Abortion Will Be a Key Issue in 2024 and the GOP Frontrunner Has Ideas. Will Donald Trump’s Abortion Stance Alienate His Base? – The political right has long been considered pro-life regarding the abortion argument.
However, in the face of tremendous shifts in public opinion, even among those who claim to be Christians, Republicans find themselves having to make compromises to win elections.
According to Pew Research data compiled in 2022, 84% of religiously unaffiliated Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, as do 66% of Black Protestants, 60% of White Protestants who are not evangelical, and 56% of Catholics.
Conservative Republicans and Republican leaners are far more likely to say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases than to say that it should be legal (72% vs. 27%). Among moderate and liberal Republicans, 60% say abortion should be legal, while 38% say it should be illegal.
Any candidate who hopes to have a shot at victory in the 2024 presidential election needs those votes from the moderate and liberal Republicans. Donald Trump knows this.
While Trump has mostly thrown bait to his base since announcing his candidacy for a third time in November of last year, it seems his strategy has shifted a bit. He knows he needs to start appealing to a wider audience if he is going to capture the votes to defeat the Democrat candidate next year.
Trump Gets Pressed on Abortion
In an interview on Meet the Press, host Kristin Welker from Meet the Press pressed Trump on his stance on abortion.
“If a federal ban landed on your desk if you were re-elected, would you sign it at fifteen weeks?” she asked Trump.
Trump was reluctant to offer a straightforward answer.
“I would sit down with both sides and I would negotiate something and I would end up on peace with that issue for the first time in fifty-two years. I’m not gonna say I would or I wouldn’t.”
Seeking to differentiate himself from his main rival, Trump continued to lambast Ron DeSantis for his recent 6 week abortion ban in Florida.
“I mean DeSanctis is willing to sign a five-week and six-week ban. I think what he did is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake.”
This may be the distinctive difference between the two republican primary candidates’ campaigns and may turn some more hardline pro-lifers against Trump.
Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, an activist organization that aims to “save unborn children through non-violent direct action,” told 19FortyFive on Thursday: “Former President Trump must immediately recant his outrageous statement that extending legal protection to unborn babies in Florida was a ‘horrible mistake.’
Trump Claims a Truce
Despite the longstanding conflict on abortion, Donald Trump seems confident he will be able to declare a truce between the two sides.
“Both sides are going to come together and both sides, both sides, and this is a big statement, both sides will come together and for the first time in 52 years you’ll have an issue that we can put behind us.”
Welker pressed for further clarification, “At the federal level?”
Trump replied, “It could be state, or it could be federal. I don’t frankly care.”
On her recent podcast, Megyn Kelly commented on the impossibility of making everyone happy on the abortion issue, which is the most realistic stance.
The best a candidate can do is try to walk the very fine middle line. Or like DeSantis, go all in on their personal opinion, but toss it back to the states when it comes to any federal regulation.
“I tend to think that Trump is being cagey here because his political instincts are pretty good on this. I think he doesn’t want to attach himself to a position that’s gonna become a liability in the general,” commented David Sacks of the podcast “All In.”
Trump’s comments on abortion on last Sunday are interesting considering he gave a speech at Family Research Council’s Pray Vote Stand Summit on Friday evening. FRC is likely the most pro-life organization in the country today.
In his speech, Trump called himself the “most pro-life president in American history” and took credit for his appointment of three conservative judges to the Supreme Court – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Cavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett – who were responsible for reversing Roe v. Wade.
Trump stated, “I said to politicians they just don’t know how to talk about this issue. It’s a complex issue but they don’t know how to talk about it and if they don’t speak about it correctly, they’re not going to win.” It remains to be seen if Trump has the ability to speak in a way that can sustain pro-life support without alienating a large swath of voters.
About the Author
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor and opinion writer for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics, and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
This piece has been updated to fix a coding error. We apologize for any issues in reading the article when first posted.
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