By Naveen Athrappully
Former President Donald Trump said Republicans need to do a better job of explaining their positions on abortion—with exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother—and to contrast that with the pro-abortion Democrat Party platform.
In an interview with talk show host Wayne Allyn Root, Trump said abortion bans must provide exemptions for situations like incest, rape, and protecting the life of the mother, a position that was upheld by former President Ronald Reagan as well. A “certain standard” on abortion exceptions is necessary and “you have to talk about it,” he said.
“The problem is a lot of people aren’t explaining it well, and I think having the exceptions is a very important thing,” he said. Trump called Democrats the “radical ones” with regard to the abortion issue.
Trump’s advice comes as abortion is one of the key issues expected to influence the midterm elections. According to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted in September, abortion was the second most important issue in voters’ minds.
While only 10 percent of Republicans saw abortion as a top issue, 35 percent of Democrats saw it as the biggest issue. Among independents, who are critical in swing districts and states, abortion was the key issue among 22 percent of respondents.
In addition, 58 percent of independents said the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has made it more likely for them to vote.
Three of the conservative judges on the Supreme Court when Roe was overturned were appointed by Trump.
“This is following the Constitution, and giving rights back when they should have been given long ago,” Trump said to Fox News at the time.
During a rally in Nevada on Saturday, Trump criticized the Biden administration for targeting pro-life supporters. His criticism came after the FBI arrested several high profile pro-life activists. Trump warned that Biden and the left-wing activists were turning America into a “police state.”
The Department of Justice has charged 11 pro-life advocates for a protest they had held at an abortion clinic in Tennessee in 2021.
The former president called out the Biden administration’s double standards by pointing out that the government ignored attacks on pro-life clinics following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe. Yet, the pro-life activists who were protesting peacefully are now in jail, he said.
“They were protesting outside of abortion clinics and [the government] are charging them with crimes punishable with up to 11 years in prison. In many cases, they’re grandparents and elderly people,” Trump stated.
According to an analysis by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, 66 clinics in 15 states stopped offering abortions after Roe was overturned by enacting either complete abortion bans or prohibiting the procedure after the sixth week of pregnancy.
Of those 15 states, Georgia is the only one with clinics still performing the procedure. In 2020, there were about 41,600 abortions performed in Georgia while the remaining 14 states had over 125,000 abortions.