Greensburg (United States) (AFP) – For the Donald Trump supporters attending a Pennsylvania rally, reports that the Supreme Court may soon end the federally protected right to abortion have been galvanizing. As one man summed up the feeling, “Life is precious.”
The political shockwaves of a high court opinion — a draft of which leaked Monday in an exceedingly rare event — are expected to reverberate through US politics for months, especially with midterm elections set for November.
Trump himself barely touched on the subject in a rally held under torrential rains in the city of Greensburg.
But as he flirts more and more openly with the possibility of seeking a new term as president in 2024, the subject seemed to be on the lips of all his supporters.
“I am a Christian, and so Biblically, the way our world is going just does not line up,” 45-year-old Nicole Rye told AFP.
A Florida native, she and her husband have crisscrossed America for years attending as many Trump rallies as possible. They run a concession stand selling “Trump 2024” paraphernalia and offering a range of stickers insulting President Joe Biden in various colorful terms.
“God gives children as blessings. They are; it’s Biblically written,” Rye said.
She said she feels profoundly grateful to Trump for using his appointments to push the Supreme Court — which rules on some of the nation’s most sensitive issues — to the political right.
With many Democrats defending abortion rights just as passionately as many Republicans reject it, the expected ruling is bound to deepen the nation’s already dramatic divisions.
The emotion evoked by the issue could be seen on Rye’s face.
“I have a past,” she said, tears filling her eyes. “There’s us women who have been through it.
“But you can’t. Life is life. And I firmly believe that.”
‘The next Einstein’
Leroy Kinnan, a 47-year-old who lives in the area, had accompanied his daughter to her first Trump rally.
“How do we know by aborting a baby that we didn’t terminate the next Einstein or a doctor who cures cancer?” he asked.
He said abortion is sometimes used as “a form of birth control,” adding that he firmly opposes it except in cases of rape or incest.
If the Supreme Court overturns the landmark 1973 ruling that established a federal right to abortion — as the leaked draft made clear it plans to do — each US state will be free to ban or allow abortion within its borders.
More than 20 conservative-leaning states have already taken moves toward outlawing the practice.
The court’s final ruling is expected in June or July.
Trump, perhaps wary about proclaiming a premature victory, barely mentioned the court’s impending ruling, saying merely, “They’re making a very big decision now.”
But the crowd of several thousands clearly knew what he meant.
The billionaire politician was in Pennsylvania to support several Republican candidates in the legislative elections in November.
Jason Killmeyer, a Republican who is running for the House of Representatives, was much more direct as he strode through the muddy fairgrounds where the rally was held, seeking support from Trump backers.
“Eight hundred thousand dead babies a year is too many,” he said, referring to a widely circulated estimate of the number of abortions in the country.
His language reflected the anti-abortion argument that fetuses, even in their earliest phase of development, are people.
Killmeyer promised the voters he met that he would not shy away from taking on those Democrats who favor a woman’s right to choose.
“Let’s jump into these cultural battles and no longer let the left wing set the tone and the pace of cultural engagement,” he said, promising that if elected he would work to outlaw abortion even in states that might want to allow it.
John Roan, who is 52, agreed. He and his wife have adopted six children, now aged eight to 27.
“We believe that life is precious,” said Roan, who wore a khaki baseball cap.
Along with Trump, he added, he is willing to fight for his belief.