donald trump is facing backlash from conservatives and anti-abortion activists for calling banning abortion after six weeks “a terrible thing and a terrible mistake” in an interview that aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press” weekend.
It is the latest contortion by the former president who made such laws possible with the appointment of three conservative justices to the United States Supreme Court who joined in overturning Roe v. Wade last year. However, Trump also appears to acknowledge the widespread unpopularity of extreme abortion restrictions ahead of another likely campaign against the president. Joe Biden in 2024.
Kim Reynolds, the popular Republican governor of Iowa, one of the first states where Trump is seeking to win the presidential nomination, spoke out Tuesday against Trump’s comments without referring to him by name.
“It is never a ‘terrible thing’ to protect innocent lives. “I am proud of the fetal heartbeat bill that the Iowa legislature passed and which I signed in 2018 and again earlier this year,” Reynolds wrote on X, the website formerly known as Twitter.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, also rejected Trump’s comments, saying she was “mistaken” to attack Florida governor and rival presidential candidate Ron DeSantis for signing a similar measure into law in his state.
“He is criticizing a law and a legislator who acted, following the will of the people, on what he made possible through (the reversal of Roe v. Wade),” Dannenfelser said. “We urge Trump and DeSantis to focus on their concrete pro-life plan for the future and contrast it with (Joe) Biden. “He is your opponent.”
Since the fall of Roe v. Wade, many Republican-controlled states have passed so-called “heartbeat” bills that ban abortion as soon as electrical impulses from the fetus can be detected, around the sixth week of pregnancy. But the GOP’s extreme anti-abortion policies have repeatedly cost them at the ballot box, in state elections, in referendums and in congressional elections, generating anxiety in some Republican circles.
“To win in 2024, republicans We must learn to talk about abortion. “This issue cost us unnecessarily, but dearly, in the midterm elections,” Trump wrote Tuesday on his social media platform Truth Social, making clear that he supported exceptions to the bans in cases of rape and incest and to save the lives of women. mother.
Although Trump’s comments on abortion drew criticism from anti-abortion groups and even some 2024 rivals, including his former vice president, Mike PenceThey had little effect on congressional Republicans.
Several Republican senators who have endorsed Trump’s 2024 bid said this week that his position on abortion, which is all over the place, would not cause them to reconsider their endorsement.
“He has his own opinion about where he should be. I think the bottom line was that he was glad that (the abortion issue) was coming back to the states, and I agree with that,” Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said Tuesday.
Asked if he agreed with Trump that “heartbeat” bills are a “terrible thing,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) praised the former president for doing “more to advance the cause.” to protect the unborn than any president of my country. lifetime.”
But other Republican senators who have said they will not support Trump in 2024 criticized him for wavering on an issue they and other conservatives hold dear.
“He wants to say he is the most pro-life president and then he says maybe not. I’m sure he’s trying to make a play for Iowa evangelicals and others,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told HuffPost.
“It needs to be proven in the polls since it came out of President Trump’s mouth,” added Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), another Trump critic.
Democrats, meanwhile, said Trump’s comments wouldn’t fool anyone and that it would be difficult to manipulate his record on abortion rights in a general election campaign.
“He is the most damaging force for women’s reproductive health care in our lifetime, period,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “Abortion would not be illegal today in dozens of states if it were not for Donald Trump.
“He, like many other Republicans, has realized that there is a huge political downside to being on the wrong side of 70% of American women. He is not going to fool anyone.”