The Contrast Is Clear
Abortion remains a perennial point of contention in public policy, the courts, and culture more broadly. The difference between the presidential candidates on the issue of abortion is stark.
Trump has committed to pursue policies that protect unborn life, whereas Biden has expressed his intention to expand pro-choice policies.
The dissimilarity in each candidates approach to abortion is a clarifying contrast for voters as they elect a leader for the next four years.
LifeNews Note: Melanie Israel writes for The Daily Signal, where this column originally appeared. She is a research associate for the DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.
Abortion: How Do Trump And Biden’s Policies Compare
Abortion is arguably the most divisive issue in US politics and with a Supreme Court seat now vacant, the stakes have never been higher.
With President Trump in the White House, and following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, anti-abortion activists are energised.
Republican-controlled states have tightened restrictions on abortion in recent years.
And there is a brewing political battle over whether Mr Trump should seek to fill the Supreme Court vacancy with a conservative judge prior to the 3 November election.
Activists are concerned it could put in peril the landmark 1973 ruling that legalised abortion nationwide.
Yet public support for abortion rights is the highest in decades, according to the Pew Research Center.
Let’s compare where the presidential candidates stand on the issue.
Mr Trump’s key message: We are making it harder to get an abortion now, want to overturn federal protections and would support a near-total ban. We will also seek to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Justice Ginsberg’s death before the election.
Mr Biden’s key message: We will protect a woman’s right to choose and fight to keep access to abortion legal. We will withdraw Mr Trump’s Supreme Court nominee if we win the presidential election.
While it might sound like an issue you’re either for or against, it’s important to understand the details.
Mr Trump Has Appointed Strong Pro
Starting with his choice of Mike Pence as his Vice-President, Mr. Trump has appointed strong pro-life advocates across his administration. Most of the others dont make the headlines. However, theyre making and implementing policies and practices advancing the right to life of the unborn.
President Trump continues the battle for life day-after-day. He consistently leads the way advocating that Congress pass such bills as the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. And he fights for the full removal of federal funding from Planned Parenthood across-the-board.
And not only does President Trump battle for life in the swamp he encourages the movement as no American leader has since Ronaldus Magnus. At his packed rallies from sea-to-shining-sea the President encourages us all by speaking in plain terms about the abortion issue, rather than other so-called leaders who use vague abstractions and veiled group-speak so as not to upset their media critics too much. And time-after-time both the President and Vice-President attend and address pro-life events including the March for Life. They also host meetings and receptions for pro-life leaders in the White House and other high-profile locations.
Dont despair. Instead rejoice for we finally have a president leading the way out of the darkness of infanticide and back to the light of life. So, keep the faith, keep the peace for we shall overcome, and why worry when you can pray?
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Years Later He Changed His Views Most Likely To Win Votes
Then Trump had a radical change to even suggest doctors should be punished for performing aboritons
“The doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman,” Trump said “The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb.”
“My position has not changed,” he added. “Like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.”
Pence Draws Contrast With Trump On Abortion Decision
For months leading up to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Mike Pence’s unequivocal public and private embrace of the impending Roe decision contrasted with Donald Trump’s private concerns about the political risks to Republicans if abortion rights were overturned in a midterm election year.
Why this matters: Pence is preparing to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2024. Abortion is one of the key policy issues on which the former vice president has sought to define himself as more unabashedly conservative than the former president.
Driving the news: On Friday, as soon as the Supreme Court announced its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Pence’s team was ready to be first out of the gate with an instant reaction.
- His organization instantly released a video celebrating the decision and Pence’s role in making it happen. The video recalled Pence’s history fighting against abortion, long before he became vice president. Nowhere in the video is Trump mentioned by name.
- Pence also immediately issued a statement to Breitbart News: “Today, Life Won. By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court of the United States has given the American people a new beginning for life, and I commend the justices in the majority for having the courage of their convictions.”
- He called for a fight to stop abortion “in every state in the land” an effort to entirely eradicate abortion.
The bottom line: Pence has never expressed reservations about the decision political or otherwise.
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Trump’s Abortion Position And Young People Women And Blacks
How might Trump’s abortion position affect those in other groups who are likely on his campaign team’s radar? This includes in particular young people, who are the least likely of any age group to support Trump based on exit polls from 2016 and current research. Those under 30 have mixed attitudes on abortion like everyone else, but skew more toward a “legal in all circumstances” position than do those who are older. Thus, Trump’s pro-life pronouncements have the potential to reach a relatively small segment of young voters.
