Pinkerton: Trump Tries to Yank the Abortion Issue Out of the Democrats’ Playbook 

Pro-life demonstrators listen to President Donald Trump as he speaks at the 47th annual &q

For the last two years, Democrats have been salivating on the abortion issue. Needless to say, their allies in the media have also been licking their lips. 

Here’s a headline in Axios: “Democrats’ new abortion battle plan: Rush to get it on ballots in 2024.”  Associated Press: “Democrats see abortion as a key issue in 2024,” and Politico: “Democrats are counting on abortion rights to win.” USA Today: “House Democrats plot their 2024 comeback: Abortion, economy, unity.” And April 12 from The Washington Post: “Biden team increasingly hopes to ride the abortion issue to victory.” 

Some background is needed here, both for understanding the abortion issue and for developing the right pro-life counter-strategy.  That is, a strategy for maximizing both the protection of the unborn and the well-being of the Republican Party—which is, after all, the only major pro-life party.  Any lingering hope for the Democrats was snuffed out on March 14, when Vice President Kamala Harris visited a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, lauding its grisly work. 

The Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs decision was correctly, even righteously, decided.  It reversed the Court’s 1973 Roe decision, that being a horrendous judicial overreach, in which seven justices swept away state laws, seeking to “legislate” a liberal national abortion policy. Indeed, Roe stands as the high-water mark of 1960s-type liberal judicial activism—the source of so much of our trouble to this day.

Pro-life activists celebrate the Dobbs decision overturning the controversial 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Pro-life activists celebrate the Dobbs decision overturning the controversial 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Pro-life activists celebrate the Dobbs decision overturning the controversial 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)


Dobbs undid Roe, sending the abortion issue back to the states for their respective legislatures to work out. It always should have been obvious that the 50 states, Alabama to Wyoming, would come up with different answers on the abortion issue, in keeping with their ideological and cultural diversity. 

To be sure, from a pro-life (or pro-choice) point of view, such a mottled result is not satisfactory, because some states will decide “wrongly.”  Yet as a matter of realism, that’s the way it has to be; politics is, after all, the art of the possible. In fact, the Framers anticipated that the states would have different views on intense issues; the 10th Amendment is the rock that guarantees a state’s rights. Allowing for difference among the states helps to stave off conflict between the states. 

Two years ago here at Breitbart News, this author hailed the Dobbs decision under the headline, “The Supreme Court Confirmed That the Constitution’s Solution for Abortion Is Federalism.” Roe was wrong because it trampled the states, Dobbs was right because it empowered the states. 

Yes, Dobbs established a system whereby pro-life states could protect life as they saw fit. Again, not a perfect solution, but a best-possible solution, including for the GOP’s electoral prospects. 

But then some Republicans overplayed their hand. Three months after the Dobbs decision, in September 2022, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee and a ubiquitous TV presence, announced legislation that would impose a 15-week federal ban. Graham may have been expressing his sincere pro-life views, but in doing so, he activated an intense backlash. It’s one thing to tell a pro-choice woman in New York City that abortion is being banned in flyover country; it’s quite another to say that it’s potentially being banned in Manhattan. That’s what gets checks flowing to Planned Parenthood and to the Democratic National Committee.  

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “The Assault on Reproductive Rights in a Post-Dobbs America” in Washington, DC, on April 26, 2023. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

It’s a simple fact that most Americans are at least somewhat pro-choice. 

As we recall, the 2022 midterm elections were a disappointment; no wonder the Democrats were running the same pro-abortion playbook in 2024, even before the Arizona Supreme Court’s strange decision to reinstate an 1864 abortion law. 

Enter Trump. In a now-famous video released on April 8, Trump recalled that his three Supreme Court appointees made Dobbs possible, and then stated his view that that the right path is to leave abortion to the 50 states. That nuanced position, Trump added, would let Republicans turn the focus back on the Democrats and their “radical” national position on late-term abortion.

Pro-Trump Republicans echoed this messaging.  Charlie Kirk argued: “Trump’s position remains morally clear, while allowing pro-life groups to keep fighting to persuade Americans and get wins at the state level. Trump has threaded the needle masterfully.”

Mike Cernovich reminded his followers, “Voters in Republican states have rejected every ballot measure banning abortion.” Ann Coulter said: “Pro-lifers need to be told: You can’t get everything you want. If Republicans give you this, they’ll lose their jobs, and the people who’ll replace them want you dead.”

Trump supporter Alex Bruesewitz asserted that Trump’s stance “is pro-culture of life.” Bruesewitz added, “Meanwhile Biden and the Democrats want abortion on demand, post birth abortion, and many other sick and twisted policies!  Democrats are the extremists on this issue!”

A pro-life activist holds a sign at the 2023 MCCL March for Life rally. (Michael Siluk/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Proving that point, in 2023, Democrats in the U.S. House voted en masse against the Republican-sponsored Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which held that an infant born alive after an attempted abortion is a “legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States.” And babies should be protected against being murdered.  It might seem hard to argue against that—but Democrats did.  The bill passed the House 220-210; of the 220 “yeas,” 219 were Republicans, and all 210 “nays” were Democrats.  The bill then died in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

It’s this Democratic radicalism that keeps Right to Lifers on board.  Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America, said, “If you’re pro-life, you cannot vote for Joe Biden”—and by extension, any Biden-Harris-type Democrat.

South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem added her voice: “Different states will make different decisions on Life. What voters want in South Dakota might be different than what voters want in California. South Dakota is proud to stand for LIFE and support babies, moms, and families.” Trump himself emphasizes the same point: “It’s all about states’ rights.” 

Absent deference to the states, we can only imagine the fiasco of trying to prosecute an abortion case in a blue pro-choice state. It would be a counter-productive circus of protest, non-cooperation, and O.J. Simpson trial-type jury nullification.

US President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally to Restore Roe at Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Virginia, on January 23, 2024. Protesters chanting slogans against Israel's offensive in Gaza repeatedly interrupted US President Joe Biden on Tuesday during an election campaign event to promote abortion rights. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally to Restore Roe in Manassas, Virginia, on January 23, 2024. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty)

In the meantime, the Democrats are swooping in on Arizona and its 11 electoral votes.  The Biden re-election campaign dispatched Vice President Harris there in one quick hurry; Harris held Trump “responsible for the pain and suffering of millions of women and families… he took your freedoms.”As if Trump could be responsible for that 1864 law, enacted 82 years before he was born!

Trump responded with a Truth Social “truth”: 

The Supreme Court in Arizona went too far on their Abortion Ruling, enacting and approving an inappropriate Law from 1864. So now the Governor and the Arizona Legislature must use HEART, COMMON SENSE, and ACT IMMEDIATELY, to remedy what has happened.

These are the highest of stakes. For now, pro-lifers would be well advised take the win in states where they have won, protecting life where they can, while striving to build a culture of life in states they haven’t won. 

With the best of strategy, it will be a long struggle, and the outcome is uncertain. But with the wrong strategy, a re-elected Joe Biden is certain. And that means a federal government, including the judiciary, actively hostile to life.  


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