Donald Trump never misses the opportunity to remind us that it is thanks to him that the Supreme Court carried out a historic turnaround on abortion, and yet the former president now deliberately distances himself from the most repressive anti-abortion positions, well aware that they could cost him. ter expensive at the polls.
Repeatedly questioned about the possibility of banning voluntary terminations of pregnancies throughout the country, the septuagenarian Republican remained very vague in mid-September, simply declaring: “It could be on the scale states, or at the federal level… to tell you the truth, I don't care.”
A few days later, during an electoral rally, the former leader clarified: “I believe in three exceptions (to be able to have an abortion): in the event of rape, incest, or if the health of the mother is in danger” . Before expressing his thoughts: “Without exceptions, it is very difficult to win elections.”
– “Not popular” –
Since the Supreme Court – reshuffled by Donald Trump when he was president – canceled the constitutional protection of the right to abortion at the end of June 2022, the lights have been red for the Republican Party.
Abortion in the United States © AFP – Clement KASSER, Sophie RAMIS, Samuel BARBOSA
This was particularly illustrated in a vote in very conservative Kansas to protect access to abortion. Electoral disappointments in the states of New York, Wisconsin and Ohio. Or an extremely disappointing score in the mid-term elections of November 2022, in particular due to the mobilization of women and young people.
Conservatives continue to suffer setbacks at the polls, punished by Americans who are overwhelmingly in favor of some access to abortion.
“Trump understands that (the Supreme Court ruling) is not popular, just like the position of most Republicans on abortion,” political scientist Kyle Kondik told AFP.
“So he is trying to give himself room to maneuver on the issue, in anticipation of the presidential election”, underlines the expert from the University of Virginia.
The candidate, favorite in the Republican primaries, has moreover, more than once he turned his coat around.
During an interview in 1999, the New Yorker, then a real estate mogul, bluntly stated: “I am very pro-abortion.” Before turning around to seduce the evangelical electorate during the 2016 presidential election. Voters who still remain largely loyal to him, according to opinion surveys.
– “Out of the woods” –
Now very evasive on the issue of abortion, Donald Trump thus distinguishes himself from his rivals in the 2024 Republican primaries.
Because most of the contenders for the nomination are are, on the contrary, clearly in favor of additional restrictions.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, during the second debate of the Republican presidential primary, September 27, 2023 in Simi Valley, California © AFP – Robyn BECK
Starting with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, second in the polls, who passed a law in April to ban voluntary terminations of pregnancies in his state beyond six weeks – when many women do not yet know that 'they are pregnant.
A measure described as “a terrible error” by Donald Trump.
“I reject the idea that anti-abortionists are responsible for the failures in the elections of mid-term”, retorted Ron DeSantis during the second debate between Republican candidates on Wednesday, inviting the former president, who has so far snubbed these televised meetings, “to come out of the woods” to defend his position.
– See you in 2024 –
The Democratic Party delights in these fratricidal quarrels, banking on the contrary on abortion as a central campaign argument.
Thus in Kentucky, where an election for the post of governor is being played out this year.