The Trump campaign gave everyone a case of whiplash last week as the GOP front-runner managed to run four different positions on abortion between Wednesday, March 30 and Saturday, April 2. Unfortunately, none of this amounted to the April Fools’ joke we all hoped it would be.
His first blunder, and perhaps the most frightening, came in an interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC. Here, he claimed that if he were to be elected president, he would change abortion laws to make them illegal and to thus punish any woman who would receive one. This has not been a tenet of the pro-life movement for decades, and has frankly undercut the work that has been done to provide grace and forgiveness to women who plan to or have received an abortion.
The remaining candidates from both parties had the good sense to call Trump on this.
Before the interview aired, Trump was already walking that comment back, saying that he would punish abortionists, not those who receive abortions. This is closer to pro-life rhetoric, but Trump could not just leave the statement there. He claimed: “my position has not changed – like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exception.” His position changed within hours.
Former presidential candidate Ben Carson claims that this floundering is due to Trump’s lack of political experience and that Trump did not have enough time to thoughtfully consider the question. I would be willing to bet that Carly Fiorina, who was also touted as a “non-politician”, would not have to think twice about her answer, but I digress.
Then, in an interview on CBS on Friday, Trump said that the laws are what they are, so we have to leave them that way.
Later that night, his campaign released this statement:
“Mr. Trump gave an accurate account of the law as it is today and made clear it must stay that way now — until he is president…Then he will change the law through his judicial appointments and allow the states to protect the unborn. There is nothing new or different here.”
As I stated earlier, this is just from the past week. Over the last twenty-five years, Trump has taken even more stances on the issue, from supporting partial-birth abortion to opposing abortion on the basis that a friend considered abortion, but did not go through with it.
This is clearly a champion for the pro-life cause, right? Far from it. If we are going to successfully deal with one of this generation’s greatest human rights issues, we are going to need someone who has a handle on what they are talking about- Trump is certainly not this person. Trump merely parrots whatever stance he thinks is going to earn him applause and support.
So, if you’re wondering if Trump is pro-life or pro-choice, he’s neither. He’s pro-Trump.