Instead, Trump assiduously avoided the topic last weekend during his first visit to Hawkeye State this cycle, according to the Associated Press.
From the moment he got off the plane in Iowa, Trump continually dodged questions about whether he would implement a nationwide federal ban on abortion. AP reporter Steve Peoples pressed him twice about it, but the most he could get from Trump was a decidedly generic “We’re looking at a lot of different things.”
After following Trump’s verbal tics for a few years, the phrase is clearly meaningless babble that Trump might as well be talking about breakfast cereal as ordering a deathblow on an international adversary.
By the time Trump was done entertaining diners, talking and answering questions from voters, Trump hadn’t once uttered the word abortion.
And despite his stellar record for overturning half a century of precedent on reproductive rights, Trump dodging the issue at every turn isn’t going to fly with the forced birth funds.
“Nobody gets a pass,” said Majorie Dannenfelser, leader of the right-wing anti-abortion organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. “With Trump, it’s his legacy. It’s something I believe he will achieve, but he’s clearly doing some soul-searching right now.
In fact, Trump’s reluctance is quite simple: he knows he’s an electoral loser for Republicans, plain and simple, especially in a general election. It’s also most definitely his legacy, and he’s actively trying to bury it.
Following last year’s Supreme Court decision to eviscerate Roe vs. Wadesome two dozen states have implemented outright bans on abortion while others are moving towards banning the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy, before many people even know they are pregnant.
As 2024 begins, Dannenfelser’s band plans to ask all Republican candidates sign a 15-week national abortion ban pledge.
“If a GOP primary candidate cannot muster the moral courage to endorse a minimum gestational standard of 15 weeks, then he does not deserve to be President of the United States,” Dannenfelser said.
But SBA Pro-Life America isn’t the only organization aiming to extract public pledges from Republican hopefuls. The Heritage Foundation and Students for Life Action also have plans to ensure the abortion ban is front and center in forums, questionnaires and other means of leading GOP candidates.
More power for them.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is considering a bid, has previously said publicly that he supports a 15-week national abortion ban, but he has also indicated that he wants legal abortions to be completely snuffed out in “every state in the country”.
Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley signed a 20-week abortion ban in 2016 while she was governor of South Carolina. It included exceptions for the life of the mother and non-viable fetuses.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Trump’s undeclared chief rival, has pledged to sign a 6-week abortion ban that GOP state lawmakers are on track to deliver to him this session.
Despite the fervor of his GOP counterparts, Trump is absolutely right about what a refusal to restrict abortion access and reproductive freedom at the ballot box is.
But the relentless push for forced births will continue through the cycle at the expense of a Republican Party that mounts simultaneous attacks on black voting rights, transgender freedoms, parental rights, free speech, and more.
Eventually, a GOP candidate will emerge who will either disagree with the backers (causing serious internal GOP strife) or disagree with the broader electorate (sacrificing any chance of seduce women from the suburbs).
Either eventuality will be a welcome development for Democrats.