The same anti-abortion groups that have bashed Donald Trump for screwing up their messaging during the primaries are now singing his praises after he reportedly hired as an adviser John Mashburn, who was praised by one top advocate as “a smart strategist with deep pro-life roots.”
“If I were running for president, I would want John Mashburn as a top advisor, too,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, wrote at The Pulse 2016. “Congratulations on your new hire, Mr. Trump. If elected, no doubt John Mashburn will serve you well as you fulfill your campaign promises to defund Planned Parenthood, advance and sign into law the popular Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and appoint Justices to the bench who will protect and defend the Constitution.”
Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, meanwhile, called Mashburn a “rock solid pro-lifer” and “someone we can work with,” according to the Washington Examiner.
Their approval comes after Trump repeatedly roiled anti-abortion activists by wobbling on some of their stances or even blowing up their talking points. He caught flack last year for speaking positively of Planned Parenthood, as anti-abortion lawmakers flirted with shutting down the government over its federal funding. They jumped on Trump again this spring for the opposite reason, saying something too extreme: that women should be punishing for seeking abortions if the procedure is outlawed.
Jeanne Mancini, the president of March for Life Education and Defense Fund, called the remark “completely out of touch with the pro-life movement” and Trump eventually walked it back.
But he antagonized them yet again last month, when he said he would change the GOP’s anti-abortion platform to permit exceptions in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother — an idea that March for Life Action’s Tom McClusky said “set back years of hard work in the pro-life movement.”
However, now that Trump is the presumptive nominee it appears anti-abortion groups are falling in line behind him. Priests for Life and Susan B. Anthony List both told the Washington Times they would support him in the general election.
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