Trump avoids saying ‘abortion’ while speaking with anti-choice group

Plus, a sudden outburst at a GOP debate.

The Christian nationalist group has compared terminating a pregnancy to “child sacrifice” and wants to implement a total ban on many forms of reproductive care. The institute also believes “abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of a mother,” and that “aborting an innocent child conceived in rape or incest only compounds the injustice and pain caused by the initial crime.”

Despite this, Politico's predictions came true, as throughout the two-minute, pre-recorded speech, Trump spoke in vague platitudes. He never once uttered the word “abortion.” 

Instead, Trump emphasized the common cause that the MAGA movement and Christian fundamentalism share: They both wish 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.”

“These are difficult times for our nation, and your work is so important,” Trump added. “We can’t afford to have anyone sit on the sidelines. Now is the time for us all to pull together and stand up for our values and our freedoms. And you just can’t vote Democrat — they’re against religion. They’re against your religion in particular.”

Such rhetorical maneuverings have become commonplace during Trump’s campaign. Given the unpopularity of a total abortion ban — which only 13% of Americans would support — Trump has attempted to take responsibility for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which plays well with his base, while emphasizing the need for states to decide the nature of reproductive health policy.

Even still, Trump promised solidarity with the group.

“I know what’s happening. I know where you’re coming from and where you’re going. And I’ll be with you side by side,” Trump concluded.

On Sunday, a candidate in the Republican primary for Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District walked off the debate stage after delivering an aggressive, sermon-like statement. 

Chuck Hand, a one-time Jan. 6 rioter who spent 20 days in federal prison, departed early from the televised event sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club. “This is where I get back in my truck and go back to southwest Georgia because I’ve got two races to win,” Hand said before abruptly departing. 

“Wow, I don’t even know how to react,” his opponent, Wayne Johnson, said in response to the unusual circumstances.

Hand explained to reporters shortly thereafter he was upset about comments made by Michael Nixon, another GOP candidate for the congressional seat who had dropped out and endorsed Johnson. Nixon had made remarks referring to Hand’s wife and the legal trouble she had experienced after she was convicted for illegally selling oxycodone in 2008. 

“It’s perfectly fine to attack me as a candidate. I expect that. But to come out and publicly attack my wife, that’s a completely different situation,” Hand said. “My wife had paid her debt to society long before I ever met her.”

In the May 21 primary, Johnson secured 45% of the vote, whereas Hand earned close to 32%. Both candidates will compete in a June 18 runoff to see who will face incumbent Rep. Sanford Bishop (D).

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Jamie Larson