Do Not Talk About Abortion Policy

Donald Trump admitted Wednesday that Republicans have hurt themselves with how they’ve been talking about abortion this election cycle and in years past.

“I think the Republican Party has done an amazing job in certain ways, but they’ve never understood how to talk about it,” Trump said about abortion during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Wednesday. “It’s hurt the Republican Party, it’s hurt some people. Exceptions is very important.”

“I wish that Republicans could talk about it correctly and if they would, they’d see it’s a very different issue,” he continued.

And that advice — intended for the Republican Party — seems partially directed toward Trump himself. While he has maintained for the last couple years that he’s always supported exceptions for rape, incest and when the life of the pregnant person is in danger, Trump has had to eat his own words almost every time he’s talked about abortion and reproductive health policies generally in recent months.

The former president angered his extremist anti-abortion base of supporters when he — after months and months of delay — finally announced this spring that he think it’s better to leave restricting the procedure to the states. But less than two days later, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled upholding the state’s 19th century total abortion — meaning Arizona, a swing state no less, would have one of, if not the most, strict abortion bans in the nation.

The backlash to the Arizona ruling was swift among Democrats and national Republicans alike. A few days later, when Trump was directly asked if he would sign a national ban into law as president, he said “no.”

A few weeks after that, he bungled his messaging again when he said he was “looking at” restrictions on contraceptives and would soon unveil “something that you’ll find interesting” on birth control. His campaign had to respond saying the former president thought he was being asked about abortion pills, not contraceptives. He then hollered in all caps on Truth Social that he would “NEVER ADVOCATE IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON BIRTH CONTROL.”

And while he may have been talking about abortion pills, not birth control, when discussing this supposedly “interesting” “coming announcement,” it seems his team has decided against saying anything until the Supreme Court issues its decision in a case that could restrict access to the medication used to induce an abortion, mifepristone.

Per new reporting from CNN:

Trump’s policy team has been informally drafting policy on the issue behind the scenes for weeks and have sought counsel from outside allies, such as his former aide Kellyanne Conway, according to sources familiar with the process.

However, two senior Trump advisers told CNN they currently have no immediate plans to release a proposal regarding mifepristone and instead intend to wait for the Supreme Court’s highly-anticipated decision regarding the US Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine.

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