President Trump made became only the third president in history to address the annual anti-abortion March For Life today after Presidents Reagan and G.W. Bush, but his support for the right to life movement is a fairly recent development in his political thinking.
Trump displayed a much different attitude towards abortion before he turned to politics, and refused to answer a question during the campaign from The New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd about whether he was ever involved with anyone who had an abortion in his own personal life.
He displayed his true feelings on the matter during an interview with Howards Stern in 2003 when he joked about a time in his life when he was faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Trump doesn’t mention the name of the woman in the interview, but it’s clear from the context that he’s referring to his second wife, Marla Maples, and that the pregnancy in question was the conception of his daughter Tiffany Trump.
Stern and Trump are discussing how glad Trump is that his current wife Melania is using birth control pills. Stern sidekick Robin Quivers interjects with a comment saying “you know, you fell for that one time before.”
Trump acknowledges the truth of that statement saying:
“I did, that happened: ‘Darling, I’m so happy, we’re abut to have a child.’ I said, ‘Uh, excuse me?’ I didn’t now about this….But at the time, it was like, ‘Excuse me, what happened?’ And then I said, ‘Well, what are we going to do about this?‘ She said, ‘Oh, are you serious? This is the most beatiful day of ur lives.’ I said, ‘Oh, great.'”
The radio broadcast studio then breaks out into laughter, but the obvious implication is that Trump was suggesting terminating the pregnancy.
That’s a far cry from the anti-abortion position he’s taken since he’s begun his presidency and a sure sign that his stance is based on political expediency rather than any deep-felt conviction about the right to life. Of course, Trump has always put himself and his own desires over anything else, so in his own mind, standards that he wants everyone else to follow simply don’t apply to him. In this context, perhaps his comments are just business as usual for the President.
You can listen to audio of the Howard Stern interview in this clip from MSNBC.