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(LifeSiteNews) — Pro-lifers are rejecting Donald Trump’s claim that the GOP experienced disappointing results during the 2022 mid-term elections because candidates “poorly handled” the “abortion issue.” 

“It wasn’t my fault that the Republicans didn’t live up to expectations in the MidTerms,” the former president stated on Truth Social this past Sunday. “I was 233-20! It was the ‘abortion issue,’ poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters.” 

“Also,” Trump continued, “the people that pushed so hard, for decades, against abortion, got their wish from the US Supreme Court, & just plain disappeared, not to be seen again. Plus, Mitch stupid $’s!” 

The former president’s remarks have been received by the political right with near-universal disapproval, with many commentators believing that the swipe at his most loyal supporters could be the most significant political error of his career. 

“No candidate who wants to give up on the abortion issue will be the Republican nominee in 2024, especially one who blames pro-lifers for being a drag on the party,” columnist Ben Domenech wrote for The Spectator 

“Whoever is now advising President Trump to the contrary on life issues should be fired immediately,” said Roger Severino, the vice president of domestic policy at the Heritage Foundation. 

Pro-life activists also voiced strong opposition to Trump’s comments. Hitherto, many pro-lifers called Trump “the most pro-life president in US history,” thanks primarily to his Supreme Court nominees overturning Roe v. Wade and his participation in the March for Life. 

“Trump is way out of line here on life,” Live Action founder Lila Rose tweeted. “The fault of midterm losses has ZERO to do with the pro-life cause & more to do with poor election strategies that the Republican Party has been employing for years.” 

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The DC-based Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, which had a close relationship with the Trump White House, echoed Rose’s perspective. Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence re-tweeted the group’s statement. 

“The approach to winning on abortion in federal races, proven for a decade is this: state clearly the ambitious consensus pro-life position and contrast that with the extreme view of Democrat opponents,” SBA Pro-Life America wrote.  

“We look forward to hearing that position fully articulated by Mr. Trump and all presidential candidates.” 

John Gibbs, endorsed by Trump in his race for the Third Congressional House seat in the state of Michigan, voiced disagreement with the former president on social media, though never mentioning Trump directly. 

Meanwhile, former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis defended her former boss, tweeting that Trump is simply trying to get to the bottom of what really happened during the mid-terms. 

A minority of accounts on social media agreed with Trump’s assessment.  

Others pointed to the large disparity in ad spending by pro-abortion groups versus those who held anti-abortion views to support Trump’s claim that pro-lifers “just plain disappeared.” 

While debates about who is “to blame” for the Republicans’ sub-par showing during the mid-terms will likely continue well into the 2024 GOP primary season, exit polls have repeatedly shown that Democrats were effective at leveraging abortion as a tool to turn out younger voters to the polls this past November. 

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According to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, voters under the age of 30 ranked abortion as their number one motivating issue. “4 in 5 youth who believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases voted for a Democratic candidate to the House of Representatives,” the group discovered. 

Statistics like these may have compelled Trump to argue in December that abortion was a “trap” issue for Republicans and that pro-lifers running on a no-exceptions platform might not be “capable of being elected… in certain areas.”

As of the publication of this story, the former president has not clarified or elaborated upon his initial remarks. LifeSiteNews will provide updates if a statement is given.