Some key Republicans express anger as Trump criticizes DeSantis’ abortion ban, calling it a significant error.

Donald Trump is receiving criticism from anti-abortion activists for his refusal to support nationwide abortion restrictions and his criticism of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ decision to sign a six-week ban on the procedure, which he referred to as a “terrible mistake.”

During an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Trump avoided giving a clear answer on whether he would back a federal prohibition on abortion. He expressed that he would be okay with the procedure being banned either by individual states or through federal action across the country, but he also mentioned that he believed it might be more appropriate for the issue to be addressed at the state level from a legal perspective.

Trump expressed his disapproval of the bill signed by DeSantis, which prohibits abortions before most women are aware of their pregnancy, stating that he believes it to be a regrettable decision.

So far, the former president has dominated the 2024 field while at times spurning the anti-abortion groups that traditionally have huge influence in Republican primaries. But Trump’s direct attack on DeSantis, whom he’s long treated as his chief rival, could give the Florida governor new fodder as he tries to regain momentum in his campaign and solidify his second-place standing.

On X, previously called Twitter, Bryan Griffin, the spokesperson for DeSantis’ campaign, posted about Trump: “If you wish to please Democrats, he is the person for you. If you desire to overcome the Democrats in 2024, (DeSantis) is the sole option.”

Another campaign spokesman, Andrew Romeo, distributed to reporters a roundup of conservative groups criticizing Trump and accused him of repeatedly compromising with Democrats.

Romeo stated that Republicans nationwide are aware that Ron DeSantis will always stand firm and not yield.

The biggest organization against abortion in the country, which supports a nationwide prohibition on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, promptly issued a statement arguing that any less stringent measures are illogical.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, expressed the importance of having a champion for human rights who is committed to protecting children’s lives and assisting mothers in need. It is crucial for all candidates to clearly outline their strategies for achieving this goal.

After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the responsibility of regulating abortion and determining its limitations was handed over to individual states. As a result, there is now a varied set of laws regarding abortion across the country. Many states governed by Republicans have implemented stricter regulations, while states led by Democrats have enacted measures to safeguard access to abortion. Presently, around twenty-five million women who are capable of bearing children reside in states where obtaining an abortion has become more challenging compared to the pre-ruling period.

Trump has approached abortion from a political stance, saying that the Supreme Court’s decision gave conservatives room to negotiate new restrictions. He has argued Republicans’ push for abortion restrictions hurt the GOP in the 2022 midterm elections and that GOP candidates need to do a better job of explaining the issue.

According to a survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in June, the U.S. public is not in favor of banning abortion at six weeks of pregnancy, as Florida has done. The poll revealed that 73% of all U.S. adults believe that abortion should be permissible until six weeks of pregnancy, which is the stage when cardiac activity in a fetus can be detected and before many women are aware of their pregnancy. Approximately half of Americans believe that abortions should be allowed up to 15 weeks.

In the survey, 56% of Republicans expressed their approval for permitting abortion within the first 6 weeks of pregnancy in their state, while 29% endorsed the idea of legalizing the procedure up to 15 weeks.

However, in the Republican caucuses held in Iowa, which is the first state to hold such caucuses, the majority of participants and decision-makers are evangelicals and other social conservatives who strongly oppose abortion. It is worth noting that Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, signed a ban on abortion that is similar to the one in Florida. However, she has not publicly declared her support for any specific candidate.

Trump has called himself the “the most pro-life president in American history” and noted that three of his Supreme Court picks formed part of the conservative majority that overturned Roe.

He has, up until now, refused to support certain proposals from his competitors, such as his former vice president, Mike Pence, who advocates for early pregnancy national bans.

Based on interviews conducted with GOP voters and activists in recent months, there appears to be a division among individuals. Some express contentment with Trump’s accomplishments during his tenure, while others desire his endorsement of a nationwide prohibition on abortion.

After the interview, certain Republicans in important states, even those supporting his opponents, expressed their dissatisfaction.

State Representative John McCravy of South Carolina, who sponsored a recent abortion measure that imposes restrictions by prohibiting the practice after approximately six weeks of pregnancy, expressed his disappointment in an interview. South Carolina is one of the states that will select a nominee early on.

“He said it seemed completely contradictory to his unwavering advocacy for life during his presidency.”

McCravy has endorsed South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott in the 2024 GOP presidential primary but told AP last week, “Trump would probably be a close second, noting his Supreme Court appointments and his attending the March for Life rally in Washington.

Kristen Waggoner, the Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal organization, also expressed her disagreement.

“I cannot reword”


Burnett provided the report from Chicago. The report also includes contributions from Associated Press writers Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix, Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina, and Michelle L. Price in New York.

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