President Donald Trump received strong praise from Catholic leaders Thursday when they helped launch the new Catholics for Trump coalition.
Leaders of the coalition touted the president’s pro-life record during a broadcast kicking off the effort to recruit and activate Catholic voters to support Trump in November.
Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life is among the advisory board leaders. He told the AP that Trump has been “trying to protect the right to life” and his actions on many issues have been “completely consistent with Catholic teaching.”
“He’s protecting our people by strengthening borders, not to stop immigration but to stop crime, to protect families, to protect neighborhoods,” Pavone said.
The coalition plans to highlight how Trump has kept his promises, especially on pro-life issues and religious freedom. Other pro-life leaders involved in the coalition include Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America and Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List.
“Through his pro-life policies, his judicial appointments, and his fight for religious freedom, President Trump is our country’s most staunch defender of the Catholic faith,” said Mercedes Schlapp, a senior advisor for the president’s 2020 election campaign. “We are focused on energizing, engaging and activating the Catholic community to support President Trump who has kept his promises and strongly leads our nation during this difficult time.”
Leaders of the coalition also plan to contrast Trump with likely Democrat contender Joe Biden, who claims to be Catholic. Schlapp said Biden is “extreme” on abortion and will not protect religious liberties. Last year, Biden flip-flopped on taxpayer-funded abortions and now supports them. He also was part of the Obama administration when it fought to force Catholic charities to pay for abortion-causing drugs through Obamacare.
In contrast, Trump has lived up to his promises to religious and pro-life voters. In one of his first acts as president, Trump defunded two of the world’s largest abortion chains, the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International, of about $170 million in American tax dollars.
His administration has been pushing back aggressively against the United Nations’ pro-abortion agenda as well, insisting that countries support women and children, born and unborn. In 2017, Trump stopped giving tax dollars to UNFPA. The UN agency pushes abortions on other countries and has worked with China for decades to implement its forced abortion population control policies. Trump renewed the order again in 2018 and 2019. The decision cut $32.5 million in funding from UNFPA.
At the national level, Trump also has taken steps to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, of millions of taxpayer dollars. However, some of these efforts have been thwarted by lawsuits and pro-abortion state leaders who are giving state taxpayer funds to the abortion chain to replace Trump’s cuts.
Last year, his administration also introduced new restrictions to stop taxpayer dollars from funding research using aborted baby body parts.
He also appointed conservative judges to courts throughout the U.S., including the U.S. Supreme Court, and promised to sign a law banning late-term abortions if it reaches his desk.
He has been a strong voice for life as well. Repeatedly, Trump has called out Democrats for blocking a bill to protect newborn babies from infanticide. Earlier this year, he became the first president to speak in-person at the March for Life. The Republican president also has surrounded himself with strong pro-life leaders, including Vice President Mike Pence.