I agree with Quin Hillyer. Donald Trump’s comments on abortion — first advocating punishing women who abort then backtracking hours later — were indeed a “mess.” They played into the hands of abortion advocates in every way — helping caricature pro-lifers as “anti-woman” and raising the specter of back-alley abortions. So far, Trump’s pro-life conversion has mainly served to make Planned Parenthood look good (he can’t stop praising the nation’s largest abortion provider) and the pro-life movement look bad. He simply has no idea how to talk about arguably the most sensitive issue in politics.
Get ready for a slow-motion pro-life train wreck if Trump’s the nominee. Supporting life is about more than merely checking off a box. A Republican nominee faces far tougher questions about abortion than Democrats ever do. It’s unfair. It’s ridiculous. It’s also a foreseeable and predictable fact of life. Even serving temporarily as the nation’s most prominent pro-life advocate (or at least playing a pro-life advocate on television) would do immense damage to the cause.