WASHINGTON – President Trump has shown aggressive follow through with his campaign promise to support the pro-life agenda – a promise that won over a demographic key to his electoral victory: evangelical Christians.
Initially, some pro-life "Never Trumpers" remained apprehensive whether his pro-life narrative was simply a ploy to win over the church's vote or an actual concern that Trump had for the nation. But Trump assembled a pro-life coalition among his administration, which helped to soothe doubts about his commitment to the pro-life agenda after his past support of Planned Parenthood.
Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, expressed his confidence in how the Trump Administration is supporting the pro-life cause.
"I've been in the political realm for 20 years and have been in pro-life advocacy for 30 years. We're nine months into his administration and he's been keeping his word. I'll go back to a Ronald Reagan slogan, Trust but verify. We'll continue to trust and hold him accountable, but we are on track to seeing the most pro-life president this country has ever seen."
March for Life CEO Jeanne Mancini, who has met with Vice President Mike Pence multiple times, has no doubts about the administrations commitment to the pro-life agenda.
"During the campaign he made promises, and he's kept them. At last year's March for Life we had Vice President Mike Pence and Kelly Anne Conway – two of the most senior White House officials to ever speak to our marchers. Time and time again I've been called into meet the Vice President regarding pro-life concerns. President Trump has been faithful to his promises. Today is good news for March for Life."
Here are six examples Trump supporters cite to show his administration has made good on its campaign promises to champion the pro-life agenda:
Mexico City Policy - January 21, 3017
The Mexico City Policy withholds U.S. federal dollars from foreign non-governmental organizations that perform abortion procedures or provide abortion referrals. This law has volleyed back and forth like a partisan tennis match – rescinded or reinstated based on the party in control of the Oval Office. Presidents who have supported the policy include Ronald Reagan (who enacted the law), George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald J. Trump. Rescinding residents of the Oval Office include Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. All of these presidents instituted national policy via executive order. This doesn't so much set Trump apart though, since every Republican since Reagan has instated it.
Hyde Amendment Expansion - January 24, 2017
The Hyde Amendment is a legislative statute that bars federal funding of abortion procedures in the U.S. with exceptions for rape, incest, and significant risk to the mother's life. Under the Hyde Amendment, a patient can use federal funds at facilities that provide abortions, but would have to pay out of pocket for an abortion. The Hyde Amendment is reinstated or rescinded on an annual basis.
The House has passed the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Discloser Act of 2017," which effectively would make the Hyde Amendment permanent law instead of annually reviewed. The bill currently is pending in the Senate, and President Trump has signaled a "thumbs up" once it reaches his desk.
The Hyde Amendment has been altered over the years, but Trump is the first president who has vowed to make it law.
Undoing Obama's Planned Parenthood Regulation - March 30, 2017
Shortly before leaving office, former President Barack Obama imposed a regulation that permanently prohibited states from withdrawing their funding to Planned Parenthood. Mr. Obama imposed the ban after several states began taking action in the wake of undercover videotapes exposing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted baby body parts. That permanent regulation lasted a few months into Trump's Administration. The Senate vote to overthrow the regulation resulted in a 50-50 tie, which required Vice President Mike Pence to step in and cast the tie-breaking vote.
Both the House and Senate's attempts to reform healthcare since Trump's election omitted funding not only from Planned Parenthood, but from any organization that provides abortions. Planned Parenthood receives approximately $500 million from the federal government. That's nearly a third of its entire budget. Planned Parenthood is also the leading abortion provider in the United States. Nationwide, there are fewer than a thousand Planned Parenthood facilities, while there are more than 13,000 federally-qualified healthcare providers that offer a broader spectrum of healthcare without performing abortions. The language in the bills redirects the funding from Planned Parenthood to these federally qualified health centers.
No other administration has moved this aggressively to defund Planned Parenthood's federal funding, which it started receiving taxpayer money in 1970.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36) - October 3, 2017
This bill will ban abortions across the nation at 20 weeks of fetal development and includes the same exceptions as the other bills. Republicans approved the measure in the House by a vote of 237 to 189 (3 Democrats joined the Republican majority) and if it passes in the Senate, it has already been given the White House's blessing. More than 20 states have similar bans citing scientific evidence that shows a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. States that don't yet prohibit abortions at 20 weeks may soon be forced to if the bill becomes law.
The White House released a statement ahead of last week's House vote that read, "The administration strongly supports H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and applauds the House of Representatives for continuing its efforts to secure critical pro-life protections."
Birth control mandate rolled back - October 6, 2017
Among the more controversial elements of Obamacare has been the birth control mandate, which requires companies include contraceptives in their employee health insurance plans. Last week, Pres. Trump announced the mandate will be rolled back and will allow companies to opt out on either religious or moral grounds. Hobby Lobby won a lawsuit challenging the contraception mandate ensuring religious institutions and "closely held for-profit corporations" receive exemptions. Now with the new rollbacks, even non-religious employers will have the option to omit birth control from their plans if they claim a personal moral or religious objection.
"The United States has a long history of providing conscience protections in the regulation of health care for entities and individuals with objections based on religious beliefs or moral convictions," the administration wrote in new rules," the Trump administration wrote when announcing the new policies.