OPINION: The problem with Donald Trump ‘leaving abortion to the states’? The states.

A billionaire walks into a Chick-fil-A and starts talking about abortion. Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

In this case, the billionaire was former President Donald Trump, in town Wednesday for a high-dollar fundraiser in Atlanta. Somewhere between the Atlanta airport and the St. Regis hotel where his donors were waiting, Trump stopped for a photo op at a Chick-fil-A in Vine City.

After ordering 30 milkshakes to hand out later and declaring Chick-fil-A “the Lord’s chicken,” Trump was quickly asked by a reporter whether doctors in the country should be punished for performing an abortion.

“Let that be to the states,” Trump said. “Everything we’re doing now is states and states’ rights. And what we wanted to do is get it back to the states. Because for 53 years, it’s been a fight. And now the states are handling it.”

The former president definitely got the “leave-it-to-the-states” memo for the Atlanta trip after releasing a video Monday about his abortion position, in which he did not call for a federal ban, but said it’s entirely a state-level issue now. “Whatever they decide must be the law of the land,” he said in the video.

But in Atlanta, Trump quickly showed the biggest problem with his leave-it-to-the-states abortion position, namely the states themselves, where courts and Legislatures are enacting laws that few ever thought would see the light of day. One of those is Arizona, where the state Supreme Court issued a decision Tuesday to allow a pre-Civil War ban on most abortions to go into effect. That law, Trump said Wednesday, went “too far.”

“That’ll be straightened out,” Trump said. “And I’m sure the governor and everybody else is going to bring it back into reason.”

But given a chance to “bring it back into reason,” Arizona Republican leaders blocked a vote Wednesday on a Democratic measure to repeal the 1864 Arizona law, which passed before Arizona was even a state, and long before American women had the right to vote.

Another state that Trump predicted Wednesday will come around is Florida, where that state’s Supreme Court recently allowed a six-week abortion ban to go into effect.

“Florida’s going to probably change,” Trump said, “Arizona is going to definitely change. Everybody wants that to happen. You’re getting the will of the people. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.”

It is amazing when you think about it: Trump is the man responsible for sending decisions about abortion rights to the states. He appointed the three Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade. But in the same sentence he used to praise the wisdom of states, Trump identified a pair he said are making mistakes.

Even through he said Arizona went too far, he did not mention Texas’ abortion ban, which looks nearly identical to the Arizona law that Trump said needs to be brought “into reason.” And what about Georgia’s six-week ban, which closely mirrors the Florida law that Trump predicted would change?

Trump also did not discuss Alabama, where that state’s Supreme Court declared last month that frozen embryos are legally “unborn children,” and called embryo storage facilities “embryonic nurseries.” That caused all of Alabama’s IVF providers to stop operations temporarily. At least one has shut down for good. Even though the Legislature passed a bill that most clinics said would protect them legally for now, lawmakers never took up the underlying decision that made IVF suddenly illegal.

Across the state line in Georgia, IVF remained accessible and procedures continued as planned. But that’s what can happen when the decisions guaranteeing access to IVF have been left up to states.

During his tarmac press conference in Atlanta, Trump said “everybody is very happy,” with his abortion announcement, “with the exception of a few people.”

Many of those unhappy “few people” are Christian conservatives who seemed to think they were on the same page as Trump on abortion — and trusted him on the issue.

But at the airport, predicting which bans will get straightened out and “brought into reason,” Trump was talking about abortion as a political issue, not a moral one.

Others who aren’t very happy with Trump’s leave-it-to-the-states approach include a majority of Floridians, Georgians and Arizonans, who say the abortion bans now law in their states are too strict.

Even if Trump doesn’t talk about what’s happening in some of the most restrictive states, Democrats are.

On Wednesday, a new ad ran in Arizona with a couple describing the horror they experienced when the mother miscarried, but doctors could not perform an abortion because of Texas’ strict ban. The mother was sent home, only to be hospitalized days later in an intensive care unit with sepsis.

As she sobs, the ad says, “Donald Trump did this.”

That echoes an ad in Kentucky last year when a young incest victim described the state’s new abortion law, which would have forced her to have her stepfather’s baby had she gotten pregnant. Gov. Andy Beshear, the Democrat who ran the ad, won.

Republican campaigns on the receiving end of emotional ads like that are worried, and they probably should be. Because “states’ rights” hasn’t been a winning slogan since before the Civil War and it isn’t working for Trump now either, no matter how many milkshakes he buys for the crowd at an Atlanta Chick-Fil-A.