The man most responsible for ending Roe worries that it could hurt his party

The end of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling was the culmination of decades of work by Republicans and social conservatives — one that came to pass only after a former Democrat from New York who had once supported abortion rights helped muscle through three Supreme Court justices.

Publicly, former President Donald Trump heralded the Supreme Court’s ruling Friday ending federal abortion protections as a victory. Yet, as he faces possible prosecution over his efforts to subvert the 2020 election and prepares for a likely 2024 presidential campaign, Trump has privately told friends and advisers the ruling will be “bad for Republicans.”

When a draft copy of the decision leaked in May, Trump began telling friends and advisers that it would anger suburban women, a group who helped tilt the 2020 race to President Joe Biden, and would lead to a backlash against Republicans in the November midterm elections.

In other conversations, Trump has told people that measures like the Texas state law banning most abortions after six weeks and allowing citizens to file lawsuits against people who enable abortions are “so stupid,” according to a person with direct knowledge of the discussions. The Supreme Court let the measure stand in December 2021.

For the first hours after the decision was made public Friday, Trump was muted in response, a striking contrast to the conservatives who worked in his administration, including former Vice President Mike Pence. Pence issued a statement saying, “Life won,” as he called for abortion opponents to keep fighting “in every state in the land.”

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