Trump's Abortion Announcement May Have Been Influenced by This GOP Mega-Donor

AP Photo/John Raoux

Former President Trump announced an official position on the issue of abortion. In a campaign video released on Monday, Trump signaled strong support for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and said that he believes the issue of abortion, post-Dobbs decision, should be left up to the states.


Trump said,

The states will determine by vote, or legislation, or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land – in this case, the law of the state. Many states will be different. Many states will have a different number of weeks…at the end of the day it is all about the will of the people.

Trump noted his support for exceptions in cases of incest, rape, and risk to the life of the mother, which are notably not mentioned in the Republican Party platform, although it has not been revised since the time of the Dobbs decision to reflect new realities in the legal landscape. 

Currently, the Republican platform abortion policy says,

We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.

While there will be heated debate, ad nauseam, among Republicans and conservatives about what the "correct" moral and political positions are for candidates on this wedge issue, what they may not realize is that Trump's quite moderate stance may be influenced by a factor they haven't considered: money.

Trump just set a fundraising record, bringing in a haul of over $50 million at a swanky Palm Beach, Florida reception hosted at billionaire investor John Paulson's oceanside home. The fundraiser's co-chairs included another billionaire of interest, Las Vegas-based aerospace mogul and hotelier Robert Bigelow.


Read More:

Controversy of the Day: Donald Trump Just Took an Official Position on Abortion

Raking in the Dough: Trump Boasts Massive $50M Fundraising Haul in Palm Beach

Notably, Bigelow was not on the "Trump train" when he launched his 2024 election bid; instead, he was the single biggest donor to a Super PAC supporting the rival candidate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Bigelow made a sizable contribution of over $20 million on March 30, 2023, to the super PAC called Never Back Down. The executive board of the PAC was at the time chaired by another Nevadan, the state's former Attorney General Adam Laxalt, a longtime ally of DeSantis. 

After his major donation, Bigelow became furious about DeSantis' enactment in April of a bill passed by the Florida legislature that bans abortions after six weeks, often called the "heartbeat bill." Bigelow announced that he was closing his wallet to the Super PAC, wanting them to gain more major donors and momentum, along with taking a more moderate approach to policy. 

When pressed, Bigelow named the abortion bill in particular and said that six weeks was "too early" and that many women do not even know they are pregnant at that stage.

Bigelow told Reuters

He does need to shift to get to moderates. He'll lose if he doesn't ... Extremism isn't going to get you elected.

By November, Bigelow was reportedly "considering" switching his support from DeSantis to Trump but made any financial backing contingent on Trump not being incarcerated amid his many legal battles.


In an interview with Reuters, Bigelow said,

I'm pro-Trump. Right now I'm determined to remain on the sidelines for the time being to see how these prosecutions play out. I have to be sure that he does not have a position where the prosecution has a path to send him to jail. He's got to stay out of jail. You can't run the United States from jail.

In January, Bigelow indicated that he had started donating to help pay for the legal fees Trump was incurring, stating that he had not been solicited for funding but felt "sympathetic."

Bigelow said, 

I gave him $1 million towards his legal fees a few weeks ago. I made a promise to give him $20 million more, that will be to the super PAC.

While some political observers may feel that Trump's abortion stance was abruptly announced and out of left field, looking at the patterns and progression of Bigelow's recent public support of Trump offers a possible explanation. Bigelow's financial support may have played a role in shaping Trump's policy, illustrating both the influence of money in politics and the shift towards more moderate positions in an attempt to attract broader support heading into the general election.


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