Skip to content Skip to footer

RNC Plans to Strategically Conceal Trump’s, GOP’s Abortion Views

Polling shows nearly two-thirds of voters in swing states back abortion rights in all or most circumstances.

Former President Donald Trump walks on stage to deliver the keynote address at the Faith & Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority Policy Conference at the Washington Hilton on June 22, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

For the first time in four decades, Republicans may remove a policy plank calling for a nationwide abortion ban from their official party platform — a strategic omission to help Trump win the White House this fall.

Notably, the move doesn’t demonstrate a shift in Republicans’ views on reproductive rights — indeed, in the years since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the far right Supreme Court, GOP lawmakers have committed themselves to restricting the procedure more than ever before, backing bans at the state level as well as within Congress.

Platform committee members are meeting in Milwaukee this week, seven days before the Republican National Convention is set to take place in that city. For the first time in many election cycles, the committee will not allow their deliberations to be viewed by members of the media or the public as they hash out what they want the final document to include. Reports indicate, however, that the Trump campaign has been vocal about their desire to have vehement anti-abortion language removed.

Trump’s campaign has been upfront about why they want the anti-abortion statements and other divisive language stricken from the record.

“Publishing an unnecessarily verbose treatise will provide more fuel for our opponent’s fire of misinformation and misrepresentation to voters,” a memo from his campaign staffers relating to the platform stated last month. “It is with that recognition that we will present a streamlined platform in line with President Trump’s principled and popular vision for America’s future.”

As such, a decree on banning abortion throughout the U.S. isn’t likely to be included in the platform, as doing so could cause moderate voters to back away from Trump in the voting booth come November.

Polling suggests that the deceptive move is perhaps a good strategy, as the percentage of Americans who believe abortion should be illegal under all circumstances has never been lower — a Gallup survey published in May, for example, shows that only 12 percent of Americans back a total abortion ban, down from 21 percent who supported it just five years ago.

Among swing state voters, a majority support abortion rights, a Public Religion Research Institute poll found earlier this year, with 64 percent of voters in the states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Despite Trump saying numerous times that he is “proud” to have appointed the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe, Trump has tampered down his own statements regarding abortion. Currently, his stance is that laws and regulations on abortion should be decided by individual states — despite the fact that reproductive rights, including access to abortion, are recognized as human rights by the international community.

The GOP’s move to omit a call for a national abortion ban has upset many anti-abortion groups who were planning to support Trump. But it also constitutes flagrant gaslighting from the former president and his party, as Trump has stated unequivocally in the past that he backs a nationwide abortion ban.

In his 2016 run for president, for example, Trump said “there has to be some form of punishment” for a person receiving an abortion. After that statement was met with backlash, he took five different stances on abortion within three days, indicating that he’s more than willing to alter his public stance on the subject in order to win voters.

Earlier this year, Trump again appeared to endorse a 15-week abortion ban across the country. After that view was widely condemned, Trump tweaked his purported beliefs, choosing instead to peddle “states’ rights” talking points on abortion.

Democrats are hoping to capitalize on a pro-abortion platform this fall. This week, the Biden campaign released an ad attacking Trump for his record on abortion, including his statements describing the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe as “a great thing.”

“Ask yourself: who do you want in the White House? The man proud to overturn Roe v. Wade, or the president fighting for your rights?” the ad states.

Countdown is on: We have 3 days to raise $31,000

Truthout has launched a necessary fundraising campaign to support our work. Can you support us right now?

Each day, our team is reporting deeply on complex political issues: revealing wrongdoing in our so-called justice system, tracking global attacks on human rights, unmasking the money behind right-wing movements, and more. Your tax-deductible donation at this time is critical, allowing us to do this core journalistic work.

As we face increasing political scrutiny and censorship for our reporting, Truthout relies heavily on individual donations at this time. Please give today if you can.