POLITICO's Pulse Check

Is Trump winning the war on abortion?

Episode Summary

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of Susan B. Anthony List and a top adviser to President Donald Trump on abortion issues, explains her support for Trump and her organization's agenda ahead of the midterms. POLITICO reporters discuss the Trump administration's moves to limit access to abortion, including recent changes to the Title X program.

Episode Notes

Two years ago, anti-abortion leaders attacked then-candidate Donald Trump as a “pro-choice” liberal who couldn’t be trusted. This week, the movement's most prominent leader praised Trump as “the most pro-life president in history” as he spoke at the Susan B. Anthony List’s gala. How did Trump became an unlikely anti-abortion hero, and what has Trump actually accomplished?

First, POLITICO’s Jennifer Haberkorn joins Dan Diamond to discuss Trump’s recent moves, including this week’s changes to the Title X program (starts at the 1:55 mark), and why public health experts say Trump’s proposed limits on abortion amount to a “gag rule” on physicians (6:35).

Then Marjorie Dannenfelser, who leads SBA List and chaired Trump’s “Pro-Life Coalition” during his campaign, discusses why anti-abortion groups are surging under Trump (starts at the 12:50 mark), the passionate politics around abortion issues (13:45), how she went from Trump critic to top Trump supporter (20:30), her relationship with the White House (25:10), the anti-abortion strategy ahead of the midterms (26:25) and whether being “pro-life” includes supporting measures like gun control (31:15).

Then stick around after the credits for Marjorie’s thoughts on how to build an advocacy organization in the latest “Steal My Job” segment (35:30).

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Have questions, suggestions or feedback? Email ddiamond@politico.com.


Jen Haberkorn and Chris Cadelago’s story on how the anti-abortion movement came to love Trump: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/22/anti-abortion-forces-trump-561191

Jen’s story on how abstinence advocate Valerie Huber gained new powers at HHS to manage the Title X program: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/06/abstinence-advocate-family-planning-dollars-389453

Equity Forward’s Mary Alice Carter appeared on PULSE CHECK in April and criticized the Trump administration’s abortion policies: https://simplecast.com/s/e5b29eb9 (Starts at the 1:50 mark).