Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned pro-life Americans that former President Trump will “sell you out” after the current 2024 GOP frontrunner’s recent critique of six-week abortion bans.
In an interview on Radio Iowa Monday, DeSantis reacted to Trump’s appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, the first network news interview the former president has given since leaving office. While DeSantis said Trump deserves credit for his accomplishments on court appointments, the Abraham Accords, deregulation and other topics, the Florida governor vying for the White House took issue with Trump’s promise of securing a deal between Democrats and Republicans on the number of weeks into pregnancy that is best for restricting abortion.
“Anytime he did a deal with Democrats, whether it was on budget, whether it was on the criminal justice ‘First Step Act,’ they ended up taking him to the cleaners, and so, I think if he’s going into this thing, he’s gonna make the Democrats happy with respect to the right to life. I think all pro-lifers should know that he’s preparing to sell you out,” DeSantis said.
“Protecting babies with heartbeats is not terrible. Donald Trump may think it’s terrible. I think protecting babies with heartbeats is noble and just, and I’m proud to have signed the heartbeat bill in Florida, and I know Iowa has similar legislation,” DeSantis told Radio Iowa Monday.
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Trump told NBC’s Kristen Walker that he believed DeSantis’ decision to sign a six-week abortion ban was a “terrible thing and a terrible mistake.”
“But at the same time, Democrats won’t be able to go out in six months, seven months, eight months and allow an abortion,” Trump added.
While state law in Florida currently prohibits most abortions after 15 weeks, DeSantis, in April, signed the Heartbeat Protection Act, which aims to restrict abortions after six weeks gestation, with exceptions including women who are victims of rape, incest and human trafficking, or whose baby has a devastating diagnosis of a fatal fetal abnormality.
A court ruling this fall could determine whether the law will take effect, as activists on both sides raise petitions to amend the state constitution in their favor.
“I don’t know how you can even make the claim that you’re somehow pro-life if you’re criticizing states for enacting pro-life protections for babies that have heartbeats,” DeSantis said Monday. “I thought him saying that those bills were terrible I think was a terrible statement, and I think it’s a window into how he’s changing as he’s running this campaign, and I think he’s changing in a way that’s not consistent with the values with the people in Iowa.”
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During the NBC interview, Trump was pressed on whether he would support a 15-week federal ban on abortion, but the former president declined to specify a number of weeks. Trump instead credited himself for the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe V. Wade, which he says gave pro-life Americans bargaining power for the first time in over half a century.
“For 52 years, people, including Democrats, wanted it to go back to states,” Trump said. “I did something that nobody thought was possible. And Roe v Wade was terminated. It was put back to the states. Now, people – pro-lifers have the right to negotiate. For the first time. They had no rights at all because the radical people on this are really the people, the Democrats, that say after five months, six months, seven months, eight months, nine months, and even after birth you’re allowed to terminate the baby. ”
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DeSantis, by contrast, said the pro-life movement was not prepared for the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization last year, arguing conservatives need to be prepared moving forward as the “left is going to try to put something on the ballot in Florida to overturn the heartbeat bill.”