Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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Don’t Be Fooled: Donald Trump’s Plan To Ban Abortion Nationwide

Behind Trump's moderate facade lies a sinister blueprint to ban abortion nationwide through executive overreach.

Donald Trump abortion
Photo: Gage Skidmore

As the 2024 presidential election approaches, Donald Trump has been attempting to recast himself as a moderate on the issue of abortion rights. In recent interviews, the former president has claimed that he would leave the matter up to individual states if re-elected, suggesting a more restrained approach than his previous promises to sign a federal ban into law. However, this supposed shift towards a “states’ rights” stance is nothing more than a calculated political ploy—a blatant lie aimed at deceiving voters and masking his true intentions.

The reality is that Trump’s positions have always been guided by political expediency rather than any genuine conviction. During his first presidential campaign in 2016, he cynically rebranded himself as a staunch anti-choice advocate, vowing to nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade and pledging to defund Planned Parenthood. This dramatic reversal from his previously professed pro-choice stance was a transparent attempt to court the support of the religious right and solidify his appeal among evangelical voters.

Overturning Roe: Trump’s Judicial Legacy

abortion protest

Since Roe was overturned—a direct result of his three Supreme Court appointments—Trump has been eager to take credit for this monumental blow to reproductive rights, boasting that he was “the most pro-life president in American history.” Yet he has sought to distance himself from the deeply unpopular abortion bans that have been established in numerous states, recognizing the repeated losses Republicans have suffered at the ballot box.

It is in this context that Trump’s recent “leave it to the states” rhetoric must be seen for what it is: a cynical ploy to mislead moderate voters and obscure his true intentions, while still appeasing his base. As Mary Ziegler, a law professor at UC Davis, aptly observed, “States’ rights is Trump’s way of saying, ‘If you don’t like the GOP’s position on abortion, you can ignore it when it comes to me, because my being in office is not going to make a difference.’”

However, this assertion is demonstrably false. A second Trump administration would wield immense executive power to restrict abortion access nationwide, far beyond simply leaving the matter to individual states.

Dismantling Biden’s Abortion Rights Protections

One of the primary avenues through which Trump will restrict reproductive rights is by reversing the steps taken by the Biden administration to protect reproductive rights. This could include revoking federal guidance that requires hospitals to perform abortions in medical emergencies, making it easier for law enforcement to access the medical records of women, and—perhaps most significantly—reversing the recent change that allows abortion pills to be prescribed via telehealth without an in-person doctor visit.

The impact of such a reversal would be profound, as telehealth medication abortion has become an increasingly vital avenue for accessing reproductive care in the aftermath of Dobbs. In the months following the Supreme Court’s decision, at least one in six abortions nationwide was completed via telehealth, enabling women in states with anti-choice laws to obtain the necessary medications from out-of-state providers.

Project 2025: Trump’s Blueprint to Ban Medication Abortion

However, Trump’s potential assault on reproductive rights will extend far beyond merely undoing Biden-era policies that have protected women. His administration could appoint FDA officials who would revoke the agency’s approval of mifepristone and misoprostol, the drugs used in the two-pill medication abortion regimen. Despite the proven safety and efficacy of these medications, anti-choice activists have long argued for their prohibition, and the Heritage Foundation’s “Project 2025”—a blueprint for a second Trump term—explicitly calls for the FDA to withdraw its approval of abortion pills.

Weaponization of the Comstock Act, DOJ, and FBI

Furthermore, Trump’s Department of Justice could take an expansive interpretation of the 19th-century Comstock Act, which prohibits the mailing of “every article, instrument, substance, drug, medicine, or thing” intended to facilitate abortions. The result would be a ban on the delivery of any medical equipment or medications used in the procedure, which would be a de facto nationwide abortion ban.

This strategy has been openly endorsed by prominent anti-abortion legal figures closely aligned with Trump, including Jay Sekulow, one of his lead attorneys during his first impeachment trial. In a brief to the Supreme Court, Sekulow asserted that mailing abortion drugs, devices, or equipment is a federal offense under the Comstock Act, declaring “the prohibition is simple, complete, and categorical.”

Moreover, Trump could weaponize federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI to actively investigate and prosecute women who get abortions in states where the procedure remains legal, as well as the doctors and organizations that provide them. The mere threat of such aggressive policing could force clinics to shutter their operations out of fear, even in states that have protected reproductive rights.

Trump Privately Endorsed 16 Week National Abortion Ban

Equally alarming is Donald Trump’s reported private support of a federal 16-week abortion ban. According to sources privy to Trump’s private discussions, the former president has expressed support for implementing a nationwide 16-week abortion ban. This stance directly contradicts Trump’s recent claim that he wants to leave abortion regulations up to individual states to decide.

While this arbitrary ban may seem moderate compared to outright prohibitions, it would still represent a radical erosion of reproductive rights nationwide, effectively banning abortion in the 30 states where it is currently legal.

Moreover, such a proposal serves as a distraction from the far more expansive goals of the anti-abortion movement that would undoubtedly shape a second Trump administration’s policies. As one anonymous anti-choice attorney candidly admitted to the Atlantic that “Federal bans can’t pass” but a legislative ban wouldn’t even be necessary with the Comstock Act. The true agenda, it seems, is to use old and obscure legislation like the Comstock Act to achieve a nationwide ban through executive overreach.

Donald Trump’s Deception

Trump’s recent attempts to portray himself as moderate on abortion are a transparent ruse designed to deceive independent and moderate voters, while still appeasing his hardcore anti-choice base. However, the evidence—from his judicial appointments to the people he surrounds himself with—makes it abundantly clear that a second Trump presidency would unleash a relentless assault on reproductive rights, likely culminating in a nationwide ban achieved through executive overreach and selective enforcement of obscure legislation like the Comstock Act.

As the 2024 election approaches, it is important that voters see through Trump’s lies and recognize the grave threat he poses to reproductive healthcare nationwide. His empty promises of leaving abortion to the states are a smokescreen, masking a far more sinister agenda driven by his most extreme anti-choice allies. The stakes for reproductive freedom could not be higher, and the nation must remain vigilant against the former president’s deceptive rhetoric and unwavering determination to erode this fundamental human right.