Tag: anti abortion
Trump Endorses Anti-Abortion Monitoring Of Pregnancy By States

Trump Endorses Anti-Abortion Monitoring Of Pregnancy By States

With little more than six months until Election Day, Donald Trump is preparing for an “authoritarian” presidency, and a massive, multi-million dollar operation called Project 2025, organized by The Heritage Foundation and headed by a former top Trump White House official, is proposing what it would like to be his agenda. In its 920-page policy manual the word “abortion” appears nearly 200 times.

Trump appears to hold a more narrow grasp of the issue of abortion, and is holding on to the framing he recently settled on, which he hoped would end debate on the issue after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. One day before the Arizona Supreme Court ruled an 1864 law banning abortion was still legal and enforceable, Trump declared states have total control over abortion and can do whatever they like.

Despite the results of that framing, Trump is sticking with that policy.

In a set of interviews with TIME‘s Eric Cortellessa, published Tuesday, the four-times indicted ex-president said he would not stop states from monitoring all pregnancies within their borders and prosecuting anyone who violates any abortion ban, if he were to again become president. He also refused to weigh in on a nationwide abortion ban or on medication abortion.

Recently, Trump backed away from endorsing a nationwide abortion ban, but in the past he has said there should be “punishment” for women who have abortions. The group effectively creating what could become his polices, The Heritage Foundation and its Project 2025, fully support a ban on abortion.

The scope of the TIME interviews was extensive.

“What emerged in two interviews with Trump, and conversations with more than a dozen of his closest advisers and confidants, were the outlines of an imperial presidency that would reshape America and its role in the world,” Cortellessa writes in his article.

“To carry out a deportation operation designed to remove more than 11 million people from the country, Trump told me, he would be willing to build migrant detention camps and deploy the U.S. military, both at the border and inland. He would let red states monitor women’s pregnancies and prosecute those who violate abortion bans. He would, at his personal discretion, withhold funds appropriated by Congress, according to top advisers. He would be willing to fire a U.S. Attorney who doesn’t carry out his order to prosecute someone, breaking with a tradition of independent law enforcement that dates from America’s founding.”

TIME’s Cortellessa also notes that Trump “is weighing pardons for every one of his supporters accused of attacking the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, more than 800 of whom have pleaded guilty or been convicted by a jury. He might not come to the aid of an attacked ally in Europe or Asia if he felt that country wasn’t paying enough for its own defense. He would gut the U.S. civil service, deploy the National Guard to American cities as he sees fit, close the White House pandemic-preparedness office, and staff his Administration with acolytes who back his false assertion that the 2020 election was stolen.”

On abortion, Trump has repeatedly bragged he personally ended Roe v. Wade, which was a nearly 50-year old landmark Supreme Court ruling that found women have a constitutional right to abortion, and by extension, bodily autonomy.

But Trump has also “sought to defuse a potent campaign issue for the Democrats by saying he wouldn’t sign a federal ban. In our interview at Mar-a-Lago, he declines to commit to vetoing any additional federal restrictions if they came to his desk. More than 20 states now have full or partial abortion bans, and Trump says those policies should be left to the states to do what they want, including monitoring women’s pregnancies. ‘I think they might do that,’ he says.”

“When I ask whether he would be comfortable with states prosecuting women for having abortions beyond the point the laws permit, he says, ‘It’s irrelevant whether I’m comfortable or not. It’s totally irrelevant, because the states are going to make those decisions.’ President Biden has said he would fight state anti-abortion measures in court and with regulation,” Cortellessa adds.

Trump in his TIME interview continued to hold on to the convenient claim as president he would have absolutely nothing to do with abortion.

But “Trump’s allies don’t plan to be passive on abortion if he returns to power. The Heritage Foundation has called for enforcement of a 19th century statute that would outlaw the mailing of abortion pills. The Republican Study Committee (RSC), which includes more than 80% of the House GOP conference, included in its 2025 budget proposal the Life at Conception Act, which says the right to life extends to ‘the moment of fertilization.’ I ask Trump if he would veto that bill if it came to his desk. ‘I don’t have to do anything about vetoes,’ Trump says, ‘because we now have it back in the states.'”

