Pro-Life Organizations Have Mixed Reactions to Trump’s Abortion Position

2024-04-08 16:28:43

Former President Donald Trump says abortion is an issue that should be left to individual states — a position accepted by some leading pro-life organizations and not others. 

Trump officially announced his position on abortion Monday, ending months-long speculation about how he would handle the issue should he be elected in November. In a video posted to Truth Social, Trump said the issue of abortion is about “the will of the people” and should be left up to states to decide. The 45th president touted his role in nominating the Supreme Court justices who ultimately overturned Roe v. Wade in their Dobbs decision — ending 50 years of an invented constitutional right to abortion and sending the issue back to individual states and their elected representatives.

“My view is now that we have abortion where everybody wanted it from a legal standpoint, the states will determine by vote or legislation, or perhaps both, and whatever they decide, must be the law of the land,” Trump said.

“This is all about the will of the people. You must follow your heart or in many cases, your religion or your faith. Do what’s right for your family, and do what’s right for yourself,” he continued. “Do what’s right for your children. Do what’s right for our country, and vote — so important to vote. At the end of the day, it’s all about the will of the people.”

Trump also noted that while the issue of abortion is often a deep moral choice for many voters one way or another, Republicans must “also win elections to restore the culture.” Democrats, as well as President Joe Biden’s campaign, have been heavily banking on driving voter turnout around the topic of abortion, using the issue to paint Republicans as “extreme” and a threat to women.

“You must follow your heart of this issue, but remember, you must also win elections to restore our culture, and, in fact, to save our country, which is currently and very sadly, a nation in decline,” he said. “Our nation needs help. It needs unity. It needs us all to work closely together.”

Trump also spoke in favor of abortion laws that contain exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother:

Trump’s position to leave abortion laws up to individual states comes after he floated the possibility of federal legislation limiting abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Such a limit would likely allow at least 95 percent of abortions to continue, as most occur within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Some leading pro-life groups have asked Trump to consider such legislation to combat Democrats’ agenda of passing federal protections for abortion that would surpass Roe v. Wade via the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would usurp state laws and allow abortion throughout pregnancy.

Susan B. Antony Pro-Life America is one of those groups and had challenged Republican presidential candidates to protect the unborn federally at 15 weeks of pregnancy, which is when they are believed to be capable of feeling pain. SBA Pro-Life America president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement that the organization is “deeply disappointed in President Trump’s decision.”

“Unborn children and their mothers deserve national protections and national advocacy from the brutality of the abortion industry. The Dobbs decision clearly allows both states and Congress to act,” she said. “Saying the issue is ‘back to the states’ cedes the national debate to the Democrats who are working relentlessly to enact legislation mandating abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. If successful, they will wipe out states’ rights.”

 “With lives on the line, SBA Pro-Life America and the pro-life grassroots will work tirelessly to defeat President Biden and extreme congressional Democrats,” she added. 

March for Life also called for federal minimum protections, citing Democrats’ intent on passing federal laws enabling abortion throughout pregnancy. 

“Make no mistake, there remains an urgent need to advocate for the unborn at the federal level which is one of the reasons we continue to march annually in our nation’s capital even after the Dobbs decision,” March for Life posted to X. 

The statement continues:

 Pro-abortion politicians relentlessly work to enact federal legislation like the deceptively titled Women’s Health Protection Act which would cancel every states’ ability to limit abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, and erases existing pro-life protections for vulnerable women and children nationwide. If they have their way, the whole nation will go the way of the seven states and Washington DC that already allow abortion for any reason, at any time during pregnancy. The overwhelming majority of European nations reject such barbaric policies with minimum protections for children after the first trimester. 

We as a nation need to work toward federal minimum protections for the unborn, and advocate for policies that support pregnant women and families in need.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who introduced a bill ahead of the 2022 midterms to limit abortions federally after 15 weeks, posted to X disagreeing with Trump’s position. He also announced that he will be introducing legislation to mandate that pain-capable babies aborted at 15 weeks be provided anesthesia. 

Several pro-life organizations have taken a different position on Trump’s abortion stance, arguing that a 15-week federal limit would have been an unwelcome compromise that would have allowed most abortions to continue.

“Unlike President Biden, President Trump begins his remarks on abortion celebrating ‘the ultimate joy in life’ — children and family. That kind of love and support for the bedrock of society, the family, will be a welcome change in the White House,” Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins said. “We clearly have some work to do to educate the Trump Administration to come on the many ways that abortion has been made federal. But with the mutual goals of supporting families and welcoming young children, we can work together to restore the culture of life stripped away by the national Democratic Party and their leadership.”

“I’m pleased to see that President Trump listened to pro-lifers and isn’t going to allow a divisive late-term limit that some GOP insiders were been pushing, which would have embraced more than 9 in 10 abortions, to be a distraction from Joe Biden’s abortion extremism,” she added. 

Hawkins noted that “to be clear, the pro-life movement is united that abortion is a federal issue, and we won’t stop working until every child, in every state, is protected in life by law and service.”

“Your state lines should never mean the beginning or end of your human rights,” she said. 

 President of National Right to Life Carol Tobias said her organization “praises President Trump for his work in ensuring that the wrongly decided Roe v. Wade was abandoned to the garbage heap of history.”

“In his first term, President Trump demonstrated extraordinary leadership and delivered historic results on behalf of vulnerable unborn children and their mothers,” she said. 

“Thanks to President Trump, the American people and their elected representatives on the state and federal levels now have greater authority to determine abortion policy and pass meaningful protections for unborn children and their mothers,” she continued. “Efforts on the federal level include undoing pro-abortion policies enacted by Joe Biden based on a wish list of the abortion industry. We look forward to defeating the pro-abortion Biden-Harris ticket and working with President Trump to build an America that truly respects life at every stage.”

In a statement to X, 40 Days for Life said Trump’s position “serves as a powerful reminder.”

“[T]he battle to change hearts and minds, and ultimately save lives, is waged through local actions, prayers, and vigils. Presidents don’t change abortion; people do,” the organization wrote. 

President of Family Research Council Tony Perkins noted the important role policymakers at the federal level play in defending the unborn against abortion.

He said in part:

As President Trump accurately states, America is on the brink. To restore our nation to a place of political greatness, we must first restore our moral goodness, and foundational to that is the respect for and protection of all human life.  After fifty years of spiritual, cultural, and political engagement, we thankfully reached a point where Roe v. Wade was sent to the dustbin of history, but the effort to restore the inalienable right to life is far from over as we continue working to protect children from the moment of conception.

The legal authority to protect this fundamental right to life has not only been restored to the states but also to policymakers at the federal level, where broad support exists to not force taxpayers to pay for abortion. The federal government should not be funding the facilitation of abortion in any form or fashion—at home or abroad.

“We look forward to President Trump reversing the horrific policies of the Biden administration that brutalize unborn children and their mothers, as well as hamstring the ability of both state and federal legislators to protect life,” Perkins concluded.

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on X @thekat_hamilton.

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Pro-Life Organizations Have Mixed Reactions to Trump’s Abortion Position


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