by Steve Chapman
For conservatives, abortion has become the last resort in rationalizing a vote for Trump. If Hillary Clinton makes one or more Supreme Court appointments, they believe, the chance of overturning its abortion decisions will be gone, perhaps for good. Trump, by contrast, has promised to name conservative justices, defund Planned Parenthood and ban partial-birth abortion.
But the pro-lifers' allegiance to Trump requires a huge leap of faith. In the first place, why do they trust that he'd keep his word? In the 1990s, he described himself as "very pro-choice." This year, asked about abortion, he said, "At this moment, the laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way."
He is practically at war with House Speaker Paul Ryan and several other prominent Republicans. Who's to say that as president, he wouldn't reverse himself on abortion to make a deal with Democrats?
Nor is there much reason to think pro-lifers would prevail in the U.S. Supreme Court even if Trump were to nominate someone they like. The Roe v. Wade decision has been in place for nearly 44 years, and discarding such an important, long-standing precedent would be a radical step even for a conservative justice.
It's not difficult to imagine a victorious Trump saying "Appoint a pro-life judge? Suckers!"