That’s inaccurate, if a national abortion ban, or any legislation on women’s reproductive rights, comes to his desk. And they will, if there’s a Republican majority in the House and Senate.

Brooke Goren, Deputy Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) writes, “In the same interview, Trump:

– Repeatedly refuses to say he wouldn’t sign a national ban
– Left the door open to signing legislation that could ban IVF
– Stood by his allies, who are making plans to unilaterally ban medication abortion nationwide if he’s elected.”

Cortellessa ends his piece with this thought: “Whether or not he was kidding about bringing a tyrannical end to our 248-year experiment in democracy, I ask him, Don’t you see why many Americans see such talk of dictatorship as contrary to our most cherished principles? Trump says no. Quite the opposite, he insists. ‘I think a lot of people like it.'”

The Bulwark’s Bill Kristol, once a hard-core conservative Republican, now a Democrat as of 2020, served up this take on TIME’s Trump interview and overview of a second Trump reign.

“Some of us: A second term really would be far more dangerous than his first, it would be real authoritarianism–with more than a touch of fascism.

Trump apologists: No way, calm down.

Trump: Yup, authoritarianism all the way!”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

No Place To Hide: The Abject Panic Of The 'Pro-Lifers'

No Place To Hide: The Abject Panic Of The 'Pro-Lifers'

Donald Trump just hates the issue of abortion. It’s messy. It’s nasty. It deals with women’s stuff down there, the part he has always just wanted to grab and then brag about. The big problem with abortion for Trump has been that that he has never wanted to take a position on it. When he said he would appoint justices to the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v. Wade, all he wanted to do was take the votes of the MAGA masses and move on.

The stickiness of abortion as an issue has never been as clear as it is right now with the Alabama Supreme Court essentially declaring that life begins at conception and applying that principle to IVF, and the Arizona Supreme Court concluding that they’re happy breathing life into an anti-abortion law that was written before Arizona was even a state.

The Arizona law was like those some states, mainly in the South, have on the books that make adultery illegal or forbid women or Black people from signing contracts or holding a bank account. The Republicans are like, yeah, sure, we know those ancient statutes are still around, but we’d rather just ignore them and move on, because we’re only trying to turn the clock back to the 1950’s, not the 1860’s.

But these two Supreme Courts blew the lid off the pro-life movement’s decades-long wish to seem reasonable and exposed the anti-abortion movement for what it has always been. It’s why they came up with the name “pro-life” rather than “anti-abortion.” They were trying to make it seem like they didn’t just want to ban women from getting an abortion; what really concerned them were the babies.

But even that was a lie. Babies, once they are born, never interested them. They want women either on the birthing table or at the sink scrubbing those pots and pans. In Texas, the desire to control women was so strong that the legislature wrote a law turning women’s neighbors into spies and giving them the power to sue women who had abortions as well as any person who helped or enabled women to abort a pregnancy after six weeks.

Watching the Republican Party, and especially its Maximum Leader, Donald Trump, try to tap dance around these two state Supreme Courts is providing us with some welcome opportunities for schadenfreude. You almost have to feel sorry for the poor fools serving on the Supreme Court of Alabama, with nine Republican justices either elected or appointed by Republican Governor Kay Ivey. They have got to be sitting there today thinking, wait a minute! What just happened? I just did what my party expected me to do, in fact, what they put me on the court to do! And now they’re getting roasted for it.

The analogy that pundits have seized to describe the current moment for Republicans is the proverbial dog who caught the proverbial car. What does the dog do now? Well, it turns out that what the dog does is look wildly around for a way to dislodge the car from its jaws, the car being the Dobbs decision and its rapid fall-out around the nation, all those anti-abortion laws that sprang to life in state after state, some of them truly draconian. The stories of women’s lives being endangered by the new anti-abortion laws have proliferated, including the one about the 10 year old girl in Ohio who was raped and had to travel out of state for an abortion because Ohio didn’t have an exception for rape or incest, even for a little girl.

