Donald Trump is playing coy on abortion and some “Pro-Life” groups are giving him cover

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The 2024 GOP Presidential contest looks like it’s shaping up to be a two-man race between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.

And on the issue of life, DeSantis is making all the right moves.

But Donald Trump is playing coy on abortion and some “Pro-Life” groups are giving him cover.

On January 1, Trump posted a social-media message blaming the Pro-Life movement for the party’s disappointing Midterm performance.

Trump tries to shift the blame

“It wasn’t my fault that the Republicans didn’t live up to expectations in the MidTerms. I was 233-20! It was the ‘abortion issue,’ poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters. Also, the people that pushed so hard, for decades, against abortion, got their wish from the U.S. Supreme Court, & just plain disappeared, not to be seen again.”

Meanwhile Trump’s most likely opponent, Ron DeSantis took a different tact.

DeSantis has now positioned himself as the movement’s unwavering ally, and its favorite GOP Presidential candidate.

He’s even surpassed former Vice President Mike Pence in most Pro-Life circles despite Pence’s long track record. 

That’s because DeSantis is acting, while the others are talking.

On April 13, DeSantis signed into law legislation banning abortion after six weeks. 

DeSantis knows he needs the Pro-Life movement in his corner, and Trump – who admittedly is responsible for Roe v. Wade finally being overturned with his three Supreme Court picks – seems to have forgotten that.

From opposition to praise 

On April 20, Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the marginally Pro-Life organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America said her organization “will oppose any Presidential candidate who refuses to embrace at a minimum a 15-week national standard to stop painful late-term abortions while allowing states to enact further protections.” 

She even called Trump’s position of leaving the issue to the states, “morally indefensible.”

Of course, the 15-week ban is almost completely useless.  

More than 92% of all abortions are performed before 15 weeks and thus would still be legal.

But even that minimal first step makes Trump nervous.

On April 28, Trump gave a ridiculous noncommittal explanation of his position. 

“We’ll get something done where everyone is going to be very satisfied,” he said. Trump said his campaign was “looking at a lot of different options” and that “I think we’ll get it done on some level, it could be on different levels, but we’re gonna get it done. I know the issue very well. I think I know the issue better than most and we will get that taken care of.”

In his coy statement, Trump was not promising to actually do anything.

He was merely saying “something” would be done, possibly (but not necessarily) by him. 

His statement contained absolutely no promise of any concrete action by him should he win the Presidency back.

It’s possible, as his supporters might argue, that Trump is just playing 4-D chess and refusing to tip his hand too soon.

Praise for nothing

Nevertheless, despite what SBA said previously, Dannenfelser recently met with Trump at his Florida home and came away praising the former President. 

According to Dannenfelser, in the meeting Trump committed to only two things on the life issue.

The first was attacking Democrats for their support of late-term abortion. 

And Trump’s second commitment was “reiterat[ing] that any federal legislation protecting these children would need to include the exceptions for life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest.” 

This position of course should be grounds for any actual Pro-Life leader to attack Trump, not praise him.

Nonetheless, Dannenfelser described the meeting as “terrific.”

Pro-Life activists and leaders should always be thankful that Trump’s Supreme Court picks were responsible for finally overturning Roe v. Wade.

But they should never pull what Dannenfelser did and praise him for taking a clearly non-Pro-Life position.

Unless maybe that is actually SBA’s position too.

*Pro Life Press Official Polling*