By Dave Andrusko
National Right to Life News Today produces between 10 and 13 stories each and every day, Monday through Friday. In the last year, no story we posted generated more email than a story I wrote last July under the headline, “Would a President Hillary Clinton be any worse than other pro-abortion Democrat Presidents? Yes! Here’s how.”
We posted a kind of bookend story in February under the headline, “On this President’s Day, What if Hillary Clinton had won?”
The point of both was to emphasize the extraordinary damage a woman who resides at the core of the International abortion movement could do to unborn babies here at home and around the world. Hillary Clinton would have done everything in her power as President to vastly multiple the number of dead babies around the world–and using, where possible, your and my tax dollars.
And even though we repeatedly emphasized the converse–all the good a President Trump could do for unborn babies–that drew less response than a frank harkening of the crippling impact of a Hillary Clinton presidency.
That’s probably just human nature, but as we approach this Saturday–the 100th day of the administration of pro-life President Donald Trump–we need to thank our lucky stars for all that Mr. Trump has already done for our cause.
Understandably, and rightly, we focus on the most recent and likely the decision with the most long-term impact. In spite of pro-abortion Democratic harassment, President Trump’s choice to replace Antonin Scalia is now on the High Court. There is every reason–every reason– to anticipate that Justice Neil Gorsuch will prove an able and adroit successor to the great Justice Scalia who took the Constitution seriously.
Like you, I read a lot about Gorsuch. Almost nothing impressed me more than his repeated acknowledgments that judges are not legislators. In a speech delivered shortly after Scalia died last year, Gorsuch said
I want to … suggest that perhaps the great project of Justice Scalia’s career was to remind us of the differences between judges and legislators. To remind us that legislators may appeal to their own moral convictions and to claims about social utility to reshape the law as they think it should be in the future. But that judges should do none of these things in a democratic society. That judges should instead strive (if humanly and so imperfectly) to apply the law as it is, focusing backward, not forward, and looking to text, structure, and history to decide what a reasonable reader at the time of the events in question would have understood the law to be—not to decide cases based on their own moral convictions or the policy consequences they believe might serve society best.
Bear in mind that with a Supreme Court whose justices’ average age (excluding the 49-year-old Gorsuch) is almost 70, it is not unreasonable to expect at least one more vacancy to occur, if not more.
That’s the skywriting in the sky accomplishment–“Gorsuch confirmed as newest member of the Supreme Court”–but the President has been busy elsewhere. Here are four accomplishments, beginning at the beginning.
#1. Honoring the adage “personnel is policy,” President Trump’s administration is stocked with pro-lifers. To name just a few, they include Vice President Mike Pence, Counselor Kellyanne Conway, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.
#2. On the first day of his first business week President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy. It simply tells nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that, as a condition of their receipt of U.S. federal grant money, they must agree to neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning overseas. But these pro-abortion NGOs are so wedded to facilitating abortion and undermining abortion laws, they will not agree to the restriction.
#3. Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced it will cut off U.S. funding for the United Nations Population Fund, on the basis that the UNFPA’s activities in China are complicit with that nation’s coercive population control program, the implementation of which includes forced abortion and involuntary sterilization.
#4. Also in April, President Trump signed into law H.J. Res. 43. In recent years, several states receiving Title X family planning grants opted to direct those funds to county health departments, community health centers, or other types of providers, rather than to abortion clinics. But Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a last-minute regulation rule designed to block states from redirecting their Title X funds. H.J. Res. 43 uses the Congressional Review Act to restore that option to redirect Title X funds, if a state so chooses.
And as we look forward, we remember the promises the President made to the pro-life community while he was a candidate and is already keeping: nominate only pro-life justices to the Supreme Court; retain the life-saving Hyde Amendment; sign into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide; and defund Planned Parenthood (which rakes in a half-billion dollars a year from the federal till) as long as they continue to perform abortions, reallocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women.
At the risk of stating the obvious, President Trump receives an “A” from pro-lifers for his first 100 days in office.