Guest post by Sarah Johnson
Donald Trump has openly discussed his pro-life views in interviews for years as well as during this campaign cycle, but given some deceptive ads designed to stir voters just prior to caucus and primary votes, it appears time to re-examine the facts.
On October 6, 1999, Trump sat down with Stone Phillips of Dateline NBC. From the transcript:
Mr. TRUMP: <b>I hate the concept of abortion. I hate— I hate anything about abortion</b>, and yet, I’m totally for choice. I think you have no alternative too.
On October 24, 1999, Trump appeared on Meet the Press with Tim Russert:
MR. RUSSERT: Partial birth abortion, the eliminating of abortion in the third trimester: big issue in Washington. Would President Trump ban partial birth abortion?
MR. TRUMP: Well, look, I’m very pro-choice. <b>I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject.</b> But you still—I just believe in choice. And, again, it may be a little bit of a New York background, because there is some different attitude in different parts of the country. And, you know, I was raised in New York, and grew up and work and everything else in New York City. But I am strongly for choice and, yet, <b>I hate the concept of abortion.</b>
MR. RUSSERT: But you would not ban it?
MR. TRUMP: No.
MR. RUSSERT: Or ban partial birth abortion?
MR. TRUMP: No. I am pro-choice in every respect and as far as it goes, but <b>I just hate it.</b>
Fearless political force, author, and longtime Trump associate Roger Stone has said that after Barron’s birth in 2006, Trump “came to view every life as precious.”
“One of the reasons I changed — one of the primary reasons — a friend of mine’s wife was pregnant, in this case married. She was pregnant and he didn’t really want the baby. And he was telling me the story…He was crying as he was telling me the story. He ends up having the baby and the baby is the apple of his eye. It’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him. And you know <u>here’s a baby that wasn’t going to be let into life</u>. And I heard this, and some other stories, and I am pro-life.”
“So those stories did change you, they came around and changed you?” Brody asked.
“They changed me. Yeah, they changed my view as to that, absolutely,” Trump responded.
Also in April of 2011, Trump told the Des Moines Register, as relayed by LifeNews:
If you look at it, I said, ‘It really, really troubles me, and it really, really bothers me, the whole concept of abortion.’ This was years ago, and even then it really bothered me, but I went on the other side of the line,” Trump said. “But in thinking about it over the years, I’ve had instances, and one instance in particular, a friend had a child who they were going to abort, and now they have it, and the child is incredible. And the man, he changed his views also because of that. As I’ve grown older, as I’ve seen things happen in life, I’ve changed my views — and others have also,” he said.
Trump said he believes abortion should only be legal in the very rare cases when a woman is pregnant by rape or incest or when the life of the mother is jeopardized by the pregnancy.
In 2013, even Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze acknowledged Donald Trump in its “10 Anti-Abortion Actors, Singers and Celebrities Who Are Openly Pro-Life” list.
One week after the first Planned Parenthood expose’ video was released, showing the dismemberment and alleged sale of preborn boys and girls’ body parts, Trump said the following:
“It’s very sad to watch it. It was so bad, and yet, there was such a cavalier attitude that this woman [the doctor]…I thought it was a disgrace…It’s just disgusting…it’s disgusting. And absolutely they should be defunded. I thought…you know it’s so cavalier, and so horrible. I just thought it was incredible.”
Trump later reiterated: “I’ve seen the videos. I think it’s a disgrace, and the answer is I would vote to defund, yes.” Trump went further than some candidates, saying he supported shutting down the government if necessary to defund Planned Parenthood.
This week, Trump penned an op-ed marking the 43rd anniversary of Roe v Wade, noting the more than 50 million lives cut short by abortion and again saying Planned Parenthood should not receive public funds.
In addition to Trump’s own words and that of longtime associate Stone, Trump has some of the strongest pro-life warriors backing him, including Sarah Palin and Phyllis Schlafly, who fought for pro-life planks in the Republican Party since the 1970’s.
What’s clear is Trump was never in the hard core, callous death merchant/activist category. Like many that are ripe for conversion to pro-life views, he always hated abortion and just needed the nudge to consider the life of the pre-born child. Donald Trump has been pro-life for years. Pulling quotes from sixteen years ago out of context will not change that truth.