NewsTrump Couched His Non-Answer On Abortion In IVF Messaging Cleanup

Trump Couched His Non-Answer On Abortion In IVF Messaging Cleanup

As we documented repeatedly in the days and weeks after the Alabama Supreme Court found that embryos created as part of in-vitro fertility treatment are considered “children” and protected as such in wrongful death suits, Republicans stepped upon rake after rake, stumbling their way into a full faceplant on the issue. And for good reason: It’s cartoonishly hard to support the kind of fetal personhood ideology underlying the Alabama ruling while also supporting the procedure for what it is — a safe and widely supported way for couples experiencing fertility issues to conceive.

Initially a handful of Republicans announced their support for the ruling and embraced calls to identify embryos as “babies.” As fertility clinics across Alabama temporarily paused IVF treatments to avoid potential prosecution, Alabama Republicans took advantage of the opening to pass vague legislative protections for the procedure while still agreeing with the ruling (From TPM: Alabama Now Says You Won’t Get In Trouble If You Murder Your Embryo … If It’s for IVF).

In Washington, Democrats tried to reintroduce legislation to protect the use of IVF for fertility treatment only for Republicans to block the consideration of such a bill in the Senate, highlighting the fact that Republicans were only willing to stick their neck out for the procedure in the form of a press release.

While Donald Trump’s long-hyped non-announcement on where he stands on abortion this morning was an obvious attempt to walk a complex line without alienating his Republican supporters who aren’t happy with the extreme abortion restrictions in the wake of Dobbs, opening with his support for IVF was also revealing of Republicans concerns about getting the messaging wrong on in-vitro heading into November.

“Under my leadership, the Republican Party will always support the creation of strong, thriving and healthy American families. We want to make it easier for mothers and families to have babies, not harder,” he began.

“That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every state in America,” he said. “Like the overwhelming majority of Americans, including the vast majority of Republicans, conservative, Christians and pro-life Americans I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby. What can be more beautiful or better than that.”

In using IVF support as a tool to meander his way toward acknowledging that he thinks it is electorally bad to get behind a national abortion ban, he signaled that Republicans may be concerned that their fumbling around on IVF messaging has been more damaging than their positioning on abortion.

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