Donald Trump’s position on abortion has wavered back and forth over the years depending on whom he was speaking to; he obviously does not have a firm philosophical opposition to the barbaric procedure.
Speaking to Tim Russert on Meet the Press in 1999, the exchange went like this:
Russert: Partial birth abortion; the eliminating of abortion in the third trimester. A big issue in Washington. Would President Trump ban partial-birth abortion?
Trump: Well, I’m very pro-choice.
Russert repeated, “But you would not ban it (abortion) -
Russert: - or partial birth abortion?
Trump: No. I am pro-choice in every respect and as far as it goes …
By 2011, after roughly 13.5 million babies had been slaughtered in America between 2000 and 2010, according to the Guttmacher Institute, Trump had changed his mind, telling the Des Moines Register: “But in thinking about it over the years, I’ve had instances, and one instance in particular, a friend had a child who they were going to abort, and now they have it, and the child is incredible. And the man, he changed his views also because of that.”
Trump reiterated that his change of heart came from watching a child who was to be aborted become a “superstar” at the first Republican presidential debate on August 6, asserting, “And what happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn’t aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances.”
But only one month later, asked by Jamie Weinstein of the Daily Caller in September 2015 whether he would not have changed his mind on abortion had the child he often referred to turned out to be a loser, Trump admitted, "Probably not, but I've never thought of it. I would say no, but in this case it was an easy one because he's such an outstanding person."
Roughly eight months before that, on January 25, 2015, Trump told Mark Halperin of Bloomberg News, “I’m pro-life, with the caveats. You have to have the caveats.” Halperin asked if abortion was murder, prompting Trump to reply, “No … with caveats, life of the mother, incest, and rape.” Halperin pressed further, asking if performing an abortion outside of those exceptions was murder.
Trump insisted three times, “It depends when.”
“It depends when.”
Donald Trump, asked if abortion is murder
As Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review noted, in August 2015, Trump raved to Halperin about his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, saying she would make a "phenomenal" Supreme Court justice. But Barry is a federal appeals court judge who helped strike down New Jersey's partial-birth abortion ban. Barry blasted the attempt to ban partial-birth abortion, calling it “based on semantic machinations, irrational line-drawing, and an obvious attempt to inflame public opinion instead of logic or medical evidence.”
Ponnuru furiously and cogently charged:
It made no difference where the fetus was when it “expired.” So: The right of abortionists to make a child “expire” by partially extracting her from the womb, sticking scissors in the back of her head, vacuuming out her brain, and crushing her skull to complete her extraction, is right there in the Constitution. But let’s please not have any “semantic machinations.”
On Saturday, Trump said former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, who supports abortion rights, could be his running mate. Brown said in 2012, " I'm a moderate pro-choice Republican. I always have been."
Abortion is not a pressing issue for Trump; if it were, he would take a hard stand. But his habit of letting whatever feelings he has at the moment dictate his policy on the murder of the unborn by the millions should give those who value life some pause.