Trump’s telling comment on punishing doctors who provide abortions

Trump’s telling comment on punishing doctors who provide abortions

Aaron Blake writes:

Back in 2022, when it looked as if the Supreme Court would soon overturn Roe v. Wade, Senate Republicans’ campaign arm sent out a memo encouraging GOP candidates to get their messaging right.

Republicans DO NOT want to throw doctors and women in jail,” the memo maintained. It cast the statement as a rebuttal to Democrats’ “lies” about the GOP’s abortion positions.

Donald Trump did not get the memo.

The former president on Wednesday responded to the Arizona Supreme Court’s reviving a harsh 1864 abortion ban — which indeed threatens abortion providers with two to five years in prison — by punting on this basic issue.

Asked whether doctors who provide abortions should be punished, Trump allowed that certain states could do that.

“I’d let that be to the states,” Trump said. “You know, everything we’re doing now is states and states’ rights. And what we wanted to do is get it back to the states, because for 53 years it’s been a fight. And now the states are handling it. And some have handled it very well, and the others will end up handling it very well.

“And those are the things that states are going to make a determination about,” he said.

The answer was in keeping with Trump’s effort to beg off questions about specific abortion policies. Earlier in the week, on Monday, Trump transparently sought to label the issue as one of states’ rights, so he doesn’t have to take a position on particular numbers of weeks or other dicey subjects such as punishing doctors. It’s one thing to say states should handle policy; it’s another to provide basically no judgment on what is acceptable policy.

The foolhardiness of that approach quickly came into focus when, on Tuesday, Arizona’s Supreme Court revived the 1864 law.

The fact is that leaving this to the states — some very red — is likely to lead, and has led, to policies that the national Republican Party would rather not account for. [Continue reading…]

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