Trump gets criticized, and defended, for 'will of the people' abortion views

Trump gets criticized, and defended, for 'will of the people' abortion views

In a video posted to Truth Social, Donald Trump describes his views on abortion. 

Trump gets criticized, and defended, for 'will of the people' abortion views

After he released a campaign video describing his current views on abortion, Donald Trump is being both criticized and complimented for comments that seemed to put winning in November above saving innocent life in the womb.

In the video, which was released Monday on the Truth Social website, Trump said he is describing his views on abortion because “many people” have asked for his position on the issue.

“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,” Trump begins. “And whatever they decide must be the law of the land — in this case, the law of the state."  

Those state laws vary depending on the state and its politics, he observes, but the main issue is if the “will of the people” is being carried out.

Trump then suggests that people “must follow your heart” on the issue.

“But remember,” he concludes, “you must also win elections to restore our culture and, in fact, to save our country, which is currently and very sadly a nation in decline.”

Davis, Emily Erin (SBA Pro-Life America) Davis

Emily Davis, speaking for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, tells AFN the organization disagrees with Trump’s suggestion abortion is now a state-level issue.

“Unborn children and their moms, they deserve a national voice. They deserve national protections and support," she says. “Sadly, President Trump has ceded that leadership saying it's only up to the states to decide.”

Walker Wildmon, of AFA Action, says abortion is a major issue that deserves a "clear signal" from Trump that unborn babies are worthy of legal protection. 

"In an era where we just overturned Roe v Wade, a historic victory for the life movement," he tells AFN, "the last thing we need is an unclear message about the protection of human life, all the way from conception to natural death." 

After the video hit social media Monday, some pro-life conservatives expressed disappointment for what sounded like a political, fence-walking statement.

“Whether an innocent child lives or dies should never be left to popular vote or ‘will of the people,’” political commentator Liz Wheeler wrote on X.

Responding to Trump’s comments on his “Washington Watch” program, show host Tony Perkins said Trump deserves credit for taking a pro-life stance as president but disagreed with Trump’s suggestion that abortion is now a state-level issue.

Perkins, Tony (FRC - mug shot) Perkins

“I know the President, and I support his call to make America great again, but America will never be great politically until it is good morally,” Perkins told his audience. “We cannot be a morally sound country when the most innocent in our midst are not protected by our laws and welcomed into our world.”

In a comment defending Trump, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk called the video a “masterful statement” by Trump. Kirk also claimed he has spoken to pro-life leaders who were “very happy” with Trump’s comments.

“He's 100% right,” Kirk wrote. “If we don’t win elections, we get zero of what we want. Without political power, Democrats will make abortion the law of the land.”

After years of back-and-forth views on abortion, Trump took a solid pro-life stance as a Republican presidential candidate in 2016. Once in the White House, he appointed right-leaning justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting up the landmark Dobbs ruling that ended Roe v Wade. That ruling sent the hot-button issue down to state legislatures. 

Trump also became the first Republican president in office to attend the annual “March for Life” rally in Washington, D.C., when he spoke there in 2020.

C.J. Doyle, of Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, tells AFN the key issue about abortion is that a human being is growing in the womb, not late-term abortions, which are rare. Approximately 93% of abortions, he says, are performed at 13 weeks' gestation, or less, in the U.S.

"So if we're to save the country, and make it great again," Doyle argues, "then the first thing we must do is stop killing our posterity in the womb." 

Editor's Notes: This story has been updated with comments from Walker Wildmon and C.J. Doyle. AFA Action is an affiliate of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates AFN.net.