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OPINION

Pro-Life Activists Owe Donald Trump Their Support in 2024

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Recent weeks have been replete with betrayals in the Republican Party, from the treatment of James O’Keefe and to Tucker Carlson’s abrupt firing. The most insidious and shameful of betrayals, though, is the quasi-official pro-life movement opting to work against the re-election of President Donald J. Trump in 2024.

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One prominent pro-life organization, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, is leading the charge against Trump. They have the audacity to demonize his stance on abortion: that it is an issue that should be left to the states. SBA Pro-Life said Trump’s stance is a “morally indefensible position for a self-proclaimed pro-life presidential candidate.” Imagine having the audacity to call Trump a “self-proclaimed pro-life presidential candidate” after he was personally responsible for the repeal of Roe v. Wade, the most significant victory the movement could have imagined and the realization of their a half-century-old objective.

SBA Pro-Life gave away their con when they immediately shifted from criticizing Trump to praising former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, a neoconservative with dismal support even in her home state of South Carolina, for giving a speech filled with trivialities and platitudes at the group’s headquarters earlier this week.

“Haley’s commitment to acting on the American consensus against late-term abortion by protecting unborn children by at least 15 weeks when they can feel excruciating pain,” SBA Pro-Life said in response to Haley’s speech.

SBA Pro-Life was later reminded that Haley never actually outlined her commitment to banning abortion at 15 weeks while giving her canned speech, after which they noted that they were “assured she would set national consensus at 15 weeks.”

This continues the familiar pattern of pro-life groups serving as little more than a rubber stamp for whoever is the favored politician of Conservative Inc. and the money power running the show in the Republican establishment. National Right to Life has been particularly reprehensible in this regard, endorsing whoever is on the ballot as a Republican regardless of the specifics of their record. No Republican politician fears the pro-life lobby because there are never any consequences when they veer from their campaign rhetoric once elected.

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The real reason that pro-life groups are rejecting or, at the very least, chilly toward Trump’s presidential ambitions is because his decisive action to repeal Roe ended their gravy train. The pro-life groups had been dangling the carrot in front of Republican voters: ‘Vote for the RINO, and Roe may be repealed.’, ‘Get to the polls and vote Republican because it will mean we can repeal Roe.’, and so forth. Like Lucy yanking the football away from Charlie Brown at the last possible moment before he could kick, these promises were never meant to be fulfilled. Pro-life groups never changed their philosophy or their tactics despite failure after failure because they were always meant to lose. They existed to keep corralling Christian voters to vote for lousy Republican politicians and playing their dutiful role within the controlled opposition apparatus.

Enter Donald J. Trump, a brash billionaire who was not steeped in pro-life ideology, but as winner and a doer who vowed to live up to his mandate after evangelicals, many of whom had serious reservations about his character and his ability to lead, got behind him during his 2016 presidential victory. Trump delivered a victory that no other Republican president could accomplish. Hedid what none of his predecessors could do, not even the vaunted and idolized Ronald Reagan: he went 3 for 3 in nominating strong, conservative, rule-of-law justices to the Supreme Court. He fulfilled the promise of voting for the Republican Party to support judges, one of the popular canards used over the years to cajole angry conservatives into showing up to support Republicans who repeatedly stab them in the back.

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Now with Roe overturned, the pro-life movement, particularly in deep red states that have not hesitated in approving severe abortion restrictions, including total bans, no longer serves a function. This means fewer easy paychecks for the lazy and opulent Republican operative class. It should come as no surprise that these professional pro-life activists are now turning on Trump and looking to soak up the Never Trump dollar now that their grift has come to an end. They are as much part of the swamp as any other special interest looking to dupe their hapless constituency to serve their own political and economic ends.

Furthermore, Trump’s states’ rights position on abortion is the correct one; it even puts Democrats on the defensive. Pro-life abolitionism, while admirable and well-intentioned, allows Democrats to camouflage their radical embrace of child-killing as moderate. They paint Republicans as anti-woman, repressive Christian zealots effectively in response. When Republicans put forward a states’ rights position or a stance carving out limited exemptions in line with what a substantial majority of the American people want, that is how the pro-life movement wins. Only sound political maneuvering can save children in the post-Roe environment, and Democrats have made gains across the country on the abortion issue because of poor Republican strategy.

Pro-life groups ought to be ashamed for misrepresenting President Trump’s record, and those which have not already endorsed Trump for President in 2024 should be losing donations and support rapidly from their supporters. The record shows that Trump is the hero–the champion that the pro-life movement needs–and that he continues to blaze the trail for the pro-life movement to make additional gains in the post-Roe era. He did what Reagan, Bush Jr, and Bush Sr were unable to do. Trump worked to redeem our nation and renew the virtues that once made us great, and pro-life supporters must rally behind him if they care about protecting life.

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