The top-ranking state senator in California on Friday made an unusual offer to Donald Trump. Toni Atkins, the president pro tempore of California’s senate, issued a statement offering to reimburse Trump for any abortions he has paid for in the state, according to a report by the legal site Law & Crime.
Atkins’ probably sarcastic offer came the same day the Trump administration Department of Health and Human Services threatened to cut off federal health care funding to the country’s most populous state, saying that California violated a federal law against requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for abortion services. A California law that passed in 2014 requires private insurance plans, including those offered by employers, to cover abortion.
The California law does not apply to publicly-funded insurance plans such as MediCal, California’s version of the Medicaid program which receives substantial funding from the federal government.
“If Donald Trump is dissatisfied with the abortion services California provides, we will happily reimburse him for any and all abortions he has paid for in California,” Atkins said in her statement — adding that the reimbursement offer was conditioned on releasing any women who may have had abortions paid for by Trump from non-disclosure agreements that he required they sign.
But has Trump actually paid for women whom he may have impregnated — or any women — to obtain abortions? No such cases have been uncovered. However, Trump was asked by a reporter during his 2016 presidential campaign whether he had ever been “involved” with any women who had received abortions during his days as a “swinging bachelor” in New York City.
“Such an interesting question. So what’s your next question?” Trump replied, declining to answer, according to a report by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
Tony Schwartz, Trump’s co-author on his 1987 bestseller The Art of the Deal, said on Friday that he would “happily take the bet that Trump has paid for numerous abortions.”
As Trump attended the annual March For Life anti-abortion event on Friday, Schwartz wrote on his Twitter account that in his view, Trump only pretends to oppose abortion to “suck up to his base.”
A frequent Trump interviewer, radio talk show host Howard Stern, also has said that he believes Trump’s anti-abortion stance is just an act, because “the Donald I know, I think he’s probably needed to get a few people abortions.”
In 2018, it was revealed that top Republican fundraiser Eliot Broidy had paid $1.6 million in “hush money” to former Playboy centerfold model Shera Bechard to silence her over the fact that he impregnated her then paid for her abortion. But the hush money payment was arranged by Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen, leading to unconfirmed speculation that it was not Broidy, but Trump himself who had paid for Bechard’s abortion.