Donald Trump made history last month by becoming the first president to attend the annual March for Life, demonstrating his firm commitment to this cause as well as the progress that the pro-life movement has made in America.
Our country is moving in the direction of restoring protection to the unborn and the president is in the vanguard of that effort, as he demonstrated by announcing, on the same day, the formation of “Pro-life Voices for Trump.” This is a grassroots effort that Americans can join to support the President in his pro-life efforts. (I am pleased to serve as co-chair of this effort, along with Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser).
Two members of our Priests for Life team, Janet Morana and Evangelist Alveda King, also will serve on Pro-Life Voices Advisory Board.
The enthusiasm generated by the president at the March for Life reached all the way to San Francisco, where I delivered a keynote address the next day at the second largest pro-life annual event, the Walk for Life West Coast. I never saw so many MAGA and “Keep America Great” hats on the left coast, and the President’s speech was broadcast on large Jumbotrons to that crowd.
If you watch the rallies the President is holding across the country, you’ll notice that – along with the protection of the Second Amendment – the loudest crowd response always comes when he mentions protecting the right to life of children in the womb.
As Americans stand up for life in cities across the country, the pro-life victories continue to mount. The Trump administration recently put California on notice that it is in violation of federal law, because it mandates that every insurance policy include coverage for abortion. Since 2014, the state has been forcing employers – including churches and other faith-based institutions – to include abortion coverage on their insurance plans.
According to the “Notice of Violation” announced by federal Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, gave the state 30 days to drop the requirement or risk losing millions of dollars in federal funding.
This is another example of the President’s pro-life commitment. The Department of HHS has an Office of Civil Rights, which enforces laws and regulations that protect conscience and prevent coercion on matters like abortion. The Trump Administration created a division for Conscience and Religious Freedom within this office, and since it was opened, hundreds of new complaints came pouring in from citizens who believe their freedoms are being violated by local governments or agencies.
Citizens can lodge complaints of violations of conscience and religious freedom online.
As I told the Walk for Life crowd in my speech, this is only the latest good news. Billions of dollars have been diverted from the abortion industry. Much of the research using aborted babies has been stopped, Congress has been urged to end late-term abortion, and we have an Administration that, along with saying Merry Christmas, says clearly that ripping babies from the womb is not OK.
We can expect more pro-life progress in the next four years, as long as pro-lifers do one very simple but vital thing: Vote pro-life.
If God’s people vote pro-life, then one year from today, we could see Planned Parenthood completely de-funded. We could see babies in the womb fully protected from dismemberment abortion and from other painful late-term abortion procedures
And we could see the Supreme Court more solidly pro-life than it is now. On the Court, there are five conservative judges and four left-wing extremists. The two oldest on the Court are of the leftist wing. Justice Breyer is 81; and in a few weeks, Justice Ginsburg turns 87.
With a pro-life President and Senate to replace them, it is possible that we could have in the foreseeable future, a Supreme Court with a pro-life majority of 7 to 2!
The debate in this election cannot be about personalities, or whether we like somebody, or what we think about their private virtues or vices.
It’s not about what we like, but about the common good; it’s not about private virtue, but public virtue – what kind of virtue our elected officials will write into the law and the courts.
Judging from recent events, the momentum is with the pro-life side!
Father Frank Pavone is National Director of Priests for Life.