I wasn’t vot­ing for Trump, but now with his abor­tion stance, I have a real rea­son

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SUNDAY SELECT - Jeff Edel­stein Colum­nist Jeff Edel­stein is a colum­nist for The Tren­to­nian. He can be reached at jedel­stein@tren­to­nian.com, face­book.com/ jef­freyedel­stein and @jeffedel­stein on Twit­ter.

Tonight on CNN — and stream­ing live on Twit­ter — is the first pres­i­den­tial de­bate of 2016. Yikes.

Lis­ten: I’ve been on the anti-Trump train since day one. Can’t say I haven’t been con­sis­tent on my point that he is a jokester, fraud, dem­a­gogue, threat to Amer­ica, and a thou­sand other things.

“Trump, for all his charms, is a char­la­tan at heart, and I kind of mean that as a com­pli­ment,” I wrote back in July of 2015. “He wheels, he deals, he’s loud, he’s ob­nox­ious, he’d prob­a­bly make the ul­ti­mate used car sales­man. Hon­estly, he re­minds me most of the guy from the old Crazy Ed­die com­mer­cials. But in­stead of his prices, it’s his opin­ions that are in­sane. I mean, the guy still thinks Obama was born in Peru or some­thing.”

Noth­ing has changed, ex­cept the real Crazy Ed­die is dead and Trump no longer be­lieves Obama was born in Peru or some­thing. I do not like Don­ald Trump. But for most of this cam­paign, it’s been just that: A feel­ing. Sure, I scoff at his Great Wall of Amer­ica idea and scowl when he talks about ban­ning peo­ple from Amer­ica based on re­li­gion, but I don’t worry too much about it. Af­ter all, he would be pres­i­dent, not em­peror, and these ideas would never come to fruition.

I also have spent a few nights won­der­ing what the world would look like with Trump’s too-small hands on the nu­clear but­ton. (And his hands are small. In the 15th per­centile, ac­cord­ing to a Wash­ing­ton Post piece. So it’s a big, beau­ti­ful, huge sci­en­tific fact the man has tiny hands.)

But let’s say Trump some­how avoids us­ing nu­clear weapons, and let’s say all the fears about his per­ceived id­iocy end up just be­ing that: Fears.

There is still one item on his agenda that would pre­vent me from vot­ing for him, and that’s his cur­rent stance on abor­tion. I say cur­rent be­cause it seems that up un­til 2012, he was pro-choice. But now? He’s not, to the point that it’s be­com­ing clear that if he won the pres­i­dency, abor­tion would prob­a­bly be­come il­le­gal in Amer­ica (as­sum­ing he gets to pick a Supreme Court judge or two), and that’s a po­si­tion I can­not sup­port no mat­ter what. No mat­ter what. Se­ri­ously: If Trump were pro-Jedi, pro-daily fan­tasy sports, my fa­vorite un­cle, and only gave out Reese’s prod­ucts on Hal­loween and yet was against a woman’s right to choose, it would be a deal­breaker for me. Luck­ily, I can’t stand the rest of the stuff that comes out of his mouth (or his mouth, for that mat­ter) so the deal al­ready was sealed.

But for those on the fence, this move to the far right on abor­tion could back­fire.

And be­lieve me, he’s gone far to the right, hir­ing Mar­jorie Dan­nen­felser to lead his “Pro-Life Coali­tion.” To give you as idea as to where she stands, she thinks a woman who gets raped and ends up preg­nant should not be al­lowed to have an abor­tion.

Ba­si­cally, ac­cord­ing to a Vox.com ar­ti­cle, Trump would al­most cer­tainly put pro-life judges on the Supreme Court and from there the writ­ing would be on the wall.

Now un­der­stand: I do not think abor­tion is a good choice. But it’s also not my choice. Tak­ing a woman’s body from her is Dark Ages stuff. It’s theoc­racy stuff. It’s anti-Amer­i­can stuff.

I am not “for” abor­tion, but I am for a woman’s right to her own body. You want to talk late-term abor­tions, all that, I get it, I agree, it’s worth dis­cussing.

But an out­right ban, from con­cep­tion for­ward? I can’t sup­port that.

And it’s more than just a woman’s right to choose. We’re also talk­ing women whose health would be com­pro­mised. We’re talk­ing about ba­bies with fa­tal ge­netic diseases be­ing brought to term. (And I haven’t even brought up the oh-so-ob­vi­ous, said a mil­lion times a mil­lion dif­fer­ent ways: If men got preg­nant, there’d be com­mer­cials for abor­tion cen­ters, com­plete with light beer, high-fives, and next-day tee times.)

I re­al­ize this is a hot-but­ton is­sue, and I re­al­ize re­li­gion comes into it, and I re­al­ize I’ll prob­a­bly get let­ters (ac­tual, postage-ap­plied let­ters) on this one. But it’s how I feel. I won­der if this topic comes up tonight. If it does, and if Trump is hon­est — haha — this could be the pivot point for the dozen or so peo­ple who are still on fence.

Man, I CAN­NOT WAIT for this elec­tion to be over.


Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump speaks at the Shale In­sight Con­fer­ence, Thurs­day, in Pitts­burgh.

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