Pro-life leaders tout 'anyone but Trump'
The 2016 presidential field includes "an abundance of alternative candidates with proven records of pro-life leadership whom pro-life voters can support," said executives of the Susan B. Anthony List, Concerned Women for America and Iowa Right to Life.
The group hit Trump for touting his sister, Federal Appeals Court Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, as someone who would be a "phenomenal" pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. Barry angered pro-life advocates for helping to overturn New Jersey's partial birth abortion ban.
The letter also chides Trump for his treatment of women.
"We are disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular," the letter writers say. "He has impugned the dignity of women, most notably Megyn Kelly, he mocked and bullied Carly Fiorina, and has through the years made disparaging public comments to and about many women."
Trump's very public spat with Kelly, the Fox News anchor, in the wake of the first GOP debate in August 2015, is one reason why the GOP front-runner has decided not to participate in Thursday's Fox-hosted debate in Des Moines. Kelly will be one of the moderators.
In a September 2015 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Trump said of Mrs. Fiorina: "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!"
The letter also hits at the Trump Taj Mahal, the Atlantic City casino he built and operated, but which later fell into bankruptcy. "Mr. Trump has profited from the exploitation of women in his Atlantic City casino hotel," the writers say, "which boasted of the first strip club casino in the country."
In a Washington Examiner op-ed published on Jan. 23, to coincide with the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., Trump addressed the abortion issue directly, saying that, while he is "pro-life" today, "I did not always hold this position."
"A culture of life is too important to let slip away for convenience or political correctness," Trump wrote.