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Tags: vitro | embryo | rape

Trump's Abortion Curveball Misses Golden Opportunity

former presidency life gala at building museum at united states capital

U.S. President Donald Trump applauds during the Susan B. Anthony 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala at the National Building Museum on May 22, 2018 in Washington, D,C. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Steve Levy By Tuesday, 09 April 2024 11:35 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Donald Trump threw us a curveball on his abortion announcement this week, while losing a golden opportunity to cement Biden-disgruntle independent voters to his cause.

Over the last couple of weeks, the former president put out feelers that he was going to announce support for a ban on abortion no earlier than 15 or 16 weeks.

Such a reasonable compromise, which is the norm in most European countries, would likely have been embraced by America’s political center and put to rest the abortion issue, which has galvanized Democratic support in every election since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade 410 U.S. 113 (1973), with Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization 597 U.S. 215 (2022).

With Democrats being underwater on nearly every major issue from immigration, to the economy, to energy independence, crime and foreign policy, they had no business doing as well as they did in the 2022 midterms and the many special elections thereafter.

A key factor in their success was the resurfacing of the abortion issue after Dobbs.

Suddenly this volatile issue which was dormant for years became the hot button topic that would sway elections.

Republicans fumbled to come up with a coherent message, given that the American public supported the parameters espoused in Roe by a two to one ratio.

But over the past month, Donald Trump made major news by apparently endorsing a compromise that doesn't ban abortions until after the 15th or 16th week.

Media analyst Howard Kurtz asked Trump about a report in The New York Times claiming that he told aides he’s prepared to support a 16 month threshold.

The former president noted he thought a compromise is doable and teased he would be officially announcing it soon thereafter.

In an interview with radio host Sid Rosenberg, the former president suggested a 15-week ban would be reasonable.

But the much-anticipated compromise amount to nothing more than The Donald announcing this Monday that he would leave to combustible issue to the states.

Had he gone a step further and announced a European-like compromise, it would have been a homerun from both a political and policy perspective, so long as Trump set it as a platform goal rather than an actual attempt to federalize the 15-week threshold.

His announcement may assuage fears of national law wiping out choice in the first trimester, but it keeps the issue alive down ballot and May indeed siphon attention for all the other issues where Republicans trounce the Democrats.

The announcement of a compromise could have neutralized what was the biggest issue Democrats had in the 2024 election.

It’s a policy that is in line with where the vast majority of Americans stand.

It’s also, as noted above, where almost every western European democracy had settled on the issue.

Previous attempts by Republicans to highlight the insane position of Democrats allowing abortions in the ninth month fell on deaf ears, so long as Americans 18 to 40 years of age believed that the Republicans were going to stifle their ability to choose within the first trimester.

It’s not enough, as the former president said, to simply say you support exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Those are a tiny fraction of the total abortions.

Other so-called compromises calling for a mere five or six weeks were scoffed at by the American public.

This is a time frame where many women don’t even know they’re pregnant.

Yet, this was a compromise embraced by Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., and it hurt him significantly — even leading to some major donors backing away from him for fear that he made himself radioactive in a potential general election.

So it is quite ironic that it is Donald Trump, the president who stacked the court with anti-Roe justices, who could have come to the rescue of the Republican Party by providing this rational compromise.

It’s still not too late; he still can.

Those wanting a total ban have nowhere else to go and those who want unlimited abortions weren’t voting Republican anyway.

But for the squishy middle, the compromise may neutralize the issue, thereby freeing them to predicate their votes this November on the many issues where Biden and Democrats are in turmurtulous waters.

There’s no need for Mr. Trump, or any of the Republicans to be calling for a federal law to implement the compromise.

Thankfully, Donald Trump has rejected that.

The fact that it can be cemented into the GOP platform is more than enough.

A compromise announcement would come just weeks after former-President Trump jumped out in front of the In Vitro fertilization controversy after an Alabama court held the current state law may treat each embryo as a child, thereby placing future access to the process in peril.

Trump saved the party from a knee jerk reaction that would have rallied behind the decision.

Instead, he wisely stressed that the GOP is pro-family and wants to encourage couples having difficulty conceiving maintaining access to the IVF procedures.

Democrats who had been licking their chops waiting to pounce on Republicans siding with the court had their hopes deflated as almost every other Republican on the morning talk shows were following Trump's lead, even down to the pro-family rhetoric.

Issue deflated.

Mr. Trump has at times been a drag on the Republican ticket with his obsession overlooking backward at the 2020 election and his divisive tweets.

But on the IVF issues, it’s been the unpredictable and undisciplined Trump who may have sent his party a lifeline for this November’s election.

It’s commendable he’s rejected a national law on abortion, but a clearer platform incorporating the 15-week threshold would make a GOP victory much more likely.

Steve Levy is President of Common Sense Strategies, a political consulting firm. He served as Suffolk County Executive, as a NYS Assemblyman, and host of "The Steve Levy Radio Show." He is the author of "Solutions to America’s Problems" and "Bias in the Media.", Twitter @SteveLevyNY, Read more of Steve Levy's reports — Here.

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Those who want a total ban have nowhere else to go and those who want unlimited abortions weren’t voting Republican anyway.
vitro, embryo, rape
Tuesday, 09 April 2024 11:35 AM
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