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Trump addresses Iowa evangelicals, claims 'pro-life' credentials after being slammed by prominent anti-abortion group

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Clive, Iowa – Former President Donald Trump — days after being heavily criticized by a major anti-abortion group — highlighted his past and possible future efforts to restrict abortion as he addressed an impressive crowd of social conservative leaders and activists in Iowa. addressed to, who leads the state. GOP presidential nomination calendar.

Trump said he was “the most pro-life president in American history” and “took historic action to protect the unborn,” as he spoke live — but remotely — to 1,100 attending a large gathering of the Iowa faith More than one room of people and freedom combine.

The former president demonstrated his monumental victory “for faith, for family, for freedom, and for life. Together we accomplished more for our values ​​than any administration in our nation’s history, and It’s not even close. I appointed over 300 justices who filled the federal bench with constitutional warriors who interpret the laws as they are written.”

And he pointed to the three justices he appointed to the Supreme Court who “delivered a historic victory to protect innocent life.”

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Trump was referring to the blockbuster move last June by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority to overturn the nearly half-century-old Roe v. Wade decision that allowed legal abortion nationwide. The High Court ruling shifted the divisive issue of abortion back to the states.

The abortion remarks by the former president were notable because he has frequently addressed the issue as he seeks a third consecutive term for the White House.

But her position — reiterated by her campaign this week — that the issue of abortion restrictions should be left to the states in the wake of last year’s high court ruling drew a sharp rebuke Thursday by Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, A top abortion group called Trump’s comments a “morally precarious position for a self-proclaimed pro-life presidential candidate.”

The group said it would not support any White House candidate who supports a federal abortion ban of at least 15 weeks. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina – a strong Trump supporter in the Senate – proposed a 15-week federal ban on abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling last year.

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Trump did not say in his comments whether he would support a national ban. Instead, he merely asserted that “I will stand firmly against the extreme late-abortionists in the Democrat Party who believe in abortion on demand in the ninth month of pregnancy.”

But Trump drew applause from the audience as he said he was “the first president to participate in – as you know – the March for Life rally in Washington DC”.

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Former Vice President Mike Pence, speaking in person to the crowd in suburban Des Moines before Trump, used part of his address to celebrate the Trump-Pence administration’s efforts to limit abortion.

But hours earlier, speaking to reporters, Pence criticized his former running mate on the issue of abortion.

When asked by Fox News whether Trump was not muscular enough in pursuing a federal abortion ban, Pence said “I think that will be for other people to say.”

But the former vice president quickly noted his differences with Trump on the issue, saying last year’s Supreme Court decision was not meant to be the state’s only issue. ,

“I also believe that Americans want to see leaders on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Those who will stand up for the sanctity of life,” Pence stressed. “We have received an incredible and historic opportunity to advance the cause of life.”

And he reiterated his support of a federal abortion ban, saying “I will support any effort to uphold the sanctity of life at the heart of American law.”

Pence has made several trips to Iowa over the past two years as he moves toward launching his presidential campaign. He recently said he would have a 2024 decision in weeks and told Fox News on Saturday night that “I’ll keep you posted if I’m going to spend too much time in Iowa.”

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Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who recently launched a presidential campaign, also addressed the crowd, as did former two-term Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is scheduled to launch his 2024 presidential campaign in his home state on Wednesday. But Hutchinson apparently did not wait for his formal announcement, telling the crowd that “I can stand here today and say I’m the presidential candidate in 2024.”

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Three other declared candidates – Ohio entrepreneur, best-selling author and conservative commentator Vivek Ramaswamy, conservative radio talk show host and former California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder, and Michigan businessman Perry Johnson – spoke at the event, as did former Representative Will did. Herd of Texas, who is also considering a Republican White House run.

Republican presidential candidate and former ambassador to South Carolina and former Gov. Nikki Haley did not attend the event. Ron DeSantis, who remains on the sidelines of 2024 but is expected to launch a presidential campaign after his state’s legislative session concludes next month.

Paul Steinhauser is a politics reporter based in New Hampshire.