The Next Republican President Has a Plan to Ban Abortion Nationwide Without Congress

NOV 17, 2023

When voters directly consider the abortion issue, it’s bad news for Republicans, who have lost ballot measure after ballot measure upholding reproductive rights since Roe v. Wade was struck down last year. And to hear GOP primary candidates tell it, the next president won’t be willing or able to do much about abortion, a transparent effort to sidestep a losing issue. Donald Trump, the obvious front-runner, has occasionally indulged in magical thinking, suggesting that he can conjure up a national ban that Americans on either side of the issue will love. More realistically, though, he has attempted to neutralize the issue by doing things like calling a six-week ban on abortion “terrible,” while at the same time, in a wink and a nod to evangelical voters, running ads bragging about choosing the justices who overturned Roe. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, another GOP hopeful, has stressed that a national ban is impossible: Congress will never pass one in the near future, and abortion opponents needlessly alienate swing voters by discussing one. The message from these candidates is clear: A Republican president won’t do much on abortion.