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Pro-Lifers Torn, Some Say Trump Abandoning Unborn as Backlash Grows: 'This Is a Human Rights Issue'

	Trump Courts Christians at NRB Convention, Promises to Defend Faith and Religious Liberty

Donald Trump stirred the pot again on Wednesday by saying an Arizona law that criminalizes nearly all abortions goes too far.

It comes right after the Republican Party's 2024 presidential frontrunner sparked renewed debate by declaring that abortion should be left only to the states. He said his decision follows the Supreme Court's decision to return the authority regarding abortion to the state level. While Trump maintains this is mainly about winning in November, pro-life groups aren't happy, saying the former president sounds more like a pro-choice candidate. 

"My view is now we have abortion where everybody wanted it, from a legal standpoint," said Trump. "States will determine by vote or legislation, or perhaps both. And whatever they decide must be the law of the land. In this case, the law of the state." 

And that was enough to spark controversy within the party on this volatile issue because Trump made it clear he's staying away from supporting any federal intervention on abortion. 

Former Planned Parenthood Director Abby Johnson, now a pro-life advocate and CEO of 'And Then There Were None,' believes the former president is abandoning pro-life politics, comparing his words to those who support abortion. 

"If women want to murder their babies, that's up to them and their families, which is exactly what he (Trump) said," Johnson argued. 

Former Vice President Mike Pence called out his former boss' decision on X, labeling it "a slap in the face to the millions of pro-life Americans who voted for him in 2016 and 2020."

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Kelsey Pritchard of the Susan B. Anthony List tells CBN News the group is disappointed Trump didn't specifically call for protections for babies in the womb after 15 weeks. 

"Because the truth is this isn't a state's rights issue – this is a human rights issue," Pritchard said. "And regardless of whether you're born in Texas or California, you have human rights." 

She went on to say, "I think it was a misstep for President Trump to take this position yesterday. At the same time, we recognize completely that President Trump was the most pro-life president that we've ever had."

As the presidential election draws near, Trump is taking the stance that abortion bans are not popular with voters. Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, seven states have held ballot initiatives and the pro-life movement has yet to win. In November, Florida and possibly other states will put abortion to a vote. 

"What we are seeing is the 'general election, Donald Trump,'" said Nathan Gonzales, publisher of Inside Elections and a CBN News contributor. 

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Gonzales explains Trump is reaching outside the Republican base for votes and says we can expect to see this as a widespread political play. 

"Trump is in a position he believes he needs to take in order to succeed and get elected to another term, and we're seeing the consequences of trying to play both sides of the issue," said Gonzales. 

Since the decision to give authority on abortion is now back in the state courts, more candidates will have to play politics on the issue. 

Gonzales points out that the Arizona State Supreme Court's decision Tuesday approving a 160-year-old measure banning almost all abortions put one Arizona representative in a squeeze. 

READ  AZ Supreme Court Upholds 1864 Abortion Ban: 'Amazing Win for Human Rights'

"Congressman Juan Ciscomani – when the Dobbs decision came down – he said it was a historic day and celebrated with the rest of the Republican Party or the pro-life movement," said Gonzales. "Tuesday, when this Arizona Supreme Court decision came down, you know at the state's rights issue – he said it was a disaster because he is trying to win a competitive congressional district and he realizes that while the traditional pro-life position is the best moral position, it is not a politically popular decision." 

It's a dilemma the Republican Party is struggling to address, and its candidates will have to carefully navigate as the 2024 election season goes forward. 

Meanwhile, that Arizona ruling is fanning the flames of the abortion debate. President Biden condemned the measure as "cruel" and Vice President Kamala Harris is heading to the state Friday to campaign on the issue. 

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