If he wants to be a Republican, Donald Trump needs a lesson in pro-life beliefs, says a pro-life group.
March for Life is questioning Trump's abortion stance after he said he would "absolutely" change the Republican Party platform.
Trump made his comments Thursday on the "Today" show, when Savannah Guthrie pointed out the party platform "makes no exceptions" for rape, incest, and for the life of the mother.
"Would you want to change the Republican platform to include the exceptions that you have?" she asked Trump.
"Yes, I would," Trump replied. "Yes, I would, absolutely, for the three exceptions I would."
Commentary by Dr. Michael L. Brown
The Republican Party is known for its pro-life plank, and Guthrie noted in her question that the platform states "the right of the unborn child shall not be infringed."
March for Life spokesman Tom McClusky says the platform "sets the standard" for the political party's position on abortion.
"And it makes sure that the Republican candidates, at least in their platform," says McClusky, "stand for supporting and defending life at all levels."
Trump infamously defended third-trimester partial-birth abortion in a 1999 interview with Tim Russert, when Russert asked if a future "President Trump" would ban it.
"Look, I am very pro-choice," Trump, who now claims to be pro-life, said at the time.
Referring to this week's "Today" interview, McClusky says Trump is suggesting the exceptions "so it fits more into what he sees the pro-life position should be."
Last month, however, Trump angered both pro-lifers and abortion-rights activists when he suggested to MSNBC that women should be jailed if abortion becomes illegal under the law. He claimed people in "certain parts" of the Republican Party believe that.
Some pro-life activists complained that Trump was pandering to pro-lifers and said they opposed the suggestion of jailing women.
Asked by OneNewsNow about the "exception" raised in the "Today" interview, McClusky agreed there are "always tough cases" that deserve sympathy.
"Except a life is a life is a life," he says, meaning that "exception" takes the life of an unborn child.
"And in these situations," he says, "you need to have sympathy for both the mother and the victims, as well as the child."
Reporting on Trump's statement, pro-life website LifeSiteNews.com noted that pro-lifer activists claim "health of the mother" is a watered-down expression that can justify abortion for almost any reason.
The news website also noted that conservatives have beat back repeated efforts to remove the Republican Party's pro-life platform. The story singled out conservative icon Phyllis Schafly of Eagle Forum, who ironically has endorsed Trump for president, for defending the party's pro-life beliefs.