Are Pro-Life Conservatives Showing Hypocrisy Over Trump’s Abortion Stance?

AP Photo/Paul Beaty

It's hard to come up with a more divisive issue in American politics than abortion. The pro-abortion side claims it's a woman's rights issue, while the pro-life side believes it's murder. Without a doubt, no matter what happens, there will be plenty of unhappy people. It's an issue where the passion runs so deep that there isn't a middle ground that both sides can agree to.

For example, when the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that Roe v. Wade was improperly decided and that abortion should be left to the states to regulate, the pro-life movement was thrilled. This was the goal for which it had been striving for decades.

“The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority," the ruling read. "The Court overrules those decisions and returns that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”

As I pointed out at the time, it was more a victory for federalism than a pro-life victory. But the pro-life movement understood that. It wasn't a surprise that overturning Roe v. Wade would send the issue back to the states. That was how this battle was going to progress. Everyone knew that. 

“I’m here to talk to you about the brand new pro-life movement. This is week one and the very beginning of a new life for a new movement, a moment of innovation, a moment of excitement, and a moment where we are building momentum,” Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America president Marjorie Dannenfelser declared last year. “Our top two priorities for the next two years are simple: to engage and win in the states and to win back the presidency.”

But something changed when Donald Trump announced his position on abortion on Monday.

“My view is now that we have abortion where everybody wanted it from a legal standpoint,” Trump explained. “The states will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land. In this case, the law of the state. Many states will be different. Many will have a different number of weeks, or some will have more conservative than others and that’s what they will be."

Curiously, this position, which aligned with the Supreme Court ruling and SBA's new plans for winning the fight against abortion, wasn't adequate.

“We are deeply disappointed in President Trump’s position,” Dannenfelser said Monday. “Unborn children and their mothers deserve national protections and national advocacy from the brutality of the abortion industry. The Dobbs decision clearly allows both states and Congress to act.” 

And just like that, leaving it up to the states wasn't good enough.

I've seen all kinds of comments on social media from conservatives blasting Trump, insisting he's not pro-life because he does not support a national abortion ban, and that's just pure hypocrisy from those who were thrilled over the Dobbs ruling. I understand that the pro-life movement wants to succeed in ending abortion, but let's remember how we got to this point.

The Mississippi law that was at the center of the Dobbs case banned most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. While the radical pro-abortion left refused to acknowledge it, this law reflects mainstream views on abortion in the United States. But the pro-abortion movement couldn't accept anything less than completely unrestricted abortion, and as a result, its precious Roe was overturned. If you push too hard and too fast, you'll lose. 


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