Trump Tries to Convince Anti-Abortion Voters that He Is for Real. Again.

He plans to sign a 20-week abortion ban, defund Planned Parenthood and more if elected.

Seth Wenig/AP

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Donald Trump cemented his conversion to an opponent of abortion—and extended his outreach to pro-life voters—with an announcement Friday of the formation of his campaign’s pro-life coalition. The coalition will be headed by Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a prominent anti-abortion advocacy group.

For Dannenfelser, this is the culmination of a rapid evolution on Trump’s candidacy. In January, she signed on to a letter from pro-life leaders complaining that they were “disgusted” by Trump’s treatment of women and that Trump could not be trusted to “defend both unborn children and the dignity of women.” The letter explicitly urged voters “to support an alternative candidate.” 

In the past month, Dannenfelser has been forthright about the fact that Trump might be a liability for anti-abortion candidates for lower offices. Because Trump was recently a supporter of abortion rights, anti-abortion advocates have worried that skepticism about his pro-life bona fides might discourage conservative voters from going to the polls. This concern about the inconsistency of Trump’s anti-abortion stance has led the Susan B. Anthony List to spend heavily on efforts to turn out pro-life voters in battleground Senate and House races in North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and Utah.

In a letter announcing the coalition, Trump reinforced his commitment to the three main promises on abortion that he’s repeated throughout the election: to appoint anti-abortion Supreme Court justices, to defund Planned Parenthood, and to sign into law a 20-week abortion ban that stalled in the Senate in 2015.

Trump also made a new, fourth commitment: to enshrine the Hyde Amendment—a provision that prohibits the use of federal funding for abortion—into permanent law. Hillary Clinton has said she will work to repeal the Hyde Amendment, and this year’s Democratic platform included language on a Hyde repeal for the first time ever.

The Trump campaign made the announcement of the pro-life coalition in a letter released Friday. Additional co-chairs of the groups will be announced later this month.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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