On Friday, former president Donald Trump told two significant social conservative groups that Republicans need to talk about abortion more effectively.
“On this topic, we can win elections, but it’s really delicate, and properly explaining it is very crucial. You must be able to communicate clearly and clarify the matter. In Washington, D.C., addressing the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee’s leadership summit, Trump said that many pro-life lawmakers lack the communication skills to broach the subject.
Later, at the annual Pray, Vote, Stand conference held by the Family Research Council and FRC Action across town, Trump reiterated his worries, saying that abortion was a “issue” in the midterm elections and that “explaining it properly is very important.”
According to Trump, politicians “don’t know how to talk about it” and “if they don’t speak about it correctly, they’re not going to win.”
One year after Roe v. Wade was overturned, and as the Republican Party remains divided over how far candidates should push for abortion restrictions, Trump sent a warning to two significant anti-abortion groups. Some GOP leaders, including Trump, have voiced concerns that the 2022 midterm elections might be politically costly for the party’s virulent anti-abortion policies and conflicted abortion rhetoric.
Trump, who has referred to himself as the “most pro-life” president in history and frequently highlights his part in the selection of the three Supreme Court justices who contributed to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, has been reticent to provide specifics on his position, despite making it clear that he thinks some Republican positions on abortion have been “too harsh.”
Trump stated on Friday night that conservatives now have the authority to “negotiate” at the state level despite his prior defiance to demands from anti-abortion organizations to support a nationwide abortion ban. Additionally, he stressed his support for exceptions to abortion restrictions in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger.
Trump listed his conservative accomplishments while in office in both speeches, including transferring the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and restoring the Mexico City Policy, which forbids the use of public funds for abortions and was suspended by President Joe Biden.
“Donald Trump didn’t just deliver, he exceeded expectations, and he taught us not to accept less than what we’ve been promised,” said Penny Nance, the CEO of Concerned Women for America.
Trump’s attendance at the Washington events highlights the impact that conservative Christian evangelical voters have on the Republican nomination process, particularly in the historically important Iowa caucuses. On Wednesday, Trump will travel to Eastern Iowa to meet with volunteers and address his supporters.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who also attended both rallies on Friday, is now trailing the former president by double digits in the national Republican primary polls.
DeSantis did not declare his support for federal limitations, but he did sign a law outlawing abortions after six weeks. Nikki Haley, a former governor of South Carolina, has taken a more reasonable stance and called for “consensus” on the matter. Tim Scott, a senator from South Carolina, and Mike Pence, a former vice president, have both urged Republican candidates to support a federal abortion ban that lasts for 15 weeks.
At the Family Research Council event on Friday, Pence told reporters that he thought Republicans, including Trump, “are trying to marginalize the cause of life.”
It sends a message to pro-life Americans about the importance he’ll place on the cause of life should you re-elect the former president, Pence said. “The former president has not only refused to endorse a 15-week national law that would ban or limit abortion after a child was able to experience pain, but also the fact that he actually blamed election losses in 2022 on us overturning Roe v. Wade,” Pence said to reporters.
Polling indicates that the majority of Americans favor abortion up to six weeks into a pregnancy.