In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court dropped its landmark abortion ruling, Roe v. Wade. Half a century later, the country still can’t stop arguing about what women are allowed to do with their bodies when they become pregnant. The issue can still attract or repel huge swaths of voters, so politicians must choose sides wisely. And there’s Donald Trump, who can’t seem to get his sh*t together on the issue, though it remains to be seen if that will hurt him or not at the polls this November (it obviously hasn’t so far). Those famous off-the-cuff mannerisms — which have won him many points with followers who find him refreshing — have met their match with abortion.
He’s a flip-flopper by nature, seemingly willing to say whatever he needs to say in the moment, but Trump’s inability to stick with an abortion stance has angered people more than his characterization of Mexicans as criminals and rapists and continued anti-Islamic rhetoric. Abortion should never be the butt of a joke, but the issue presents a comical blip for a teflon candidate and illustrates the awkwardness of his newfound Republican identity. Let’s run down this timeline, which shows staggering differences in Trump’s abortion stance over the years, months, and days.
October 24, 1999 – Pro-Choice
As Ivana Trump recently revealed, someone (Ronald Reagan, she said) put a bug into Trump’s ear about running for president in the late 1990s. Perhaps that explains why Trump visited Meet the Press and said this to Tim Russert: “I’m very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. But … I just believe in choice.” He also insisted that he would not ban partial-birth abortion. Ted Cruz’s camp trucked out this interview (as proof that Trump’s “New York values” were not desirable) during the current presidential race.