President Donald Trump, in his third and final State of the Union address before the presidential election this November, called on Congress to pass legislation banning late-term abortions and emphasized his administration’s stance on religious liberty.
Speaking Tuesday night in the House of Representatives chamber, just one day before his likely impeachment acquittal vote, Trump told legislators: “Whether we are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, surely we must all agree that every human life is a sacred gift from God.”
The president welcomed several special guests to the address, including Robin and Ellie Schneider from Kansas City, Missouri.
“In 2017, doctors at St. Luke’s hospital in Kansas City delivered one of the earliest premature babies ever to survive,” Trump said as he introduced the Schneiders. “Born at just 21 weeks and 6 days, and weighing less than a pound, Ellie Schneider was born a fighter.
“Through the skill of her doctors—and the prayers of her parents—little Ellie kept on winning the battle for life. Today, Ellie is a strong, healthy, 2-year-old girl.”
Moved to tears as the president spoke, Robin Schneider stood and proudly held her daughter, one of the youngest babies to survive in the United States, who was born early due to a medical emergency.
“Ellie reminds us that every child is a miracle of life. … Our goal should be to ensure that every baby has the best chance to thrive and grow just like Ellie.”
In honor of Ellie, Trump called on Congress to provide an additional $50 million to fund neonatal research, which brought a loud cheer from Robin and pro-life legislators in the chamber. He then called on Congress “to pass legislation finally banning the late-term abortion of babies.”
In addition to his pro-life comments, Trump also emphasized his administration’s priority of defending religious liberty, “and that includes the constitutional right to pray in public schools.”
“In America, we do not punish prayer,” the president said. “We do not tear down crosses. We do not ban symbols of faith. We do not muzzle preachers and pastors. In America, we celebrate faith. We cherish religion. We lift our voices in prayer, and we raise our sights to the glory of God.”
At the end of the president’s 78-minute speech, Franklin Graham wrote on Facebook: “After watching the State of the Union address tonight, my reaction is—Thank you, Mr. President, for reminding Americans why they voted for you in the last election. May God bless you and your family, President Donald J. Trump, as you continue to lead our nation.”
On Twitter, Cissie Graham Lynch said Trump is “the most PRO-LIFE President we have ever had!”
“In my twenty-five years in the political arena,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a statement released following the address, “I’ve seen no president who has done more to advance the sanctity of life and to protect and restore religious freedom at home and abroad.”
Above: President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, as Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi look on.
Photo: Leah Millis/Pool via AP