Trump gives two-minute speech to extreme anti-abortion group - without mentioning abortion

Former president’s remarks were broadcast to half-empty room in Indianapolis

Kelly Rissman,John Bowden
Monday 10 June 2024 22:17 BST
Donald Trump delivered brief pre-recorded remarks at the ‘Life and Liberty Forum’ on Monday
Donald Trump delivered brief pre-recorded remarks at the ‘Life and Liberty Forum’ on Monday (Danbury Institute / screengrab)

Donald Trump supplied a brief, two-minute, pre-recorded message for an event hosted by an extreme anti-abortion group - which denounces the procedure as “child sacrifice” - but managed to dodge the issue altogether.

Trump spoke virtually Monday at the “Life and Liberty Forum” held by the Danbury Institute, a group that has decried abortion as “the greatest atrocity facing our generation today” and has vowed not to rest “until it is eradicated entirely.”

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, however, did not mention “abortion” once.

Instead, his words echoed his campaign rally speeches. “You just can’t vote Democrat. They’re against religion. They’re against your religion in particular,” he said in remarks broadcast to a half-empty room at the Indiana roof ballroom in Indianapolis.

“We have to defend religious liberty, free speech, innocent life and the heritage and traditions that built America into the greatest nation in the history of the world.”

He added: “But now we are, as you know, a declining nation. I know that each of you is protecting those values everyday and I hope we’ll be defending them side-by-side for the next four years.”

A Trump campaign spokesperson attempted to clarify the former president’s abortion stance, telling Politico ahead of the event that Trump “supports the rights of states to determine the laws on this issue and supports the three exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother.”

Trump’s remarks were broadcast to a half-empty room at the Indiana roof ballroom in Indianapolis
Trump’s remarks were broadcast to a half-empty room at the Indiana roof ballroom in Indianapolis (Adam Wren / screengrab)

Trump “is committed to addressing groups with diverse opinions on all of the issues, as evidenced by his recent speech at the Libertarian Convention, his meetings with the unions, and his efforts to campaign in diverse neighborhoods across the country,” the spokesperson also told the outlet.

The Independent has contacted the Trump campaign for comment.

Trump’s stance on abortion remains unclear. He has touted the overturning of Roe v Wade in 2022 as a victory, calling himself “proudly the person responsible” for the reversal of the landmark ruling on abortion rights. However, the former president also pledged in April that he would not sign a national abortion ban into law if it were passed by Congress. That same week, he said on social media platform, Truth Social, that he believed that the issue of abortion should be left up to states.

Trump’s two-minute statement at the nearly three-hour, Christian event starkly contrasted the other speakers’ speeches.

Many speakers at the event were Southern Baptists arguing their opposition to abortion and IVF services, as well as gender-affirming health care, same-sex marriage, and even “no-fault divorce.” Some speakers went so far as to claim that many “women are being coerced” into getting abortions. One speaker even likened a surge in abortions to the Holocaust.

Dr Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, took aim at IVF, saying the practice is “not only the alienation of reproduction, from the conjugal setting, it is also an engineered system whereby multiple embryos are created only for most of them assuredly to be destroyed.”

He added: “We need to recognize any intervention with an embryo, any commodification of the embryo, any turn of the embryo into a consumer product, is an assault upon human dignity.”

He touched upon the Alabama ruling in February, when the state’s Supreme Court labeled embryos as “children,” allowing a wrongful death lawsuit to proceed after embryos were destroyed at an IVF clinic. Dr Mohler slammed the GOP-controlled Alabama legislature and Republican governor for passing a “short-term measure” that protected IVF services after the controversial ruling.

“Even in the state of Alabama lack of political will to stand behind what was the correct rule and judgment by the Alabama Supreme Court,” he said.

He also claimed that conception starts at fertilization rather than implantation. “We mean when the sperm and the egg meet and God said, ‘let there be light,’” he said.

A welcome video was played at the beginning of the conference. “God has been pushed out of our schools and our public squares,” the narrator stated, before accusing transgender Americans in public spaces of “exposing [children] to indecency and confusion.”

Tim Lee, an evangelist and marine, claimed the US is trying to “kick God out of everything.”

“Our forefathers wanted God in America,” he said. “It’s time to take America back.”

Trump’s message to the Christian gathering aired on the same day he was interviewed by a probation officer ahead of his sentencing next month in his hush money trial. Trump made history last month as the first former president to be found guilty in a criminal case.

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