In fact, Mr. Trump seems to have stumbled onto the best possible way of signaling to true pro-lifers that he is not one of them. He has inadvertantly embraced an idea that is falsely attributed to pro-life citizens by their opponents to weaken the pro-life cause by tarring pro-lifers as punitive, vindictive people who would send women, many of whom are desperate and frightened, and some of whom are acting under pressure or even coercion in seeking abortions, to prison.
Mr. Trump evidently wants to show us how genuine his conversion is by depicting himself as severely pro-life. But pro-lifers are compassionate, seeking the good of unborn children and their mothers, never pitting them or their interests against each other. We are interested in saving babies, not punishing mothers. And we know that we don’t need to punish mothers to save babies.
What Mr. Trump has succeeded in showing pro-life Americans is that he is not one of us.
When I first saw the news of what Trump said, my very first thought was, well, that’s because he is not now, nor has he ever been, pro-life.