Donald Trump
Donald Trump once bragged about his role in overturning Roe v. Wade. Now, amid increased division on the topic, he doesn't even mention "abortion." AFP

NEW YORK CITY - Former President and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump told a Christian group in Indianapolis that previously said abortion was the "greatest atrocity facing" the U.S. and therefore should be "eradicated entirely," that if he's re-elected, they would work side by side.

The remarks took place at The Danbury Institute's inaugural Life & Liberty Forum in Indianapolis in a two-minute pre-recorded speech. He said he hopes to protect "innocent life" if reelected in November, according to a report by Florida Phoenix.

"We have to defend religious liberty, free speech, innocent life, and the heritage and tradition that built America into the greatest in the history of the world," Trump said in the video. "But now we are, as you know, a declining nation."

He added that if he gets into the White House, he hopes to work alongside the institute to defend those values.

"These are going to be your years because you're going to make a comeback like just about no other group," the presumptive GOP nominee said. "I know what's happening. I know where you're coming from and where you're going. And I'll be with you side by side."

But despite making several allusions to the topic, the Republican politician— who once bragged about appointing three conservative Supreme Court justices that helped overturn Roe v. Wade— never actually uttered the word "abortion," a sign that he seems to have lowered the volume when discussing the topic, Axios reported.

Trump also encouraged attendees to vote for him, saying Democrats will not see and understand their religious views.

"You just can't vote Democrat. They're against religion. They're against your religion in particular," Trump said. "You cannot vote for Democrats and you have to get out and vote."

The Danbury Institute has been vocal about their stance on abortion. In the organization's website, they say they oppose abortion from the moment of conception and that abortion is the greatest atrocity facing the U.S.

The Institute has not mentioned whether the organization supports exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or the woman's life, nor does it say if women who receive abortions should be protected from criminal prosecution.

Abortion has been somewhat a sore topic for the Trump campaign in recent months. Although he once took credit for overturning Roe v. Wade, he has recently resisted supporting a national abortion ban and says he wants to leave the issue to the states. He has also repeatedly said the issue can be politically tricky, and suggested he would "negotiate" a policy that would include exceptions for rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother.

That view is at odds with those of the institute and the event's attendees, with some expressing concerns over his positions.

"I'm concerned about his position because I'm pro-life. We're either all pro-life or we're not. I don't think he fully, totally understands. We are 100% pro-life and he's thinking he may lose too many votes," evangelist Tim Lee told Axios. Even so, Lee believes Trump is "still the absolute best candidate."

But Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, went a step further, saying Trump's abortion stance may jeopardize his standing among conservative Christians.

For him, victory for the pro-life movement means the "elimination of the murder of the unborn, at every stage of life or fertilization."

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