While numerous parties deserve blame for the overturning of Roe v. Wade last June—Mitch McConnell, the antiabortion lobby, the Supreme Court’s conservative goon squad—one man in particular deserves the majority of that blame. We speak, of course, of Donald Trump, who initially ran for president on the vow that he would exclusively appoint justices who would roll back the landmark decision and then did just that. To wit: Shortly after Roe was gutted last year, Trump took credit for the move, saying it was “only made possible because I delivered everything as promised.” In fact, just this morning, he took to Truth Social to declare: “After 50 years of failure, with nobody coming even close, I was able to kill Roe v. Wade, much to the ‘shock’ of everyone, and for the first time put the Pro Life movement in a strong negotiating position over the Radicals that are willing to kill babies even into their 9th month, and beyond. Without me there would be no 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 15 weeks, or whatever is finally agreed to. Without me the pro Life movement would have just kept losing. Thank you President TRUMP!!!”
Obviously, this statement—which includes one of the ex-president’s favorite lies, that babies were once aborted in the “9th month, and beyond”—would be disturbing enough on its own. But it’s particularly bizarre given that just last night, Trump claimed that in a second term he’s going to make a “deal” on abortion that will unite the entire country.
Speaking to Newsmax, Trump said that with the downfall of Roe, he won the antiabortion community “the power of negotiation.” Then he declared: “I put them in a position. Now, [Ron] DeSantis, or Ron DeSanctimonious as I call him, he came out with the six weeks. Other people agree with it. And a lot of people don’t. We’re in a position now, and I’m gonna be leading the charge. We’re in a position now where we can get something that the whole country can agree with, and that’s only because I got us out of the Roe v. Wade, where the pro-life people had absolutely nothing to say…. But on pro-life, I will tell you, what I did on Roe v. Wade, nobody else—for 50 years they’ve been trying to do it. I got it done. And now we’re in a position to make a really great deal, and a deal that people want.” Emphasis ours because Trump says a lot of stupid stuff a lot of the time, but these claims are definitely up there given that (1) in the year 2023, there is virtually nothing all Americans can agree on, with the exception of airlines’ being evil and Mitch McConnell’s being the spawn of Satan, and (2) it seems just slightly hard to believe that the man who regularly brags about killing the national right to an abortion is going to come up with something that “the whole country” will love.
Trump, of course, is in something of a bind right now as he simultaneously attempts to court antiabortion evangelicals and seem not too extreme on the issue. Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America put out a blistering response last month to his campaign’s statement to The Washington Post that states should decide abortion laws, as opposed to the country’s having a national ban. “President Trump’s assertion that the Supreme Court returned the issue of abortion solely to the states is a completely inaccurate reading of the Dobbs decision and is a morally indefensible position for a self-proclaimed pro-life presidential candidate to hold,” said SBA Pro-Life America president Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Life is a matter of human rights, not states’ rights…. We will oppose any presidential candidate who refuses to embrace, at a minimum, a 15-week national standard to stop painful late-term abortions while allowing states to enact further protections.”
Meanwhile, the irony here is that if Trump actually wanted to attempt to unite the country, or as much of it as possible, he’d make a “deal” to expand abortion access, given that nearly two thirds of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and a majority of the country disapproved of Roe v. Wade’s being overturned. But, of course, he’s not going to do that, just like he’s not going to stop repeating the absurd lie that before Roe was overturned, “they could kill the baby in the ninth month or after the baby was born.”