Abortion is a civil wrong; life is a civil right! From the womb to the tomb, we as human beings are one blood, one race. The two major candidates in this year’s presidential election—and the parties they represent—have starkly differing views on this issue, and as Christians prepare to vote, they must be aware of the future that each side hopes to deliver.
In his first term as president of the United States, Donald Trump has made the nation safer for the unborn, as well as for people whose religious and moral convictions make it impossible for them to have anything to do with the slaughter of the innocents that is legal abortion.
The president has stripped the abortion industry of millions in federal funding by formalizing the Protect Life Rule under the Title X program, which mandates the financial and physical separation of an abortion business from a clinic that provides birth control to patients. Those working in the family planning clinic cannot refer their patients for abortion.
Because of this rule, Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading abortion business, decided to leave Title X rather than give up or relocate its lucrative trade in child killing. While it was not a full defunding of Planned Parenthood, it did take away $60 million in taxpayer money. The bulk of the organization’s federal money comes from Medicaid reimbursements.
The president also vowed to veto any pro-abortion legislation that reaches his desk. That has not happened this term because neither party has full control of Congress. But that vow could come into play if he is elected to a second term.
The president and his administration protected Priests for Life (the ministry for which I work) and other pro-life organizations from having to cover early abortions in the health insurance plans we offer our employees. That is exactly what the Obama-Biden HHS mandate was attempting to do. Under an exemption that President Trump expanded, Priests for Life, the Little Sisters of the Poor and every employer with a sincere religious or moral objection to providing drugs and devices that cause very early abortion is now protected from the deadly mandate.
Priests for Life would never have complied, but the fines the Obama administration was hoping to levy would have been ruinous.
Our nation’s regrettable role as abortion provider to the world also ended under President Trump. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan enacted the Mexico City Policy, prohibiting U.S. dollars from being funneled to overseas organizations that perform or promote abortion.
The Mexico City Policy has long been a sort of political seesaw, with Democrat presidents overturning it and Republicans reinstating it. But President Trump went further than any of his pro-life predecessors by expanding the rules to apply beyond just family planning organizations to all aid groups, preventing some $8.8 billion from going to abortion services or advocacy.
In March 2019, the president cut funding to the Organization of American States and prohibited the use of U.S. tax dollars to lobby for or against abortion rights.
“We will enforce a strict prohibition on backdoor funding schemes and end runs around our policy,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the time.
Perhaps the most enduring thing President Trump has done for the unborn and those who advocate for them is to fulfill his vow to nominate originalist judges. The president has nominated, and the U.S. Senate has confirmed, more than 200 judges for the federal district courts and the courts of appeal. He has placed two pro-life justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. Most of these jurists are young people whose lifetime appointments will offer protection from the Democrat-appointed activist judges who have perverted our Constitution for decades.
These accomplishments, and many more, came about because in the White House right now, we have the most pro-life president in our history. With four more years, President Trump may have the opportunity to nominate one or even two or more Supreme Court justices. A solid pro-life majority, even without the vote of Chief Justice John Roberts, would be able to uphold laws put in place to protect the unborn and the health and safety of their mothers.
Based on public statements and the party platform, there is reason to believe that many of these gains will vanish if Joe Biden—or any Democrat—is elected president. Supreme Court nominees will be as extreme in their abortion beliefs as the president who nominates them. Pro-life laws will fall.
If the Democrats retain the House and reclaim the Senate, the unborn will be in a more vulnerable position than they ever have been, because the “safe, legal and rare” of the Clinton years—no matter how disingenuous that may have been—has given way to “abortion on demand and without apology.”
Let’s look at what a pro-abortion president could accomplish.
The Mexico City Policy could be reversed and the U.S. could again export its poisonous ideology along with its foreign aid.
The Protect Life Rule could be killed with the stroke of a pen, restoring hundreds of millions of Title X dollars to the abortion industry. Planned Parenthood not only could reap a harvest of $60 million but, many believe, could become a cabinet-level department in a Democrat administration.
By this move, Planned Parenthood could make an end run around two constant battles: that of funding or defunding the mega-abortion business, and that of having access to the public schools. Planned Parenthood— likely with a new, family friendly name—could take over school health departments, and sex education programs could aim (as most do already) for every student to become sexually active as early as possible.
Biden has already vowed to put the HHS mandate, discussed earlier, back in place, and thus reignite the battle between religious groups and the government. And a year ago, he flipped on his long support for keeping the Hyde Amendment in place. That amendment—which has to be renewed yearly—keeps the hard-earned money of pro-life citizens from funding abortions. Biden and the Democrat platform have committed to eliminate it. If Biden had a Democrat House and Senate, the Hyde Amendment would be history.
A Democrat trifecta also would ensure that Roe v. Wade was codified, making legal abortion the law of the land, even if the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe. Every law aimed at protecting the unborn in every state that has passed one would be nullified. Teenagers would no longer need parental consent or even notification to get an abortion anywhere in the nation; ultrasound laws, mandated waiting periods and conscience protections for health care workers would be gone; pain-capable bills that protect babies from the brutality of a late-term abortion would be overridden. The fight to pass a born-alive law would be lost.
The born-alive law isn’t even about abortion; it merely mandates life-saving care for a newborn infant who survives abortion. But as we know from the radio interview where Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam accidentally told the truth, pro-abortion fanatics don’t believe these tiny survivors are entitled to anything but to be made comfortable while they die.
If President Trump, America’s most pro-life president ever, returns to the White House, things will not be this dire, even if the Democrats control the House and Senate. His vow to veto any pro-abortion law could still stand, thus offering vital protection to the unborn no matter what evil Congress cooked up.
Christians have a lot to think about this election, with so many issues of importance to so many hanging in the balance. I understand that often we pro-lifers are chastised for being single-issue voters, but I agree wholeheartedly with Father Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, that while there are many issues, it is the right to life that makes anything an issue to begin with. It is the foundation of every other right; without life, we don’t have anything.
Life is an inalienable right promised to us in our Declaration of Independence. Life reaches beyond politics, beyond religion. If you want to vote with a clear conscience, the best vote is a vote for life. ©2020 Alveda King
Alveda King, the niece of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is the director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, a ministry of Priests for Life.