On Tuesday, Donald Trump announced his official campaign for president. The real estate tycoon and reality show creator, whose net worth as reported by Business Insider is $8.7 billion, has toyed with the idea of running for president before. Apparently this time it's real. In his speech he said, "So, ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again." But, will Donald Trump be great for abortion rights?
New York Magazine wrote in October 1999 that while identifying as an Independent, Trump told Fox News, "I'm totally pro-choice." Later that year in December, Trump similarly told reporters, "I want to see the abortion issue removed from politics. ... I believe it is a personal decision that should be left to the women and their doctors."
In a total turnaround, when Trump was affiliated with the Republican party in 2011, he said in an interview with Fox News, "I'm a very conservative Republican. I believe strongly in just about all conservative principles." He continued, "I'm pro-life, which, you know, I think is a big social issue." In January, he told Bloomberg Business, "Very simple, I'm pro-life." But Trump's flip-flopping points to something that is hardly simple.
Abortion is not the only issue that Trump has changed his mind on — he has been affiliated with several different political parties. According to the Smoking Gun, in July 1987, he was registered with the Republican Party. In 1999, he became a member of the Independence Party, before becoming a Democrat in 2001. In 2009, Trump rejoined the Republican party. It's unclear why exactly he has changed so many times.
When it comes to abortion he can explain his switch. In 2011, he told David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) that he changed his stance on abortion after a personal encounter.
One thing about me, I'm a very honorable guy. I'm pro-life, but I changed my view a number of years ago. One of the reasons I changed — one of the primary reasons — a friend of mine's wife was pregnant, in this case married.
She was pregnant, and he didn't really want the baby. And he was telling me the story. He was crying as he was telling me the story. He ends up having the baby, and the baby is the apple of his eye. It's the greatest thing that's ever happened to him.
That's a sweet story, but that doesn't mean one person's account means the same for others. Abortion is about choice, which means allowing a woman to choose whether or not to have a baby.