‘Way Out Of Line’: Pro-Life Activists Blast Trump For Blaming The Movement For GOP’s Poor Midterm Performance

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
Font Size:

Pro-lifers are blasting former President Donald Trump for saying anti-abortion advocates who supported “no exceptions” abortion bans hurt Republicans in the midterms.

The former president wrote on social media Sunday that the GOP’s disappointing midterm performance “wasn’t [his] fault.”

“It was the ‘abortion issue,’ poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

But pro-life activists told the Daily Caller that protecting the sanctity of human life should be a non-negotiable issue for Republican candidates. (RELATED: DeSantis Admin Responds After Children Reportedly Spotted At Explicit Christmas-Themed Drag Show)

“Having a strong stance against the slaughtering of innocent children is fundamentally a conservative value,” Savanna Deretich, Government Affairs Coordinator for Students for Life of America, told the Daily Caller. “If you do not have a strong pro-life stance, you are not a true conservative.”

Lila Rose, Founder and President of Live Action, attacked Trump on Twitter for his stance.

“Trump is way out of line here on life,” Rose said. “He does not have a pulse on where his potential base is — as many believed he has in the past. This kind of nonsense will be a losing political strategy for him.”

Some organizations emphasized that many vocally pro-life candidates did very well in the midterms, while many who lost competitive races had danced around the life issue during their races.

“Abortion proved to be a political loser for weak Republicans who failed to defend life,” Shawn Carney, Campaign Director of 40 Days for Life, told the Caller. “But strong Republicans like Abbott, Kemp, and DeSantis, who didn’t apologize for being on the right side of science and history, were successful.”

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America made a similar point in a symposium the morning after midterm election night, blasting Republicans who employed what it called the “ostrich strategy” in addressing the abortion issue.

“While we have examples of pro-life GOP candidates who were prepared and went on offense, there are also examples of candidates who were not prepared and took the ostrich strategy: burying their heads in the sand and running from the issue, allowing their opponents to define them,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of SBA said in a post-election memo.

Following Trump’s comments, the organization reiterated its stance that pro-lifers would win electorally if they were more vocal on the life issue. (RELATED: How The GOP Establishment Made An Avoidable Mistake In The Midterms)

“The approach to winning on abortion in federal races, proven for a decade is this: state clearly the ambitious consensus pro-life position and contrast that with the extreme view of Democrat opponents,” the group said in a statement, which earned praise from Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence.

Terrisa Bukovinac, Founder and Executive Director of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, however, said Republicans failed to address many Americans’ concerns following Dobbs.

“The American people have valid concerns about miscarriage management, ectopic pregnancies, medical emergencies, as well as continuing pregnancies in the current economic climate, things Republicans regularly overlook or dismiss,” Bukovinac said.

“Pro-life Democrats and Republicans can make gains by advocating for the expansion of resources to pregnant and parenting people, by making clear protections in laws and language for those experiencing medical emergencies, and by standing boldly in the truth that elective abortion is murder.”

Many argued that the reversal of Roe hurt Republican electoral chances in the midterms. With a sinking economy, an unpopular Democratic president, and a porous border, pundits predicted a “red wave” for the GOP. When it did not materialize,  Republicans’ failure was blamed on staunchly pro-life positions, which made it easy to paint conservatives as “extremists.”

Ultimately, it seems that abortion was a state-by-state issue. Michigan, for instance, passed a referendum legalizing abortion up to 24 weeks and re-elected Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Observers argued Republican candidate Tudor Dixon’s staunch opposition to abortion likely influenced the outcome. Dixon called her loss an “issue of leadership” and blamed the GOP. In other states, however, such as Texas and Kentucky, pro-life candidates did very well.