Women, who are less likely than men to support Trump, are modestly more likely to favor an “illegal in all circumstances” position than are men — suggesting that Trump may be able to reach a segment of female voters who have firmly held anti-abortion sentiments. At the same time, of course, he risks further alienating women who are pro-choice and for whom abortion is a key issue.
Later He Spoke About Abortion Rights
“Well, look, I’m – I’m very pro-choice,” Trump said. “I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject, but you still – I just believe in choice. Again, it may be a little bit of a New York background, because there is some different attitude in different parts of the country. And, you know, I was raised in New York, and grew up and work and everything else in New York City. But I am strongly for choice and yet I hate the concept of abortion.”
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Donald Trump Stated In His 2016 Campaign That He Would Appoint Pro
During the 2016 campaign, Trump often iterated a pro-life stance. During an interview with Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes, when asked about Supreme Court appointments, Trump affirmed that he would appoint pro-life justices. He noted that if it were ever overturned, it would go back to the states, referring to abortion laws.
Roe v. Wade was decided by 1973s Supreme Court Justices with a 72 vote in favor of abortion being a constitutionally protected right.
Trump Tweets He Is Pro
May 19, 2019 / 1:55 AM / CBS News
President Trump urged Republicans to stay “UNITED” on abortion in a series of tweets late Saturday night and wrote that he is “strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions – Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother.” The tweets come just days after Alabama passed the country’s most restrictive abortion law, which bans the procedure unless “abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk” to the woman.
Mr. Trump tweeted “we have come very far in the last two years” by appointing 105 federal judges, but “we must stick together and win … for Life in 2020.”
“If we are foolish and do not stay UNITED as one, all of our hard fought gains for Life can, and will, rapidly disappear!” Mr. Trump wrote.
As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions – Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother – the same position taken by Ronald Reagan. We have come very far in the last two years with 105 wonderful new…..
Donald J. Trump May 19, 2019
The tweet did not mention the Alabama law specifically but appears to be at odds with it, since the law effectively criminalizes abortion and does not make any exceptions for rape and incest. So far, he has remained silent on the Alabama law.
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Conscience Rights Religious Freedom
Trump has enacted a number of policies that protect freedom of conscience and religious freedom, including moral and religious exemptions to the Affordable Care Acts mandate that nearly all health care plans must cover contraception and abortion-inducing drugs and devices.
His administration also created a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for enforcing a plethora of federal conscience statutes, and which issued a regulation that protects individuals and health care providers from discrimination or coercion in Health and Human Services-funded programs.
Biden has criticized the fact that the Supreme Court has not struck down the administrations regulation providing relief from the Affordable Care Acts contraception mandate. He has also committed to reversing the exemptions from the mandate.
If Roe V Wade Is Overturned Many States Will Enact Near
Although it isn’t clear who leaked the Supreme Court draft opinion and a decision hasnt been officially made, pro-choice Americans are worried about a number of states. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, at least 13 states will implement nearly total bans on abortion, a view Trump supported during his term.
Companies that manufacture abortion pills may also face legal troubles, as many abortions occur by taking two pills consecutively.
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Why Does The Abortion Debate Matter In The Election
It remains a key issue for Mr Trump’s conservative base, and a deal-breaker for many in the evangelical or Catholic communities.
An found 46% of Mr Trump’s supporters and 35% of Mr Biden’s say abortion is a “very important” factor in how they’ll vote this year.
Anti-abortion activists see this election as a chance to build on the severe restrictions they put on abortion services in some states in 2019 and again during pandemic lockdowns. And if they’re fired up that helps Republican turnout not just in the presidential race, but in significant state and congressional contests too.
Though Mr Trump won the overwhelming majority of the white evangelical vote in 2016, now that he’s up against lifelong Catholic Mr Biden, some of that support could waver.
Polls suggest Mr Biden is viewed as more religious and has been doing slightly better among white religious voters than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. His views on healthcare, the pandemic and racial equality are also favourable for some religious voters for whom abortion isn’t the top issue.
During a 2019 campaign stop in South Carolina, the Associated Press reported, Mr Biden spoke about how he squared his religious beliefs with his views on abortion, saying: “I’m prepared to accept for me, personally, doctrine of my church …but I’m not prepared to impose that on every other person.”
