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Trump ripped by right after calling DeSantis’ six-week abortion ban ‘terrible’

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Former President Donald Trump has drawn outrage from pro-life conservatives after he panned a six-week abortion ban championed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as “terrible.”

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“I think what he did is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake,” Trump, 77, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” when asked about the policy in an interview that aired Sunday.

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The 45th president’s remarks triggered backlash among anti-abortion activists, including from groups like Live Action and Students for Life, which have pushed 2024 Republican presidential hopefuls to stand firm on the issue following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last year.

“Pathetic and shameful. Trump is actively attacking the very pro-life laws made possible by Roe’s overturning,” Lila Rose of Live Action said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Heartbeat Laws have saved thousands of babies. But Trump wants to compromise on babies’ lives so pro-abort Dems ‘like him.’ Trump should not be the GOP nominee.”

“Hey @realDonaldTrump, protecting human life at 5 or 6 weeks isn’t a ‘terrible thing’ … it’s the right thing,” added Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life.

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Donald Trump
Donald Trump has encouraged Republicans to refrain from taking a position on abortion thats too restrictive
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The Susan B. Anthony List, which has pushed candidates to call for a national abortion ban — and criticized candidates like DeSantis who have declined to do so — initially had a tame response to Trump.

“We’re at a moment where we need a human rights advocate, someone who is dedicated to saving the lives of children and serving mothers in need. Every single candidate should be clear on how they plan to do that,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, SBA president, said in a statement.

“Anything later than a 15 week protection for babies in the womb (when science proves they can feel pain) as a national minimum standard makes no sense.”

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DeSantis signed Florida’s Heartbeat Protect Act in April, banning the procedure after detection of a fetal heartbeat, which proponents of tighter restrictions say can happen as soon as six weeks into a pregnancy.

That law has been stymied in court pending litigation over the state’s previous 15-week ban, but state justices appeared amenable to it during a hearing earlier this month. The six-week bill notably made exceptions to the ban for instances of rape and to protect the life of the mother.

The DeSantis campaign was quick to fire back at Trump Sunday morning.

Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis has sought to cast himself as unapologetically anti abortion

“We’ve already seen the disastrous results of Donald Trump compromising with Democrats: over $7 trillion in new debt, an unfinished border wall, and the jailbreak First Step Act letting violent criminals back on to the streets,” communications director Andrew Romeo posted on social media.

“Republicans across the country know that Ron DeSantis will never back down.”

Trump famously appointed three justices to the Supreme Court during his term in office, all of whom voted in favor of overturning Roe in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Roe v. Wade
States have begun enacting abortion restrictions now that Roe v Wade has been overturned

The abortion issue galvanized Democratic voters in the 2022 midterms, leading — along with poor performances by Trump-backed candidates — to better-than-expected performances by President Biden’s party.

“It wasn’t my fault Republicans did not live up to expectations in the MidTerms,” Trump moaned on Truth Social back in January.

“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.”

Roe v. Wade
Polls indicate that the public generally wants abortion access legal

With an eye on the general election, DeSantis has argued that states should have the “primary jurisdiction” on abortion and insisted he wants to make promises he can keep.

To enact a strict national ban, Republicans will likely need to win 60 seats in the Senate as well as hold on to the House of Representatives — a prospect which is unlikely given the current polarized nature of politics.

“What’s going to happen, this is an issue that’s been going on for a long time. And it’s a very polarizing issue,” Trump told NBC’s Kristin Welker on Sunday. “Because of what’s been done, and because of the fact we brought it back to the states, we’re going to have people come together on this issue.”

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