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How President Trump Has Re-Energized The Pro-Life Movement

February 8, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By FR. FRANK PAVONE

(While reporting January 27 on The San Francisco Walk for Life, Dexter Duggan spoke with Fr. Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life. Fr. Pavone offered the comments below on President Trump and the pro-life movement.)

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The pro-life movement, as evidenced again by the March for Life last week and the Walk for Life this week, is encouraged and energized.
A large part of the credit for that goes to President Trump and his administration. I am privileged to serve on two advisory commissions for the president, one that handles Catholic issues, and the other which handles pro-life issues. From the beginning, I was told that Donald Trump, if he were elected, would “do everything that previous pro-life presidents have done, and more.” That has proven true.
The first and greatest thing he did for the pro-life movement was to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House!
Before we consider policy advances, which are many, we should consider how the Mr. Trump — both on the campaign trail and once he became president — has strengthened and encouraged the pro-life movement just by the way he speaks about abortion. The way he describes the procedure (such as during his third debate with Hillary, talking about ripping the baby from the womb), and challenges the extremism of the other side is exactly what is needed. Because he is a fighter who speaks his mind directly, he cuts through the evasion and vagueness that so characterizes the way so many deal with the abortion issue.
Regarding policy, the president and his team have used both legislation, executive orders, and administrative decisions (even in regard to the language used to refer to the unborn in policy documents) to advance the cause of the unborn, both domestically and internationally.
Then, right after his inauguration, he reinstated the Mexico City Policy that prevents international family planning funds from going to pro-abortion groups. Moreover, he became the first president to expand that policy to cover virtually all foreign aid.
What’s more, he defunded the United Nations Population Fund so that no U.S. money will go to help China’s tyrannical forced abortion program. He also signed legislation to allow states to divert taxpayer money away from the Planned Parenthood abortion business!
The Senate, this week [the week of January 28], is poised to vote on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill for which the White House has expressed support. This would cut in half the time-frame during pregnancy in which abortion is allowed by law in the United States.
President Trump fulfilled a major campaign promise by naming pro-life judge Neil Gorsuch to be a justice of the Supreme Court. He has also been nominating judges to fill the many vacancies on the courts of appeal and the district courts, and no president has ever had more of his federal judges confirmed in the first year of his term as President Trump has.
The list goes on, but we also have to mention President Trump’s efforts to protect religious liberty. Not only did he sign a historic executive order on religious freedom (and then gave his signature pen to Priests for Life’s Alveda King), he revoked and rewrote the HHS mandate so that faith-based nonprofit groups like Priests for Life will no longer be attacked by the government for practicing our faith.
Moreover, he has given added strength, freedom, and courage to the pro-life movement by pointing out the unjust requirements of the “Johnson Amendment” that make pastors and pro-life not-for-profit groups feel like they cannot speak their mind regarding elections. This often translates into feeling they cannot speak about abortion. The president, by executive order, has instructed federal agencies to respect the freedom of these groups to speak freely about political matters.
He has also taken many other administrative steps – too numerous to mention here – to advance recognition of the unborn in the policies and activities of various federal agencies.
The direction of the Trump administration on pro-life is exactly what we need it to be.

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