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What Do The Candidates Say On Abortion Being Legal
Roe v Wade is the landmark Supreme Court ruling from 1973 which safeguarded the right to an abortion on the national level.
It protects a woman’s right to an abortion only until viability – the point at which a foetus is able to live outside the womb, generally by the start of the third trimester, 28 weeks into a pregnancy.
Mr Trump had promised in 2016 to pick judges who would “automatically” overturn Roe. While that hasn’t happened yet, he has installed hundreds of federal judges plus two conservative justices on the top court – and if the president wins re-election he could reshape the judiciary even further.
He has said he will nominate a candidate prior to the election to fill the new vacancy at the Supreme Court.
Conservative states, such as Alabama, have recently pushed near-total abortion bans in the hope a legal challenge against those restrictions will ultimately lead to Supreme Court toppling Roe v Wade.
Mr Trump has expressed support for banning abortion overall, except for cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s life.
Mr Biden, in contrast, wants to pass a federal law that protects a woman’s right to have an abortion – that’s something that more liberal states like New York have moved towards.
Enshrining Roe this way would mean that even if the Supreme Court bucks the precedent going back almost 50 years, that right would still exist.
One In Four Republicans Think Maga Is A Threat To Democracy Poll Finds
And, naturally, Trump has recently solicited printouts of the latest polling on the subject, according to the two people familiar with the situation.
Suburban women some who voted for me they dont like it when we talk about it. Thats a problem sometimes important to remember,’ Trump said at one small gathering earlier this month, the second source relayed.
There are, however, some conservative die-hards in Trumps orbit who are personally trying to nudge him toward embracing or at least firmly acknowledging the anticipated victory, which would inevitably set the pro-choice movement back decades. I encouraged him to go bigger on the life issue , said a third person, who said theyd spoken to Trump about this in the past two weeks. He said , maybe, which sounded more like a not now.
In an appearance in Pennsylvania to campaign for his preferred Republican Senate candidate in that state, Dr. Oz, Trump alluded to abortion only vaguely, including a line about how Republicans will protect innocent life and that the three justices he nominated to the Supreme Court are making a very big decision now.
But it is Donald Trump Jr., the former presidents eldest son and a leading MAGA envoy, who has been more vocal on the subject of abortion in the same time period, posting memes and support for the draft decision on his Truth Social, Rumble, and Twitter accounts.
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Evangelicals Somewhat More Supportive Of Abortion Restrictions
A number of high-profile evangelical leaders were in attendance at the March for Life rally in Washington, underscoring the close connection in recent years between evangelicals and the abortion issue.
Despite this very public connection at the leadership level, it’s challenging to tease out the precise nature of the importance of abortion to rank-and-file evangelicals in the U.S. today. That’s in part because there is no universally agreed-upon definition of who is and is not an “evangelical.” Efforts to define the group range the gamut from self-identification as born again or evangelical to rigorous sets of behavioral and attitudinal questions that have to be answered in the affirmative to qualify.
In my research, I often look at a useful approximation — white Protestants who are highly religious as measured by their church attendance. Most in this group tend to approve of the job Trump is doing as president, making them keenly important to the Trump campaign’s efforts to maintain and increase voter turnout in November.
Highly religious white Protestants constitute about 15% of the adult population, and by aggregating data from 2016 through 2019, we get a reasonable estimate that about four in 10 among this group say that abortion should be totally illegal. This is higher than among Trump supporters or Republicans yet still leaves more than half of the evangelical group who favor legalized abortion, at least in certain circumstances.
What About Federal Funding For Abortions
Mr Trump has certainly delivered on his promise to curtail federal funding for abortions.
The president last year barred federal family planning dollars from going to organisations that provide abortions or refer patients to abortion clinics. As a result, national reproductive healthcare provider Planned Parenthood lost millions in federal funds.
He’s also reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which prevents any US government global health funds from going to foreign groups that also provide or inform about abortions.
Mr Biden has pledged to rescind that so-called “global gag rule” in his agenda for women.
The Democratic candidate has also expressed support for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which blocks taxpayer money from being used for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother. It has meant that lower-income women who receive government aid for healthcare have not been able to access abortion services.
Mr Biden earlier in the campaign said he favoured the measure, but after criticism from his colleagues on the left, he changed his mind.
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