Group chants 'no dead babies' as Donald Trump addresses abortion restrictions, exceptions

WASHINGTON – A group of conservative Christian voters chanted "no dead babies" as former President Donald Trump called for states to set their own abortion policies and for restrictions on the procedure to have exceptions.

Speaking to a Faith & Freedom Coalition conference on Saturday, Trump said states should make separate decisions on abortion policy and noted that his three Supreme Court appointees were pivotal in overturning Roe v. Wade in 2022.

During his speech to the group of religious conservative voters, Trump said that even if states want to restrict abortion, he supports exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and life-threatening medical emergencies.

While many conference attendees cheered as Trump addressed abortion access, a small group in the crowd chanted "No dead babies!"

The chants come as GOP lawmakers and voters have struggled to unify around a position on abortion access. The former president and presumptive GOP nominee has often warned that efforts to enact a federal ban on abortion have hurt previous Republican candidates in closely contested states. Abortion rights advocates have notched several victories in recent ballot initiatives, and Democrats widely campaigned on abortion access in the 2022 midterm elections

"We have to get elected – you have to be able to win, " Trump told the group of religious Republicans at one point, arguing that fighting for a national abortion ban could be risky for the GOP. The Faith & Freedom Coalition has said it will work toward restrictions at the state and federal levels.

Trump's comments on abortion restrictions came as the former president urged religious conservatives to organize get-out-the-vote drives to make sure they and their friends get to the polls this fall.

"We need Christian voters to turn out," he said.

Trump's appearance at the conference also comes just days before he'll face President Joe Biden during the first debate of the 2024 general election. Biden is expected to make abortion a major topic in Thursday's clash, arguing that – whatever the presumptive Republican nominee says – Trump and his party are determined to ban abortion throughout the country.

Contributing: Reuters

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: GOP voters chant 'no dead babies' as Donald Trump addresses abortion