All those Republican legislators and governors are sitting there today patting themselves on the back congratulating each other because they did what they were elected to do. And now comes the scrambling, not to fix the ugly laws they passed, but to repair the damage they know they’re going to suffer at the ballot box.

Donald Trump, bless his black heart, is leading the way. Look at this nonsense he posted on Truth Social today:

Trump is so panicked, so afraid of actually taking a position that would have any real meaning and effect, he is reprising his wishful thinking that the whole thing has been solved by the return of control of laws on abortion to the states. Well, here’s a state, asshole, and it’s a battleground state, Arizona, and what’s he calling for as a “remedy?” Exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother which aren’t in the 1864 nightmare of a law the Arizona Supreme Court just put back on the books. Boy, that’ll get it done, huh?

This kind of reshuffling of the deck of cards isn’t going to work, especially with an amendment enshrining the right to abortion in the Arizona constitution expected to be on the November ballot…along with the name of Donald Trump, the dog trying to get that damn car out of his mouth who is running for president.

If you want to see some professional-level reshuffling, allow me to recommend the David French op-ed published in the New York Times on Thursday. Here we have one of the preeminent pro-life intellectuals lamenting the fact that his movement doesn’t have a political party to call its own anymore, because Alabama Republicans quickly did an about-face on IVF after the Supreme Court shut it down in that state. Of course, legalizing IVF necessitates the destruction of fertilized embryos, which are, according to French, unborn children, and “the unborn child must not be intentionally killed.”

French, of course, is supposed to be one of the New York Times' “reasonable” conservatives, in this case, the “reasonable” pro-life one, who assures us elsewhere in his thousand-plus-word lament that he has been pro-life for “my entire adult life,” and defends his movement against charges that what it’s doing is seeking to control women’s lives, French assures us he has “never seen a desire for subjugation and control” in the pro-life movement.

Well, thank goodness for that. We all feel so much better now.

What French and the rest of them are doing is backing and filling now that the nation’s Supreme Court and the supreme courts of two states have dug the gigantic abyss they’re staring into. They’re trying to say, gee, we didn’t mean for this whole thing to go that far! We thought we’d throw these exceptions into the anti-abortion laws and that would take care of it for us! We didn’t know there would be this stuff like women going into sepsis! What the hell is sepsis, anyway?

This is what happens when men write laws about women’s bodies they don’t understand any better than the Chief Pussy-Grabber does. The thing that for decades they had treated like a simple issue to garner votes has turned out to be more complicated than they thought. If you want every embryo to be a little person, there are consequences, and as they discovered in Alabama, consequences demand compromises. As David French now whines, compromises are not pure and simple, they involve moral choices you once thought were easy and clean and now discover are messy and icky.

The dogs who caught the car are not happy. Boo fucking hoo.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

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'Losing Sucks': Virginia GOP Discord Surges After Campaign Failure

'Losing Sucks': Virginia GOP Discord Surges After Campaign Failure

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin's recent major legislative loss is shedding light on state Republican infighting, The Washington Post reports.

As other GOP members push to remove House Speaker Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) from his position over failing to counter Youngkin's Spirit of Virginia political action committee's anti-abortion $1.4 million TV campaign, Virginia Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-Scott) is challenging the speaker for his seat.

The Post spoke with three GOP delegates who "said the governor's PAC did not consult them about the ad buy or the flurry of mailers on the same theme that the PAC sent to some districts," and the claimed the PAC also "ignored their concerns and made last-minute demands for them to appear at Youngkin-led rallies and other events, which they said were primarily meant to promote his potential last-minute bid for president."

The Postreports:

With prospects for his conservative agenda and potential White House bid on the line, Youngkin and his team made abortion a central theme with all 140 House and Senate seats on the ballot and both narrowly divided chambers up for grabs.

The strategy was a notable shift for Virginia Republicans, who have tended to play up kitchen table issues — such as the economy, schools and crime — and downplay abortion. After wooing GOP caucus voters with a vow to 'protect the life of every Virginia child born and unborn,' Youngkin himself said little about abortion in the 2021 general election. He was captured on video saying he had to downplay the issue to win swing voters but promising to 'go on offense' against the procedure once elected.

