Lauren Santo Domingo’s Dishonor and Disgrace

An attack on Twitter against Ivanka Trump backfires on its author.

AP/Charlie Neibergall, file
Ivanka Trump during a campaign event November 2, 2020. AP/Charlie Neibergall, file

When I read Lauren Santo Domingo’s shocking and now-viral tweet about Ivanka Trump in the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, I cringed. Rather than exposing Ms. Trump, Ms. Santo Domingo exposed herself — and not in the way she probably intended.

“Ivanka Trump,” she wrote, “you are noticeably quiet today. The high school friends who took you to get an abortion are not.” It is unclear if the accusation is even true, and either way it is irrelevant. The point is that it was low, unworthy. The tweet has since been removed.

I’d like to think that’s because its author was eventually alerted to its rank nastiness and its implications for her own public reputation, not Ivanka Trump’s. Ms. Santo Domingo’s first clue should have been the wave of puerile and poisonous outbursts by her gleeful social media followers who, inspired by her words, took the conversation to even lower lows. 

Yet it is difficult to check yourself when people like actress Bette Midler reinforce your bad behavior. Ms. Midler so enjoyed Ms. Santo Domingo’s nastiness that she reposted it on her Twitter feed lest the world be deprived of it.

What irony it is to see someone who has, like Ms. Santo Domingo, spent so much time making herself look beautiful in the pages of magazines exposing her ugliest self online. In this case, Ms. Santo Domingo made a mess not only of her image, but also of her message.

Even as she was betraying Ivanka Trump’s right to privacy, she was indignant that the Supreme Court would not uphold Roe’s original assertion that abortions should be legal based on a woman’s right to — wait for it —  privacy. Ms. Santo Domingo’s tweet unwittingly agreed with Justice Samuel Alito’s assertion that privacy and abortions don’t go together.

I am sure that wasn’t what she intended. Rather than attacking Ms. Trump for her silence about the alleged abortion, Ms. Santo Domingo should have remained so herself. Her misdirected rage and righteous indignation helped neither her nor the cause she insists everyone else must affirm or risk being publicly shamed.

Therein lies the point for the abortion-rights activists who now must make their case to the American people in the hopes of winning their votes as legislation on abortion is enacted across the country, state by state. These are serious matters, and the voices of too many celebrities and socialites are becoming amplified.

Millions of women (and men) are unsure what they think about abortion, but they do know what they think about cruelty, pettiness, and undignified rage. They don’t like it, and they will run from those who traffic in it. 

Ms. Santo Domingo’s surname references a patron saint of the Dominican Republic about whom Encyclopedia Britannica says, “his gentleness was such that anyone who came to speak to him, even for reproof, went away happier.”

No one will be tweeting that about Ms. Santo Domingo now, to be sure. Yet those who want abortion to remain legal might try acting a little more like her namesake.


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