Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has extreme ambitions for abortion on demand in America. She wants to make it taxpayer funded and available until the day of birth — and she does not want the First Amendment to get in her way. Fortunately for Americans who want to disentangle tax dollars from abortion — which pro-life Americans consider morally wrong and which a number of pro-choice Americans consider morally fraught — we do have another option this November.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump recently released his pro-life platform, which includes making permanent the Hyde Amendment, the 1976 law prohibiting the use of federal money for abortion except in cases when the mother’s life is at stake or in cases of rape or incest. He promises to sign into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which I cosponsored and supported on the House floor; nominate pro-life justices to the Supreme Court; and defund Planned Parenthood so long as they continue to perform abortions.
If elected president, Hillary Clinton promises to repeal the Hyde Amendment. Likewise, the 2016 Democratic Party platform states the party’s intention to overturn laws and policies that it believes “impede a woman’s access to abortion,” including the Hyde Amendment. This aggressive abortion agenda reflects a radical departure from commonly held positions of pro-life and pro-choice Americans over the past four decades and is not based on current public opinion. According to a recent poll by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, about eight in 10 Americans support restrictions on abortion and would limit the procedure to the first three months of pregnancy. Moreover, 62 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion, including 45 percent of pro-choice Americans.
Absent public pressure for taxpayer funded abortion, what is the Left’s motivation to expand abortion? Abortion is certainly lucrative. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards was paid more than $2.47 million from 2009 to 2013. In 2013, the profit-driven abortion giant reported net assets of $1.4 billion, performed 327,653 abortions, and accepted $528 million in taxpayer funds. But beyond this, abortion is one of the most powerful tools at liberal elites’ disposal to socially engineer society.
Take it from Mrs. Clinton. Last year during a speech she gave at the 6th annual Women in the World Summit she unapologetically painted “religious beliefs,” as an undue obstacle to abortion. She suggested that abortion (unsurprisingly veiled under the phrase “reproductive healthcare”) is necessary for women’s advancement in society. “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will,” she opined, “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”
In other words, with Clinton in the Oval Office, there would be little to no space for authentic religious expression in the public sphere. Religious freedom, especially as it pertains to the issue of abortion, would be reduced to freedom of worship — believe what you want inside your church or place of worship, but step into the public sphere, and you must live according to the moral dictates of the secular state.
The fact is, Clinton’s tactics are right out of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s playbook. Sanger was a racist and eugenicist who referred to African-Americans and disabled Americans as “morons,” “imbeciles,” “human weeds” and “misfits.” Sanger admired — and closely studied — Stalinist Russia’s eugenicist policies. She marveled at how the communist state utilized both abortion and religious oppression to advance its societal goals. Like her protégé Hillary Clinton, Sanger attacked religious beliefs as an obstacle to abortion and stated: “We [in America] could well take example from Russia.”
As I consider the serious challenges to life and religious freedom we face today, I recall the timeless words of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who wrote in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail: “If today I lived in a communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws.” Inspired by Dr. King’s courage and unrelenting conviction, we must never stop fighting for life and religious freedom, the cornerstones of the American way, and we must speak loudly for the most defenseless and voiceless among us at the ballot box this November.
LifeNews Note: Rep. Keith Rothfus, a Republican, represents Pennsylvania’s 12th District in the US Congress, and you can find him on Twitter at @KRPA12. This originally appeared at the Washington Examiner.