Donald Trump has done more than any other elected Republican to limit access to abortion in the United States.
But no Republican has labored harder to avoid the topic in the early stages of the 2024 presidential race than the outgoing leader.
Just nine months after he and his party cheered the Supreme Court’s ruling eliminating women’s constitutional right to an abortion, Trump dodges the subject more than any of his GOP competitors.
It would be best to look no further than Trump’s visit to Iowa last week to see examples of his masterful juggling performance.
Anti-abortion advocates are pressing the GOP’s leadership to endorse a federal measure prohibiting abortion in every state as soon as possible after Trump stepped off his plane just outside Davenport.
When asked repeatedly by The Associated Press whether he supported a federal abortion ban, Trump responded, “We’re looking at a lot of different things.
The subject of abortion was immediately changed to immigration, the economy, and “radical-left lunatics” in the following hours as the former president spoke with Iowans in a diner, gave an hour-long speech, and answered almost a dozen questions from voters.
Trump is well-positioned going into the first round of the GOP primary. Yet he will confront many difficulties in the coming weeks, particularly as the legal inquiries into the previous president get more serious.
While a New York grand jury looks into hush money payments to women who claim to have had sexual relations with the former president, Trump stated in a social media post over the weekend that he anticipates being arrested this week.
But, Manhattan prosecutors have not spoken with Trump directly, so it is unclear when such charges may be brought.
But, the Republicans’ extreme caution on the abortion issue this election year reflects a new political reality.
Party officials acknowledge that the GOP’s unexpected victory in getting Trump’s reconstituted Supreme Court to reverse Roe v. Wade last June eventually led to a ferocious response that helped Democrats in the midterm elections in November.
Leaders in both parties agree that abortion may play a more significant role in the election of the next president than other topics, even though the political environment for 2024 is far from settled.