Donald Trump Pisses Off Powerful Anti-Abortion Group: ‘Morally Indefensible’

"We will oppose any presidential candidate who refuses to embrace at a minimum a 15-week national standard," said the head of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.

Donald Trump Pisses Off Powerful Anti-Abortion Group: ‘Morally Indefensible’
Photo:Getty (Getty Images)

The Washington Post ran a story on Thursday about how Republicans can’t agree on what to do about abortion—frankly, a common take these days on how anti-abortion activists want politicians to pursue the most extreme position, despite the fact that lawmakers know it’s a losing issue. And now, a highly influential anti-abortion group is calling out Donald Trump for not supporting a national ban.

Per the Post, Kellyanne Conway gave Republican donors a polling memo showing that 80 percent of voters oppose the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, and the Republican National Committee is arguing that abortion is one of the biggest reasons the party did so poorly in that election. So Trump was (unfortunately) right when he said the same thing in January.

A spokesperson for Trump told the Post the former president “believes that the Supreme Court, led by the three justices which he supported, got it right when they ruled this is an issue that should be decided at the state level.”

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America is pretty incensed about Trump’s comments. SBA president Marjorie Dannenfelser responded in a statement that Trump’s position was “morally indefensible” and that it’s effectively an “endorsement” of protective laws in blue states. She added that the group would oppose any 2024 candidate who doesn’t support a national abortion ban, as their “minimum” is banning abortions after 15 weeks (but they clearly prefer even earlier in pregnancy).

Here is the SBA statement in full, emphasis theirs:

“President Trump’s assertion that the Supreme Court returned the issue of abortion solely to the states is a completely inaccurate reading of the Dobbs decision and is a morally indefensible position for a self-proclaimed pro-life presidential candidate to hold. Life is a matter of human rights, not states’ rights. Saying that the issue should only be decided at the states is an endorsement of abortion up until the moment of birth, even brutal late-term abortions in states like California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey. The only way to save these children is through federal protections, such as a 15-week federal minimum standard when the unborn child can feel excruciating pain.
“We 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.
“The Supreme Court made clear in its decision that it was returning the issue to the people to decide through their elected representatives in the states and in Congress. Holding to the position that it is exclusively up to the states is an abdication of responsibility by anyone elected to federal office. This holds especially true for the president, more than any other federal official, because he or she has a responsibility to forge national consensus and progress on the most egregious human rights violation of our time.”

Did you see the part where she said “Life is a matter of human rights, not states’ rights?”

This is all extremely rich given that SBA changed its tune on “state’s rights” between the time Mississippi asked the Supreme Court to overturn Roe and when it became apparent that this would be the outcome. In July 2021, SBA said abortion should be an issue for state legislators, but then in May 2022 after the draft opinion leaked, the group said it was for “every legislature.” When the final decision dropped, they pivoted to “every legislature in the land, in every single state and Congress is now free to allow the will of the people to make its way into the law.”

I guess they want Trump to be more like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who recently signed a six-week abortion ban—except a megadonor said he and “a bunch of friends” were pausing plans to support DeSantis precisely because he’s too extreme on abortion and other issues. DeSantis signed that ban at 11pm and behind closed doors, by the way.

But even DeSantis has been squishy on the issue, as he reportedly told supporters on a recent trip to New Hampshire that abortion is now in the hands of the states and that what might pass in Iowa may not fly in New Hampshire.

At the moment, I really don’t want to get into the debate over whether Trump or DeSantis is more likely to beat President Joe Biden in a general election. I simply hope that this public infighting damages every Republican candidate so badly that Biden coasts to re-election—not because I love him, but because his presidency would mean no national abortion ban.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin