Emboldened anti-abortion activists see the 2024 presidential election as an opportunity to strengthen their influence in the Republican Party.

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, the most influential group in the anti-abortion movement, tells every potential GOP The president hopes that to win his support – or avoid being targeted by his opposition – they must support national restrictions on the procedure. Exceptions in cases of rape, incest or saving the life of the mother are permissible, activists say, but leaving this issue to the state is not.

“This is the level of protection that exists for each state. That’s the foundation of what we want to do,” said Frank Cannon, Susan B. Anthony’s chief policy strategist. “Anything less than that would be unacceptable and the SBA cannot support it. So, everything is so simple.”

The directive is an early litmus test for Republicans considering their first presidential run since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that enshrined federal protections for abortion for nearly 50 years. While the tough stance might appeal to anti-abortion activists in power in the GOP primary, it could pose problems for the party’s eventual general election nominee.

In 2022, voters protected abortion rights by voting in six states, including Kansas, former state Rep. Donald Trump won twice by double digits. AP A midterm VoteCast poll of voters found the Supreme Court’s decision to be broadly unpopular. About 6 in 10 said they were angry or unhappy about it, and about the same percentage said they supported legislation that would guarantee access to legal abortions nationwide.

Abortion rights advocates say the issue is a “game changer” that helped Democrats last year and will further motivate voters in 2024 after two years of seeing the effects of restrictions.

“We are in a country where 18 states do not have access to abortion, and that number is not decreasing. It will grow as additional lawsuits are resolved,” said Jenny Lawson, Planned Parenthood’s vice president of organizing and engagement. She predicted that people will see headlines “over and over again” about pregnant babies forced to travel out of state for abortions or people unable to get proper care for miscarriages because doctors fear liability.

Pressure from the anti-abortion movement has put Trump, who announced his third presidential campaign last year, in perhaps his most difficult position yet.

He may be more responsible for overturning Roe than anyone else, having appointed three of the anti-abortion Supreme Court justices who upheld last year’s decision. But he also made it clear that he believed further promotion would hurt Republicans and accused anti-abortion leaders of not doing enough to help GOP candidates in the midterm elections.

“I just didn’t see them fight during the last election, fight to win,” Trump said in an interview with David Brody, a longtime commentator on the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Trump, who described himself as “very pro-choice” before entering politics, stressed that opposing exemptions for rape, incest and maternal life makes it “much harder to win an election.” He criticized evangelical leaders who were slow to endorse his latest candidacy, criticizing the decisions of pastors such as Robert Jeffress to wait to assess the rest of the field as “a sign of disloyalty.”

Cannon called the notion that anti-abortionism hurt the GOP last year “absolutely absurd,” pointing to candidates like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — the top GOP presidential contender — who easily won re-election. Last year, DeSantis signed a law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The Republican candidates who got “killed,” Cannon said, were the ones who tried to avoid the topic.

“What you have to do is stand up for the protections that the American people think are reasonable, against extremism without exception, even late-term abortion,” Cannon said. “And when you do that, it’s a winning combination.”

SBA Pro-Life America, which has raised more than $60 million for the 2020 campaign with its affiliated super PAC, is talking to every potential candidate, Cannon said. While the record is being debated, what matters in 2024 is what policies candidates prefer when they announce their bids. The SBA’s specific request is to support “at a minimum” a “heartbeat” or “capable of pain” bill, he said.

The Heart Rhythm Bill would make abortion illegal after heart activity is detected, which occurs around six weeks into pregnancy – before some women even know they are pregnant. Legislation that cites fetal pain, such as a measure introduced last year by Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., would ban the procedure at around 15 weeks. Graham’s bill has not advanced in the Democratic-controlled House, and even some fellow Republicans have distanced themselves from it ahead of the midterm elections.

Trump’s position has provided space on the right for potential challengers such as former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeoboth of whom are evangelical Christians and have long opposed abortion.

For several months, Pence visited so-called crisis pregnancy centers, which counsel women against abortion. And he toured megachurches, including First Baptist Church of Jeffries in Dallas, and spoke to major anti-abortion groups.

His advocacy group, Advancing American Freedom, has lobbied Congress to pass legislation, including a national ban on abortion starting at six weeks of pregnancy and a bill establishing legal personhood at conception. Mark Short, Pence’s former chief of staff and a longtime adviser, said that when it comes to declared and potential 2024 candidates, “I think he’s the most comfortable explaining his pro-life beliefs and the basis for them.”

For Pence, he said, the issue is much more than politics.

“Mike is doing it because it’s the main reason he ran for office and won the first time. It was always the main and priority for him,” he said.

Former Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, is another potential candidate who has signed a law banning abortion in her state. The 2016 law bans abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy and includes an exception if the mother’s life is in danger, but not in cases of rape or incest.

After the Supreme Court’s ruling, Haley said that abortion policy should be controlled by states, not “unelected judges.” That stance puts her at odds with the SBA and other anti-abortion groups.

Others see abortion as a potential vulnerability for DeSantis. A spokeswoman for South Dakota Gov. Christy Noem, who is also looking into the potential streak, recently unloaded on DeSantis, questioning his stance on the matter.

“Governor Noem was the only governor in America on national television to defend the Dobbs decision,” Ian Fury wrote in an email to National Review. “Where was Governor DeSantis? Hiding behind a 15-week ban. Does he believe that 14-week-old babies do not have the right to live?”

Cannon emphasized that members of the anti-abortion movement are the “foot soldiers” of the Republican Party during elections and make up a huge percentage of primary voters.

“No Republican candidate can win the presidency without the support of the pro-life movement,” he said.


Colvin reported from New York.

Previous articleNew Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Visits Bloomfield Synagogue, Target of Molotov Cocktail Attack
Next articleFlorida man claims sheriff’s ‘Fugitive Wheel’ video cost him his job | Florida