By Carol Tobias, President
I recently came across a column, written in January 2016 by then-presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump, explaining his position on abortion. He wrote, “America, when it is at its best, follows a set of rules that have worked since our Founding. One of those rules is that we, as Americans, revere life and have done so since our Founders made it the first, and most important, of our ‘unalienable’ rights.”
He continued, “Over time, our culture of life in this country has started sliding toward a culture of death. Perhaps the most significant piece of evidence to support this assertion is that since Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Count 43 years ago over 50 million Americans never had the chance to enjoy the opportunities offered by this country. They never had the chance to become doctors, musicians, farmers, teachers, husbands, fathers, sons or daughters. They never had the chance to enrich the culture of this nation or to bring their skills, lives, loves or passions into the fabric of country. They are missing, and they are missed.”
Seven immensely significant words: “They are missing, and they are missed.”
Since his upset victory, Donald J. Trump has remained true to his campaign commitment to the pro-life community to protect unborn children.
Within days of taking office, President Trump took executive action to restore the Mexico City Policy, initially issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The policy requires any non-governmental organization (NGO) receiving US foreign aid to sign a contract promising not to perform abortions (except to save the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest), not to lobby to change the abortion laws of host countries, or otherwise “actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.”
In May of 2017, the Trump administration expanded the policy, now called “Promoting Life in Global Health Assistance.” Only a handful, including International Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International, have refused to sign the contract.
In March of this year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo closed what had become a loophole, now requiring NGOs to confirm that they are not passing US funds along to other organizations that still promote abortion.
President Trump kept another promise by protecting the conscience rights of providers, individuals, and other health care entities. The HHS office for Civil Rights will enforce federal laws to protect “providers, individuals, and other health care entities from having to provide, participate in, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for, services such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide.”
HHS has taken strong action in other areas as well. When Obamacare was enacted in 2010, the law required qualified health plan issuers to segregate collected premiums to pay for abortion coverage and that enrollees be informed if abortions are covered by a qualified health plan.
In October of 2017, HHS declared that it will fully enforce these requirements as a step toward ensuring that federal tax dollars are not used to subsidize coverage for elective abortion. And in January 2018, HHS issued a preliminary rule requiring insurance companies that offer Obamacare plans that cover abortions to also offer an identical plan that does not cover abortions.
Obamacare prohibits a health program from discriminating on the basis of sex. The Obama administration had defined this discrimination to include abortion. In May, HHS issued a proposed rule to make clear that it is not “discrimination on the basis of sex” for an individual doctor or a facility to refuse to abort an unborn child.
And just last month, continuing the Administration’s efforts to keep the federal government out of the abortion business, HHS announced it will no longer fund new research that uses fetal tissue from aborted babies.
At the congressional level as well, President Trump has stood firm, issuing a “Statement of Administration Policy” on various pieces of legislation, informing members of Congress of the likelihood of the president signing or vetoing such legislation.
Statements have been issued saying the President’s advisors would recommend that he sign the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the No-Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2019, and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
Statements have also been issued that a veto would be recommended for legislation that promotes abortion being considered by the Democratic-led House of Representatives. These include the repeal of the President’s orders on the use of foreign funds to promote abortion and to block implementation of the new conscience protection rules, as well as the administration’s requirement that Title X family planning funds not be awarded to entities which also perform abortions at the same location.
One of President Trump’s strongest campaign promises addressed the appointment of federal judges “who will uphold the Constitution.” Working closely with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, he has been faithfully accomplishing that pledge. With two new justices on the Supreme Court and more than 100 new judges on the appellate and federal courts, we can hope and expect that the coming years will see our Constitution not scorned and rejected for someone’s personal opinion.
There are more actions from the President and his administration than are listed here, but I think we can strongly agree. When it comes to protecting unborn children, President Trump is a man of his word.