What is the abortion landscape under President Trump?
Prior to President Trump’s election, the abortion industry enjoyed support and open lines of communication with President Obama for eight years. President Obama allowed American taxpayers to fund the abortion industry internationally. Under Obama, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) instituted a mandate forcing entities operated by pro-life Americans to cover abortion-inducing drugs in their employee insurance policies. Then-president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, made dozens of visits to the White House and personally campaigned for President Obama.
President Trump’s Pro-Life Achievements
During his 2016 Presidential Campaign, President Trump made several commitments to pro-lifers who would vote for him. He said:
I am committed to:
- Nominating pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Signing into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide.
- Defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions, and reallocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women.
- Making the Hyde Amendment permanent law to protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortion
When President Trump took office, efforts to rescue preborn children at the Executive level had to be reignited after years of inaction by a President. One of President Trump’s first acts as President was to reinstate and expand the Mexico City Policy, renaming it the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy.
In a break from Obama-era abortion support, President Trump enforced stricter regulations on the use of U.S. taxpayer funding of any abortion-related efforts internationally. The Policy aims to ensure that no organizations that “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning” are eligible for U.S. funding. The change directed foreign aid away from organizations such as Planned Parenthood’s international arm and European abortion giant, Marie Stopes.
In keeping with his campaign promise to nominate pro-life justices to the Supreme Court, President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Under President Trump, an unprecedented number of judges have been confirmed who share Justice Gorsuch’s concern for the dignity of human life. President Trump also nominated conservative Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court to replace the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. More than 150 of President Trump’s judicial nominees have been confirmed since his election.
President Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations that protect employers with conscientious objections from being forced to comply with the Obama-era mandate that they pay for insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices.
President Trump’s HHS also implemented a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division and is enforcing regulations that protect federally-funded health care entities from being discriminated against on the grounds that they refuse to participate in abortion.
HHS under President Trump has also enforced rules around the administration of Title X family planning funding that render abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood ineligible for the taxpayer funds.
President Trump’s HHS has also taken small initial steps to curb the human rights violations occurring within the field of taxpayer-funded biomedical research on aborted children’s body parts. For example: Under President Trump, HHS terminated a contract with a procurement company that has allegedly sold baby body parts at much higher prices than allowed by law. There is still much to be done to completely cut the abortion industry off from taxpayer-funded research streams and to bring justice to the abortion victims who have been exploited by this research.
President Trump has indicated that he aims to continue defunding Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry by prohibiting federal taxpayer Medicaid funding from be given to “certain entities that provide abortion services.” President Trump’s proposed FY 2021 budget states:
The Budget prioritizes the value of human life by ensuring that Federal funding does not support abortions. The Budget proposes to prohibit Federal funding, such as in the Title X Family Planning and Medicaid programs, for certain entities that provide abortion services. The Budget also protects conscience rights, prohibits coercion in healthcare, and allows private parties to enforce such rights in Federal court. With these protections, the Administration will continue to ensure robust protection of conscience rights and religious liberty.
Why is having a pro-life president important?
The President of the United States can play a surprisingly strong role in the cultural conversation about abortion. More importantly, the President has a number of tools at his disposal with which he can endanger preborn lives– or help to rescue them.
Fortunately, President Trump has chosen to do the latter. Keeping his promises to the pro-life movement, President Trump has used his executive powers, oversight of federal agencies, and role in selecting judicial nominees to further the goals of our cause.
Presidents also have veto power, which can be used to stop dangerous legislation that harms preborn children– or stop federal budgets that do not prioritize the dignity of life.
U.S. Presidents also have a pivotal role on the global stage. As the premier representatives of our nation, U.S. Presidents travel abroad and communicate the values and agenda of the American people with foreign leaders, governments, and non-governmental agencies.
President Trump made pro-life Americans proud when he spoke to the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly – to leaders from across the world – and reaffirmed America’s commitment to defending life in no uncertain terms, saying:
Americans will also never tire of defending innocent life. We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life. Like many nations here today, we in America believe that every child — born and unborn — is a sacred gift from God.
President Trump has made it clear time and time again that life is a sacred gift from God and that it is the government’s role to protect and defend that vulnerable life – never to destroy it.
President Trump also made international headlines as the first President to ever personally attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
At the March for Life, President Trump affirmed his commitment to protecting life and working with the American people to change the culture:
We cannot know what our citizens yet unborn will achieve, the dreams they will imagine, the masterpieces they will create, the discoveries they will make. But we know this: Every life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting. And above all, we know that every human soul is divine, and every human life –- born and unborn –- is made in the holy image of Almighty God.
Together, we will defend this truth all across our magnificent land. We will set free the dreams of our people. And with determined hope, we look forward to all of the blessings that will come from the beauty, talent, purpose, nobility, and grace of every American child.
When we elect pro-life leaders like President Trump, we help to protect vulnerable preborn children from the dangerous and deathly policies of radical pro-abortion candidates.
As pro-life scholar Michael J. New explained in National Review Online: “…the actions of pro-life presidents often have a positive long-term effect on abortion policy, and the election of a Democratic president in 2020 easily could undermine decades of pro-life progress.”
Professor New continued:
[A] vote for a Democratic presidential candidate is not a vote for the status quo on abortion. The Democratic Party has made a dramatic shift to the left on life issues. For example, every Democratic candidate opposes the Hyde amendment, which limits the ability of federal Medicaid dollars to pay for elective abortions. Multiple analyses have found that the Hyde amendment saves unborn lives; my 2016 Lozier Institute analysis, for instance, found that the amendment has prevented more than 2 million abortions since 1976.
If a Democratic president were to sign an appropriations bill that didn’t include Hyde protections, it is likely that the abortion rate would increase. The judicial nominees of a Democratic president would be far more likely to reverse precedent and strike down state-level pro-life parental-involvement laws and informed-consent laws.
With what is at stake in our Presidential Elections, let us carefully consider the choices before us and never forget the preborn child or targeted mother when casting our ballots.
How can you effect change?
How can you help ensure our government is doing everything possible to end abortion in our lifetime? One simple way is to always vote pro-life first.
Americans have a diverse array of desires and beliefs. But one thing is clear: Without the right to life, no other rights exist. All people of good will can agree that securing the right to life is necessary if we are to secure the safety and well-being of our nation.
Citations and Resources
FRC on Trump’s Pro-Life Accomplishments:
SBA List on Trump’s Pro-Life Wins:
How President Trump’s HHS Could Continue To Change The Abortion Landscape:
Planned Parenthood President Visits White House 39 Times:
Human Coalition News Releases:
President Trump’s FY 2021 Budget:
Trump’s Pro-Life Campaign Promises:
Professor Michael New at National Review: