Since he’s become the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, pro-life voters are starting to move in Donald Trump’s direction — especially knowing the alternative is abortion activist Hillary Clinton. But many pro-life voters and some pro-life leaders remain skeptical about supporting Trump given some of his misstatements and past support for abortion.
To gain a better understanding and insight on his abortion views and to potentially be able to endorse his candidacy, a group of top pro-life leaders met with Trump today at a summit in New York.
“We are going to appoint great Supreme Court justices… These will be justices of great intellect… And they will be pro-life,” he said.
During the meeting, Trump told them he would promote religious liberty and appoint pro-life judges:
Donald Trump won a standing ovation from hundreds of Christian conservatives who came to New York City Tuesday with a skeptical but willing attitude toward a man who has divided their group with comments on women, immigrants and Islam. In his comments the presumptive GOP nominee vowed to end the decades-old ban on tax-exempt groups’ – including churches — politicking, said religious liberty is “the #1 question,” and said he’d appoint anti-abortion Supreme Court justices.
“I believe that he came across very well as a messenger for everybody in the room, not just as a beneficiary of evangelical votes but as a fellow traveler. That’s not necessarily an easy distance for him to have traveled because people didn’t see him like that before,” said Marjorie Danenfelser of Susan B. Anthony’s List, which works to oppose abortion. “He made no missteps. There were no explosions.”
She said she couldn’t recall a candidate explicitly stating they would pursue “pro-life” justices. “They usually couch it in other words, like ‘constitutional,’” she said.
As president, he said, he’d work on things including: “freeing up your religion, freeing up your thoughts. You talk about religious liberty and religious freedom, you don’t have any religious freedom if you think about it,” he told the group, which broke in many times with applause.
Other pro-life leaders came away from the meeting encouraged.
“It’s hard to be confident when these seem to be recent feelings and beliefs. The positive is, he is expressing those beliefs that concur with what we believe about pro-life justices and religious liberty. Am I comfortable? I’m encouraged,” said Trey Graham, pastor at First Melissa Baptist Church, north of McKinney, and host of a weekly radio show on politics.
“Trump is looking for this group’s support and this group is looking for a candidate to support,” he added, and while “Trump doesn’t speak our lingo” the way Ted Cruz or Mike Huckabee do, the election presents a binary choices. “It’s not Hillary versus Trump. It’s staying home versus Trump… The people here want to support someone.”
Recently, Trump released a well-received list of 11 potential Supreme Court nominees — a list pro-life groups hailed for having strong supporters of the Constitution. Trump also recently hired a key pro-life advocate has his domestic policy director.
If Trump is the nominee, he would present a stark contrast on abortion to pro-abortion Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump has specifically promised he would sign a bill as president to de-fund Planned Parenthood. In an interview with David Brody of CBN, Trump made that promise:
David Brody: “As a President Trump, if a bill came to your desk that would defund Planned Parenthood you would support that, you would sign that?”
Donald Trump: “Yes, because as long as they do the abortion I am not for funding Planned Parenthood… As long as they’re involved with abortion, as far as I’m concerned forget it, I wouldn’t fund them regardless. I would defund Planned Parenthood because of their view and the fact of their work on abortion…. I am for defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they are involved with abortion.”
As far as Trump’s comments on Planned Parenthood funding are concerned, Trump has fairly consistently said he opposes taxpayer funding but he’s also made some remarks about the “good things” Planned Parenthood does that have alarmed pro-life voters — as if any “good thing” could make up for the fact that planned Parenthood kills 330,000 unborn babies a year in abortions and then sells their body parts for profit.
Meanwhile, Trump said he thinks the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that ushered in an era of 48 million abortions was “wrongly decided.” Trump said he would appoint “very good judges” who would ultimately “change it” but he opposed Roe without specifically saying it should be overturned.
Here are some of the headlines we’ve carried at LifeNews.com in recent months that provide further details on what Trump has said regarding Planned Parenthood funding: