Alabama’s new abortion law, which completely bans the procedure except in cases in which pregnancy threaten a woman’s life, is so egregiously cruel and dangerous that even President Donald Trump took to Twitter to suggest that he finds it too extreme.
"As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions - Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother,” Trump tweeted late Saturday.
Trump didn’t say directly that he opposes the Alabama law, as Republicans like Mitt Romney and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have, but by stating that he believes in exceptions for rape and incest the President heavily implied that the ban, which contains no such exclusions, doesn’t have his backing. (A majority of Alabama voters also agree that survivors of rape and incest should be able to access abortions.) Trump's tweets echoed the statements of Kayleigh McEnany, his 2020 campaign spokeswoman, who said in an earlier MSNBC appearance that the President supports rape and incest exceptions.
And while Trump claimed that “most people know” that he’s “strongly Pro-Life,” his history on the issue of abortion is a bit more complicated. In 1999, the future president described himself as being “very pro-choice.”
"I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it," he told Tim Russert at the time. "I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject. But you still - I just believe in choice." By 2011, however, while considering a presidential bid as a Republican, Trump said he opposed abortion rights. And in his successful presidential run he positioned himself in the extreme right wing on the issue, courting the votes of evangelicals. In 2016, he went as far as to say that women who have abortions should face legal punishment, a statement he later walked back.
The President still relies on the support of evangelical voters, and aside from distancing himself from the Alabama law, maintained a stridently anti-abortion tone in his Saturday night tweets. He continued to propagate the myth that Democrats support the murder of infants after birth-a falsehood that’s become a regular part of his stump speech-by tweeting that “the Radical Left” supports “late term abortion (and worse).”
Luckily for the women of Alabama, the new law is unlikely to go into effect anytime soon, with or without the President’s support. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have already announced that they will file suits against the law, and there could be years of court battles ahead before the law would potentially go into effect.