Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a prominent anti-abortion political group, threatened on Thursday to campaign against Donald J. Trump unless he endorsed a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a bold challenge that exposed the rift between the former president and some of his onetime allies.
The group’s statement was a line in the sand for all conservative 2024 hopefuls. “We will oppose any presidential candidate who refuses to embrace at a minimum a 15-week national standard to stop painful late-term abortions while allowing states to enact further protections,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America.
Mr. Trump has been unwilling to wade into abortion battles after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year and ended federal protections, thanks largely to a majority of conservative justices he helped muscle through as president. Last year, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina introduced legislation for a federal ban on abortions after 15 weeks, an idea that split Republicans.
Democrats campaigned on abortion rights in the 2022 midterms, and Republicans had another disappointing cycle. Mr. Trump blamed anti-abortion activists for Republican losses, saying they “could have fought much harder.” Others have attributed the party’s disappointing showing to Mr. Trump’s insistence on making election fraud a top issue for candidates.
Ms. Dannenfelser’s statement on Thursday was a response to a Washington Post article about the abortion issue in which Mr. Trump’s campaign did not directly address whether he supported an abortion ban after six weeks of pregnancy, which was the limit that Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who is preparing his own Republican presidential bid, recently signed into law in the state.
Instead, Mr. Trump’s campaign issued a statement saying abortion “is an issue that should be decided at the state level.”
Mr. Trump was mostly muted about the ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade when it happened. In an interview with The New York Times last year, Mr. Trump downplayed his central role in paving the way for the decision’s reversal.
“I never like to take credit for anything,” said Mr. Trump, whose name is affixed to most of his businesses and properties.
The campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
“President Trump’s assertion that the Supreme Court returned the issue of abortion solely to the states is a completely inaccurate reading of the Dobbs decision and is a morally indefensible position for a self-proclaimed pro-life presidential candidate to hold,” Ms. Dannenfelser said in her statement.
A Gallup survey last year found that the share of Americans identifying as “pro-choice” had jumped to 55 percent after hovering between 45 percent and 50 percent for a decade. That sentiment was “the highest Gallup has measured since 1995,” while the 39 percent who identified as “pro-life” was “the lowest since 1996,” the polling firm said.