Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Donald Trump. Notoriously unfiltered and often contradicting himself, the former president never shies away from letting his thoughts flow—however misguided, outlandish, or offensive they might be. Yet, there’s one issue he’s been oddly elusive about abortion. And this selective reticence seems to be a recurring theme, one that played a significant role in his 2016 campaign and continues to resurface even now.
Let’s dissect Trump’s perplexing dance around the abortion debate over just the past week:
In a CNN town hall featuring Trump last week, the former president was remarkably evasive when questions about a national abortion ban were raised. One audience member, a registered nurse, asked him about his plan to reassure women concerned about Roe’s possible collapse. Rather than providing a clear answer, Trump’s response was a vague assurance: “Deals are being made. Deals are going to be made.”
Fast forward a few days later, Trump attacked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and provided a sliver of specificity. He criticized DeSantis for his six-week abortion ban, insinuating that it might have been too severe for some within the pro-life movement. But when probed about his stance on a six-week ban, Trump fell back into his noncommittal safety net. This refusal to take a stand didn’t sit well with DeSantis, who chided Trump for his ambiguity on the issue.
Feeling the heat, Trump responded with a series of confused remarks. Parsing through his language fumbles and reckless social media posting, one point becomes clear: Trump doesn’t recognize the existence of an abortion debate. His views, if we can call them that, seem to be reactionary, shifting to appease whoever he is addressing at the moment. His indifference to the specifics – “6 weeks, 10 weeks, 15 weeks, or whatever” – suggests that he’s never given serious consideration to women’s rights.
One might have hoped, perhaps naively, that Trump’s initial vagueness signaled a moderate stance on abortion. But as the events unfolded, the ambiguity simply served to reveal that Trump’s concern for women’s right to an abortion has always been minimal, if not entirely absent.
In the midst of all the indecision and contradiction, Trump seems eager to claim credit for the spate of abortion bans sweeping the nation. The question remains, however: Can you take credit for something you’ve never committed to understanding?