Governors Kemp, Reynolds Push Back On Trump Calling Heartbeat Laws ‘A Terrible Thing’
Brian Kemp Kim Reynolds
Getty Images: Chip Somodevilla | Elijah Nouvelage

Two Republican governors pushed back Tuesday on former President Donald Trump calling heartbeat laws “a terrible thing” in a recent interview.

Trump made the remarks during a Sunday interview with Kristen Welker on NBC News’ “Meet The Press” when pressed on specifics regarding at what point he believes that abortion should be banned.

After talking on the matter for several minutes, Trump took a shot at his top challenger for the GOP presidential nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, over the issue.

“I mean, DeSanctus is willing to sign a five-week and six-week ban,” Trump said.

“Would you support that?” Welker asked. “You think that goes too far?”

“I think what he did is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake,” Trump answered.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who signed a heartbeat bill into law back in 2019, responded to Trump’s remarks in a statement to The Daily Wire.

“There’s nothing ‘terrible’ about standing up for life,” Kemp said. “In addition to passing the heartbeat bill, Georgia has proudly protected and valued life through implementing adoption and foster care reform, and combatting human trafficking — and will continue to do so as long as I’m governor.”


Soon after Kemp made his statement, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds also released a statement.

“It’s never a ‘terrible thing’ to protect innocent life,” Reynolds wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “I’m proud of the fetal heartbeat bill the Iowa legislature passed and I signed in 2018 and again earlier this year.”

DeSantis, who had responded on Monday to Trump’s comment, replied to Reynolds’ statement on X, writing: “I applaud Governor @KimReynoldsIA and the Iowa legislature for promoting a culture of life. Donald Trump is wrong to attack the heartbeat bill as ‘terrible.’ Standing for life is a noble cause.”

A few other Republican governors responded by issuing statements signaling their unwavering support of the pro-life movement.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee responded to a request for comment from The Daily Wire by saying: “My deeply held conviction is that protecting every life — including the life of any unborn child — is a matter of human dignity, not a matter of politics. In Tennessee, we are committed to protecting the dignity of the unborn while also ensuring that mothers, children and families have access to critical resources and our strongest support.”

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt told The Daily Wire: “I promised Oklahomans that as governor I would sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across that desk. I have kept that promise and I will continue to keep that promise. In Oklahoma, we will always stand up for life.”

The office of North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum responded by explaining North Dakota’s laws on abortion, but did not directly address Trump’s remarks.

The remaining Republican governors who, as identified by the Congressional Research Service, have either signed heartbeat laws or whose states already have them, have not yet responded.

DeSantis initially responded to Trump’s direct criticism of him on Monday during a radio interview in Iowa with O. Kay Henderson, stating, “Protecting babies with heartbeats is not terrible. Donald Trump may think it’s terrible, but I think protecting babies with heartbeats is noble and just, and I’m proud to have signed the heartbeat bill in Florida. And I know Iowa has similar legislation.”

“I don’t know how you can even make the claim that you’re somehow pro-life if you’re criticizing states for enacting pro-life protections for babies that have heartbeats,” he continued. “And so I thought him saying that those bills were terrible, I think, was a terrible statement, and I think it’s a window into how he’s changing as he’s running this campaign. I think he’s changing in a way that is not consistent with the values of the people in Iowa.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Governors Kemp, Reynolds Push Back On Trump Calling Heartbeat Laws ‘A Terrible Thing’