As noted below, there are clear, obvious and available ways to take Donald Trump apart on abortion rights. But one thing that completely won’t work is thinking he’s going to face some kind of pro-life rebellion in the Republican primary. That’s how Ron DeSantis apparently thinks this is going to work, attacking Trump for getting ready to sell out the pro-life base. But there’s no one to sell out. The pro-life movement – as opposed to the bans in various states – is in a state of irreversible collapse. Really everybody involved in GOP primary politics knows that. You know it’s over when Mike Pence says Republicans need to elect a bible-believing, evangelical purist and then declares his support for a national 15 week ban.
When I say the pro-life movement is over I mean its electoral arguments are over. Its political arguments are being abandoned wholesale. Pence’s declaration tells us that. If Pence thinks he’s holding the pro-life flag at 15 weeks there’s zero chance Trump will get into primary problems attacking a six week one. But what also allows the pro-life movement to be over is that in most red states they have what they wanted: draconian bans on abortion rights which in most cases amount to total bans on abortion even in states where they are nominally after six weeks or allow for various exceptions. A similar logic applies to Trump: he already banked his almost unprecedented three nominees in a single term who together provided the muscle to end Roe.
There won’t be any rebellion in the GOP primaries. The angle is making as much of the campaign as possible Trump talking bouncing around discussing the various permutation of bans he supports. The target is the general election electorate. The overwhelming majority of the country wants the Roe status quo ante or indeed more than that. That’s never going to be anywhere Trump can be.