Pro-Life Leaders Respond to President Trump’s Position on Abortion

(Oregon Right to Life) — Pro-life leaders on Monday responded to former U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement declaring his position on abortion. 

“Many people have asked me what my position is on abortion and abortion rights,” Trump said in a video posted to his social media platform Truth Social. In the video, Trump highlighted his role in appointing the U.S. Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade.

“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,” he said. “And whatever they decide must be the law of the land. In this case, the law of the state.”

“Many states will be different,” Trump continued. “Many will have a different number of weeks or some will have more conservative [laws] than others, and that’s what they will be. At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people. You must follow your heart or, in many cases, your religion or your faith.”

Trump also reaffirmed his support for abortion law exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother, and vowed to protect the availability of fertility treatments, including IVF, throughout all states. He evaded the question of a federal abortion limit.

READ: What’s The Deal With IVF?

Trump’s comments triggered energetic debate. National pro-life leaders responded to the remarks in a series of statements released Monday.

National Right to Life, which has endorsed Trump, focused on the former president’s role in the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and contrasted his position against that of current U.S. President Joe Biden.

“National Right to Life praises President Trump for his work in ensuring that the wrongly decided Roe v. Wade was abandoned to the garbage heap of history,” National Right to Life president Carol Tobias said. “In his first term, President Trump demonstrated extraordinary leadership and delivered historic results on behalf of vulnerable unborn children and their mothers.” 

“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,” Tobias said. “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,” Tobias added. “President Trump’s record on life speaks for itself.”  

40 Days for Life said on social media that “Trump’s decision to leave abortion to states serves as a powerful reminder: the 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.”

RELATED: Florida Supreme Court Allows Heartbeat Bill to Take Effect, OKs Dangerous Pro-Abortion Ballot Initiative

But while National Right to Life emphasized the former president’s role in reversing federal abortion precedent and 40 Days for Life responded by urging further mobilization of grassroots advocacy, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser said Trump’s current position falls short.

In a press release, Dannenfelser said her organization is “deeply disappointed in President Trump’s position.”

“Unborn children and their mothers deserve national protections and national advocacy from the brutality of the abortion industry,” she said. “The Dobbs decision clearly allows both states and Congress to act.”

“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,” Dannenfelser continued. “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.”

Live Action president and founder Lila Rose also released a strong statement, declaring that “President Trump is not a pro-life candidate.”

“He’s far less pro-abortion than Biden, but he supports killing some preborn children and will even make that his position in an attempt to get pro-abortion votes,” Rose said. 

Rose noted that the Republican Party “has for decades advanced the idea that the federal government has a vigorous role in protecting children from abortion,” arguing that “President Trump is abandoning this long-held Republican position.”

“President Trump’s new position is not leadership; it’s a stab in the back against his supporters. With a leader like this, the GOP has little hope of making meaningful progress to protect preborn children,” she said. “President Trump’s mistake will also make it more challenging for the pro-life movement to win statewide referendums. Human life begins at fertilization, and this is the true pro-life position. Human life deserves protection from the moment life begins.”

“I implore President Trump to reject this swamp-consultant-driven position to abandon families and children at risk from abortion,” Rose said.

Meanwhile, some pro-life advocates have argued that there could be strategic advantages to Trump’s stated position.

Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins said on social media that she sympathizes with concerns about Trump’s position. However, she suggested that the former president’s statements could help pro-life advocates push back against Democrats’ “abortion extremism.”

“[W]e at the Pro-Life Generation are 100% for national pro-life law,” she said. “However, we need to stop and consider a few things.”

Hawkins explained that “GOP insiders were calling for a 15 or 16 week limit on abortion, which would’ve allowed more than 9 out of 10 abortions to continue, and, by either intent or by accident, would set up a very tough European-like stalemate on abortion.”

She argued that such an ineffective federal law could “undermine the positions of many other states that acted with courage to protect women and children” and constrict her organization’s “work to pass strong pro-life legislation and elect courageous pro-life leaders who will work with us to end all abortions or, at least, when a child’s heartbeat could be heard.”

In contrast, she argued that Trump’s “strategic position keeps the pressure on Democrats and their abortion extremism instead of letting their fundraising machines stir up their radical base over threats about a late-term abortion ‘ban’ that would only save 4-6% of children.”

Trump is considered the Republican party’s presumptive nominee after scoring significant primary wins. Incumbent Joe Biden is the official Democratic nominee.

Written by Ashley Sadler, communications director for Oregon Right to Life.

Oregon Right to Life believes in the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death. Abortion ends the life of a genetically distinct, growing human being. We oppose abortion at any point of gestation. Read this and all of our position statements by clicking here.


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