Former U.S. President Donald Trump has said that pro-life groups are just in it for the money and have been trying to end abortion for decades but have failed. Trump told Raheem Kassam, editor-in-chief of National Pulse, that he is responsible for moving the needle toward big pro-life legislation and echoed earlier claims that Republicans lose elections when they focus on banning abortion.
After several candidates the previous U.S. president favored in the 2022 election cycle lost, Trump stated that a poor abortion message was to blame. He claimed that the GOP’s poor showing in the ’22 midterms was because its members were unprepared to discuss the topic of abortion. The pro-life groups Trump attacked for raising money and lobbying to eliminate abortion but failing to secure significant nationwide wins before the Supreme Court’s June 2022 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, invalidating the federal “right” to abortion, were likewise outraged by his comments.
Abby Johnson, a prominent pro-life activist, responded to Trump on X by saying that constantly bashing the pro-life movement is disgusting and gross. In the same interview, Trump stated, “We don’t want to blow it” because his appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court had put pro-life advocates in “a tremendous negotiation position.”
Trump highlighted that Republicans “have to win elections,” and he acknowledged that while his own opinion on abortion is “strong,” most people do not perceive extensive abortion restrictions, such as Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis’ six-week heartbeat rule, as “a terrible thing.” It’s “something that has to be talked about,” he added of the abortion debate, but too many Republicans are “scared” to bring it up.
It’s worth noting that earlier this month, Trump scared pro-lifers by calling laws prohibiting abortions after six weeks of pregnancy “awful” and taking credit for the overturn of Roe v. Wade. He has said he can “come up with a number” to “make everyone pleased” on all sides and end the national discussion.