Trump's pro-life creds challenged; labeled 'opportunist' on abortion issue

Trump's pro-life creds challenged; labeled 'opportunist' on abortion issue

Trump's pro-life creds challenged; labeled 'opportunist' on abortion issue

Is the widely and self proclaimed "most pro-life president" even the most pro-life GOP contender for 2024? Some activists in the pro-life community say a recent NBC interview has revealed flaws in Donald Trump's stance on abortion.

Recent comments from former President Donald Trump have alarmed some in the pro-life community. For others it's underscored their position that the former chief executive who seeks a return to the Oval Office isn't the devoted friend he proclaims to be.

In June, speaking before the Faith & Freedom Coalition Gala in Washington, DC, Trump told the group he was proud to be "the most pro-life president" in the history of the United States. The occasion was the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, which returned the power to legislate abortion to the states. Months from its 50th birthday, 'Roe' – the ruling that gave women nationwide the legal ability to end a pregnancy – had been overturned.

The Left anticipated the court's decision – and its fears were confirmed when an internal Supreme Court memo was leaked.

Trump had reshaped the high court with three appointments – conservative justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

"From my first day in office I took historic action to protect the unborn, very historic. Nobody else did anything near what we did," Trump told the group this summer.

Now it appears Trump is not even the pro-life candidate in the coming GOP primaries – a point driven home by Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director but now a prominent advocate for life.

Johnson, Abby Johnson

"Everybody comes out and says, 'Oh, he was the most pro-life president.' Donald Trump is an opportunist and he's a businessman, and so he's going to do the things that he believes rally his base," Johnson said on American Family Radio Tuesday. "I don't believe that Donald Trump was ever necessarily a pro-life man, but he needed the conservative ticket, and so he said what needed to be said."

Trump's personal beliefs are irrelevant if he's "moving the ball forward" on the issue of life, Johnson told show host Jenna Ellis. However, Trump's recent interview with NBC's Meet The Press (pictured above) makes Johnson question his placement of the ball.

Did NBC interview expose a weaker Trump abortion policy?

"I feel like his convictions are coming out when he can't even say, 'Yes, I would absolutely sign any pro-life bill that came across my desk.' If you're a pro-lifer, the pro-life issue should be the number-one thing you're voting on … more than the Ukraine issue, more than the economy issue," Johnson said.

NBC's Kristen Welker worked hard to pin down Trump on abortion specifics, and he acquiesced.

Trump would not commit to a 15-week ban. The number was first proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) a year ago, but it's not one all Republicans are behind as the election year approaches.

However, Trump sharply criticized the six-week ban signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his chief rival for the GOP nomination. "What he did is a terrible thing, a terrible mistake," Trump told Welker.

Conservative commentator and show host Dana Loesch told her 1.2 million followers on X, formerly Twitter, that Republican candidates should have one clear answer if asked the 15-week ban question:

"You mean if lawmakers elected by the people deliver to me a bill restricting abortion-as-birth-control after 15 weeks – the time period on which the majority of Americans, Democrats and Republicans, have found consensus after years of polling? Yes."

Johnson said if Trump was truly a pro-life candidate he would commit to a policy and not hold up someone else's as foolish.

"If your [pro-life] candidate in the primary can't say … [if] it won't even come across his lips that he would sign anything that prohibited abortion that came across his desk – if he can't say that, then he is not your candidate," she stated.

Johnson pointed out Trump did not deliver on some very important abortion campaign promises, including his pledge to defund Planned Parenthood. In fact, federal dollars for the pro-abortion group actually increased during the Trump administration.

"Let's just be honest here," said Johnson. "Planned Parenthood was funded at astronomical highs during his presidency. He said that he would defund the abortion industry. He did not. He continued to fund them at historical highs, higher than when Obama was in office."

Johnson also believes Trump takes too much credit for the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, noting that throughout the court's history there have been justices who voted opposite of their perceived political leanings.

"He keeps saying, 'I overturned Roe, I overturned Roe.' Yes, he put in the [conservative] justices – but we didn't actually know if they were going to overturn Roe when he put them in," she said, explaining her argument.

"That wasn't a promise that the Supreme Court justices made when they went into office. We weren't actually sure what they were going to do. [Overturning of Roe] was really because of the Mississippi attorney general and the Supreme Court."

Johnson dismisses the idea, proposed by some, that Trump was talking about poor strategy by DeSantis as opposed to a "terrible mistake" in reference to Florida's six-week ban.

Johnson: No 'peace in our time' on abortion

Trump seemed to paraphrase former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's "peace in our time" approach to Nazi Germany when Welker turned the discussion to abortion.

"I think they're all going to like me, I think both sides are going to like me," Trump told Welker. "You're going to come up with a number that's going to make people happy because 92% of the Democrats don't want to see abortion after a certain period of time."

Johnson contends Trump is foolish to believe the Democrats will work with him on the issue of abortion. "The Democratic Party has taken a clear stance on abortion, and that is that they want elective abortion for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy – and they want it taxpayer-funded," she noted.

In her opinion, Democrats simply are not going to work with Trump on the abortion issue.

"Get serious. If he actually believes that, he is a fool and is completely delusional," Johnson concluded. "We're talking about people who will not vote to protect a baby born alive after an abortion attempt; who will not vote to ban abortion past 20 weeks – and he's over there saying he's going to work with Democrats to find some sort of compromise? Give me a break."