Pro-life advocates criticized former President Donald Trump after he said that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida’s fetal heartbeat law was a “terrible thing” during an interview on Sunday.
DeSantis, who is running against the former president for the 2024 Republican nomination, signed an abortion bill in April that prohibits the procedure after a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically around six weeks. Trump called the bill a “mistake” and said he would not sign a 15-week federal abortion ban if it came across his desk as president during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“I think what he did is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake,” Trump said.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the country needs a “human rights advocate” who will save the “lives of children” and help “mothers in need.”
“Every single candidate should be clear on how they plan to do that. It begins with focusing on the extremes of the other side, and ambition and common sense on our own,” Dannenfelser said. “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. We thank Gov. Ron DeSantis for following the science and the will of the people by signing the Heartbeat Protection Act into law.”
Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action, called the former president’s remarks “pathetic and unacceptable” in a Twitter post.
Samantha D., a Live Action ambassador, told Trump to “get on board” and cited former Vice President Mike Pence, who said that he would support a 15-week minimum federal ban, according to a Twitter post.
Kristin Hawkins, president of Students for Life, also chastised Trump, arguing that “protecting human life at 5 or 6 weeks isn’t a ‘terrible thing’… it’s the right thing,” according to a Twitter post.
Trump came under fire from pro-life groups following the 2022 midterm elections after he blamed Republicans for pressing too hard on the abortion issue following the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court in June of that year. DeSantis called out the former president in May for saying that he was “too harsh” on abortion, with the governor stating he was “proud to do it” and that “99% of pro-lifers” would likely be in support of fetal heartbeat laws.
The Trump and DeSantis campaigns did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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