred that quantity not due to something particular to the gestation course of however as a result of, “It’s even. It’s 4 months.”
  • In late February, Trump floated 15 weeks however recommended it needs to be a state concern. “Increasingly more I’m listening to about 15 weeks, and I haven’t determined but,” he informed Sean Hannity on Fox Information. “Additionally, we bought it again to the states the place it belongs.”
  • Trump final month once more floated 15 weeks, however recommended it could be a federal ban, saying “possibly we might carry the nation collectively on that concern. … Fifteen weeks appears to be a quantity that individuals are agreeing at. However I’ll make that announcement on the applicable time.”

In sum, it’s been almost two years for the reason that Supreme Court docket opened up this concern by overturning Roe. Trump has been requested for a yr what his particular place is and hasn’t enunciated one. He retains offering combined alerts on whether or not this needs to be a federal concern in any respect. And now he gained’t even say whether or not he helps a six-week state ban that lower than seven months in the past he known as “horrible.”

After all, it’s no secret what’s actually happening right here. Trump fears this concern; he has repeatedly recommended that Republicans lose elections by going too excessive on it.

“It was the ‘abortion concern,’ poorly dealt with by many Republicans, particularly those who firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even within the case of Rape, Incest, or Lifetime of the Mom, that misplaced giant numbers of Voters,” he posted on Reality Social after Republicans’ underwhelming 2022 election outcomes.

Trump clearly doesn’t need that to occur to him. However it’s not as if he can spend the following seven months punting on this concern. And the truth that he nonetheless doesn’t have an excellent, ready-made reply a month after wrapping up the GOP nomination means that maybe there simply isn’t one.

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