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Trump steamrolls anti-abortion groups

Trump steamrolls anti-abortion groups

As his GOP opponents have hoped to close a wide polling gap by attacking former President Donald Trump as a fair-weather conservative, the anti-abortion movement finds itself at a crossroads. | Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

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In just the last week, Donald Trump called Florida’s six-week abortion ban “terrible,” refused to endorse national restrictions, blamed abortion opponents for Republicans’ 2022 election disappointments and pledged to compromise with Democrats on the issue if elected. Anti-abortion groups can’t agree on what to do about it. As his GOP opponents have seized on the comments, hoping to close a wide polling gap by attacking Trump as a fair-weather conservative, the anti-abortion movement finds itself at a crossroads — afraid of alienating the presumptive nominee but loath to let his remarks go unchallenged. “Are pro-lifers going to allow themselves to be a cheap date?” said Patrick Brown, a fellow with the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Life and Family Initiative. “Are they going to sit back and take it when candidates are denigrating the cause they dedicated their life to?” Trump’s attempt to have it both ways on the fraught issue — calling himself “the most pro-life president ever” and taking credit for the fall of Roe v. Wade while also shunning the priorities of the anti-abortion groups that helped elect him in 2016 — has exposed those groups’ struggle for relevance in a lopsided primary and highlighted ongoing divisions inside the movement.

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