The governor eventually "proposed banning abortion after 15 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk," the report notes.

Two people familiar with the campaign told the Post that Kilgore was aware of "the abortion strategy and approved of it," but one delegate denies that claim.

"I have worked with the Governor and support his agenda whole heartedly," Kilgore said in a statement to the Post."However, this isn't about the Governor — it's about the future of leadership in the House of Delegates, and making the changes we need to make to be successful in the long term for the Virginians we represent."

He added, "While we are at a crossroads that we neither wanted nor expected, now is the time to come together and move forward."

The Post emphasizes that "infighting within the Virginia GOP suggests that Youngkin, at the midpoint of his four-year term, could have trouble with his own party as he faces a General Assembly controlled by Democrats."

Referring to the failed anti-abortion campaign, another Republican delegate told the Post, "We literally ran on one of the third rails of politics. We told them, this is the year to run on inflation, grocery bills, gas bills, fuel costs, freakin’ child care. … If we're not providing an answer or a solution to those things, then the people are looking at us like, 'Why are you talking about abortion?''

According to the report, the PACs executive director, Matthew Moran, said "on X that he looked forward to addressing any criticism at a panel discussion Monday night," writing, "Losing sucks, and I'm never afraid to wear anything on my chin. You can't be prepared to take the credit if you’re not also prepared to take the criticism. … I expect a good discussion on the effect of the Secure Your Vote Virginia program, the role of abortion and the thoughts behind our strategy to combat the attacks (most of them completely false), and why we invested in certain races. I look forward to all of that."

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Angry Trump Hints Anti-Abortion Movement Is A Grift

Angry Trump Hints Anti-Abortion Movement Is A Grift

Donald Trump cannot stop blundering on his abortion stance.

To be fair, he’s in a difficult position: Trump is the relatively rare Republican who understands that abortion bans are unpopular, and he wants to look ahead to a general election, in which support for a federal ban could really hurt him. But he's still competing in a Republican presidential primary, and that means he’s going to need the votes of anti-abortion extremists. It’s a tough balance to strike, and he’s … not succeeding.

If Trump didn’t have such a huge lead in the primary polls, he would have faced massive opposition from anti-abortion groups by now. And his latest gaffe might draw out more of that.

In an interview with The National Pulse, Trump appeared to question the motives of anti-abortion groups:

“This is an issue that’s been going on for 52 years. I was able to end it. That gave tremendous negotiating power to the pro-life movement. Tremendous negotiating power. Because they can’t do the things that they used to be able to do,” Trump said, returning (as he always does) to his grievance that he’s not properly appreciated for his pivotal Supreme Court appointments.

He continued: “The pro-life was fighting it, we have these groups fighting this thing for so many decades, but it’s exactly 52 years as of a date in the not-too-distant future. And that’s a long time. Everybody’s raising money all the time—I don’t know, maybe it’s some kind of a business. I don’t know what’s going on, but everybody was amazed that I was able to do it, and I put them in a great negotiating position.”

There’s a fair bit of Trumpian word salad there, but “Everybody’s raising money all the time—I don’t know, maybe it’s some kind of a business” does jump out. Being Trump, he’s probably torn between admiration for anyone raising money and irritation that the money isn’t going directly to him, but, as the DeSantis War Room account said, it kind of does sound like he was accusing anti-abortion groups of grifting.

That cannot help an already strained relationship between Trump and those groups. Trump has been reluctant to promise a 15-week federal abortion ban, has suggested that Republicans need to include stronger exceptions in their abortion bans, and has criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing a six-week abortion ban, calling it “a terrible thing and a terrible mistake.”

Last spring, Trump did come under pressure from Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America for dragging his feet on a 15-week ban—but following a private meeting, the organization’s leader praised him, and the pressure eased. At this point, Trump’s standing in the primary may look too strong for anti-abortion groups to be willing to criticize him too harshly, knowing that they’re likely to have to rally the troops behind him in the general election. But he’s certainly challenging their resolve on that one.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.