Trump says he’s an antiabortion champion like Reagan. History says: Not quite.Breaking News
tags: abortion, Reagan, Trump
In a Saturday tweetstorm, President Trump bent the reality of Ronald Reagan to align himself with the former president’s view on abortion.
“As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions — Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother — the same position taken by Ronald Reagan,” Trump said, as he appeared to distance himself from Alabama’s restrictive abortion law.
But Reagan’s legacy on abortion is far more complicated, and antiabortion advocates have long considered his actions a disappointment.
In 1967, nearly six years before Roe v. Wade went to the Supreme Court, newly minted California Gov. Ronald Reagan signed one of the most liberal abortion laws in the country. The Therapeutic Abortion Act allowed for pregnancy terminations if the mother was in physical or mental distress as a result, or if the pregnancy was a product of rape or incest.
At the time, abortion was considered so taboo that newspapers referred to the procedure as an “illegal operation.” But the burgeoning feminist movement, coupled with horror stories of butchery that desperate women had suffered at the hands of practitioners who performed it outside the law, had compelled policy to address the issue nationwide.