Former President Donald Trump took to his social media platform on New Year's Day to blame the issue of abortion and pro-life voters for the Republican Party's underperformance in the 2022 midterm election cycle, prompting criticism from even some of his supporters.

In a Jan. 1 Truth Social post, Trump said pro-life voters and pro-life candidates deserved blame -- not himself -- for the GOP failing to capture the Senate and eeking out a razor-thin majority in the House.

"It wasn't my fault that the Republicans didn't live up to expectations in the MidTerms," Trump wrote, arguing "it was the 'abortion issue,' poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters."

Trump, who has declared his 2024 candidacy for president, also accused pro-life voters of not showing up to vote in the midterm elections after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in June.

"Also, the people that pushed so hard, for decades, against abortion, got their wish from the U.S. Supreme Court, & just plain disappeared, not to be seen again," he added, also calling Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell "stupid" about spending for candidates.

Midterm election cycles are seen as a referendum on the incumbent president, and with President Joe Biden's low approval ratings last year amid skyrocketing inflation, many analysts forecasted there would be a "red wave" in the November elections allowing Republicans to win large congressional majorities.

Those forecasts, however, shifted as the year went on, with Democratic voters overall appearing galvanized by the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that overturned Roe and returned abortion law to the legislatures.

But other analysts blamed Trump's ongoing presence in the midterm cycle, and the candidate quality issues with many of his chosen candidates as significant factors in the GOP failure to take the Senate and its slim House majority. GOP Georgia Senate nominee Herschel Walker, for instance, was accused of paying for multiple abortion procedures, and other candidates embraced Trump's repeated, unproven claims of a stolen 2020 election.

"It took him a couple weeks to come up with a deflection of his failure," Republican strategist Jason Roe told OSV News, adding it was Trump's own "toxicity that cemented suburban women's hostility to the GOP."

Trump's statement received push-back from leaders of pro-life groups.

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a group which works to elect pro-life candidates and which previously backed Trump and many of his endorsed candidates, said, "The approach to winning on abortion in federal races, proven for a decade is this: state clearly the ambitious consensus pro-life position and contrast that with the extreme view of Democrat opponents."

"We look forward to hearing that position fully articulated by Mr. Trump and all presidential candidates," the group's statement said. "There was ALSO a profound midterm lesson for future federal candidates: those who adopt the Ostrich Strategy on abortion lose."

Marilyn Musgrave, vice president of government affairs at Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and a former representative from Colorado, told OSV News that "I think we are, of course, very grateful to the most pro-life president ever."

"We had a great victory when Roe was overturned," Musgrave said, adding the pro-life movement has "much work to do."

When asked whether Trump could still be labeled the "most pro-life president" after blaming the pro-life issue and its supporters for midterm losses, Musgrave pointed to Trump's role in nominating the Supreme Court Justices who overturned Roe.

"We know exactly what he did when he was president to save many unborn lives, so we'll always be grateful for that," she said.

Kristan Hawkins, president of the pro-life group Students for Life of America, pushed back forcefully on Trump's comments, telling OSV News, "Contrary to former President Donald Trump's statement, we did actually see strong pro-life leaders win in landslides ... virtually every elected official who championed Students for Life Action legislation won re-election."

"Rhetoric that standing strong in pro-life convictions is political suicide is false," Hawkins said. "And suggesting that we should welcome exceptions for pro-life laws for children conceived out of rape or incest is also philosophically repugnant."