As President Trump closes out his first year in office, it’s worth taking stock of the commitments he made as a candidate to protect life, the first among our rights as Americans and human beings, at every stage — unborn children included. Those commitments, outlined in a letter to pro-life movement leaders in September of 2016, were:
- Nominating pro-life justices to the US Supreme Court;
- 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 abortions; and
- Signing into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide.
Our hopes were well-founded. Over the last year President Trump has worked diligently to fulfill his commitments.
The greatest triumph was the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch, whose stellar qualifications are apparent to all but the most partisan ideologues, was an inspired choice.
Furthermore, Trump has been busy filling the benches of lower federal courts with outstanding judges like Amy Coney Barrett, Joan Larsen and many more. Despite pro-abortion obstruction in the Senate, he has set a record for the most circuit court confirmations in the first year of any president.
One of Trump’s first acts in office was to reinstate the pro-life Mexico City Policy, which prevents organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation from using US tax dollars to promote abortion on-demand overseas. This has been a tradition for Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan, but in characteristic form, Trump didn’t settle for meeting expectations — he exceeded them. His administration expanded this policy so it applies to all foreign health aid, more than $8 billion.
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Trump also achieved an early victory by signing legislation to roll back Barack Obama’s last “parting gift” to Planned Parenthood, a rule that forbade states from redirecting tax dollars away from the nation’s largest abortion business to comprehensive health-care alternatives that outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities and can meet the health needs of women and families in ways the abortion industry doesn’t even try.
While Congress’ action is needed to get taxpayers out of the abortion industry altogether, Trump’s Justice Department, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, confirmed last month that the abortion giant is under investigation for its role in the harvesting and sale of aborted babies’ body parts for profit. Under Obama, we could only dream of this.
Finally, under Trump we are closer than ever to ending cruel late-term abortions. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act has passed the House of Representatives and the steeper climb will be in the Senate, but we fight on knowing Trump fully supports the bill and will sign it without hesitation should Congress send it to his desk.
If all Trump did was work to fulfill his four major promises, he would already be the most pro-life president we have ever seen — but he shows no sign of stopping there.
The Trump administration gave relief to groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, as well as groups like ours with moral objections, from being forced to provide abortion-inducing drugs and devices in their health plans; challenged pro-abortion bias in politics and in the media and much more. The White House door is open to the pro-life movement again after being firmly shut for eight years, and most important, the president is listening and taking our concerns seriously.
While there is still more work to be done and action needed in Congress, Trump’s first year has been one of monumental successes, and we’d gladly rally the pro-life grassroots to support him all over again.
LifeNews Note: Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president of Susan B. Anthony List and served as national chair of Donald Trump’s Pro-life Coalition in the 2016 election.