Trump takes the centrist mantle and winning message on abortion

Despite President Joe Biden positioning himself as a centrist on abortion policy throughout the 2020 election, he has repeatedly embraced the most extreme Democratic Party line throughout his presidency. He has not just supported the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would legalize abortion nationwide up until the point of a baby’s birth, but he also reversed his previous support for the Hyde Amendment, which once banned taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions. By contrast, former President Donald Trump proudly has taken the centrist mantle on abortion policy and, thus, the winning electoral message from his 2024 opponent.

In a new statement released on Truth Social, the former president pledged support for the pro-life federalism allowed only by the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, which returned the question of abortion regulation to the states.

“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,” Trump said. “Many states will be different. Many states will have a different number of weeks or some will have more conservative than others, and that’s what they will be. At the end of the day, it is all about the will of the people.”

Trump, who also correctly boasted that his three Supreme Court nominees were responsible for overturning Roe v. Wade, reiterated his support for access to in vitro fertilization and abortion regulation exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother, and he condemned the Democratic position of a national codification of abortion access through all nine months of gestation.

Trump’s stance is sure to incense the staunch social conservatives who will crawl over broken glass to reelect him president, regardless of his abortion platform. But to the disaffected independents and “double haters” who dislike both candidates — they crucially favored Trump in 2016 and then Biden in 2020 — Trump’s pro-life federalism could provide a major incentive to reincorporate them into his coalition.

Just as Trump won 2016 by reframing Hillary Clinton’s candidacy as a referendum on the failure of Barack Obama’s presidency, Biden won 2020 by positioning himself as a centrist relative to Trump. Of course, Biden hasn’t governed like one, not with the multitrillion-dollar spending that created the worst inflation crisis in 40 years, nor with his capitulation for the most insidious and antisemitic flank of his party as Biden betrays his previous support for our Israeli allies and American hostages.

But whereas swing voters believe Trump to be more competent than Biden in handling the economy, inflation, the border, and foreign policy with a double-digit margin, the same voters believe Biden is able to handle just one area better: abortion.

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This is likely because of the absolutely abysmal messaging from the broader pro-life movement, not because of the candidates’ stated positions. Despite Republican politicians such as Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) bending over backward to reiterate he only supported a 15-week abortion ban, which most voters support in polls, Virginia voters instead heard the loudest and least intelligent pro-life proponents railing against oral contraception, IVF, and abortion regulation exceptions for expectant mothers at risk of dying of sepsis from an entirely wanted pregnancy.

Trump understands that he will win, swimmingly, a referendum on the disaster of Bidenomics, how the incumbent’s foreign policy weakness created the conflagrations in Ukraine and Gaza, the record-setting influx of illegal immigrants across the southern border, and the violent crime epidemic created and bankrolled by Democratic donors and “restorative justice” proponents in prosecutors’ offices across the country. He also understands that an election that becomes a referendum on abortion risks subjecting America to a second term of the worst president since Jimmy Carter. In supporting pro-life laws for the states, Trump is adopting the legally correct abortion platform, but also the electoral winner.

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