Caroline C. Lewis / October 12, 2017

Pro-Life Advancement Under Trump

Voters should be glad the Trump administration has made great strides to protect the innocent.

For many Americans, the crucial moment of last year’s election came during the last debate in which Hillary Clinton clarified her support for radical abortion policies such as partial-birth abortion, while Donald Trump stood for protecting life. Now, almost a year later, voters can see the results of their investment in the president. The Trump administration has made great strides to protect the innocent through proposed conscience protections, support of the House of Representatives’ Pain-Capable bill, and a statement of support for the Down syndrome community.

Last week, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor announced two interim rules which, if finalized, give conscience protections to organizations and businesses that object to paying for health insurance that covers contraceptive/abortifacient services.

In addition to ObamaCare’s exponential costs, medical device taxes, and its inability to keep the promise that “You can keep your doctor,” stands its deep failure to protect the conscience rights of people with moral and religious objections to contraception pills, devices and abortion-inducing drugs. Lawsuits over the past several years have revealed the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare’s mandate that forces people to purchase plans against their moral or religious convictions.

The rules released last week provide a moral or religion exemption for schools, businesses and organizations, so that they will not be forced to purchase morally questionable health care plans. According to the HHS Press Office, “These exemptions may impact only about 200 entities, the number that filed lawsuits based on religious or moral objections.” Some of the more famous cases include Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor. These exemptions protect the ability for people to live out their constitutional right to practice their faith, while also protecting human life.

Trump’s HHS also has issued a “draft strategic plan” that will define life as beginning at conception. This language is based in solid science, though progressives will challenge it anyway.

Another pro-life advancement has occurred in the House of Representatives, which recently passed H.R. 36 — the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. If passed by the Senate and signed by the president, this law would make it a felony for any person to perform or attempt to perform an abortion on an unborn child 20 weeks after fertilization, with limited exceptions. The bill stands with science, which reveals that an unborn child can feel pain beginning at 20 weeks. Currently, the U.S. abortion policy stands with only seven out of 198 nations that allow abortions after 20 weeks. This bill would bring the United States into the moral norm of nations, which is what progressives usually crave. The president issued a statement last week declaring his administration’s strong support of H.R. 36 and his willingness to sign it into law.

President Trump also issued a statement on October 1 (which commenced Down Syndrome Awareness Month) speaking in support of not only Down syndrome people, but also the dignity of human life. He lauded the “significant contributions” made by people with Down syndrome and saluted the “family members, caregivers, medical professionals, and advocates who have dedicated themselves to ensuring that these extraordinary people enjoy lives filled with love and increasing opportunity.”

The president also noted:

> Sadly, there remain too many people — both in the United States and throughout the world — that still see Down syndrome as an excuse to ignore or discard human life. This sentiment is and will always be tragically misguided. We must always be vigilant in defending and promoting the unique and special gifts of all citizens in need. We should not tolerate any discrimination against them, as all people have inherent dignity. … We will always endeavor to make sure that their precious gifts are never maligned or taken for granted.

President Trump’s statement illustrates his care and compassion for the 250,000 U.S. citizens living with Down syndrome, and his willingness to stand with and for them. In fact, all of these recent pro-life advancements exhibit the Trump administration’s commitment to honor the dignity of the human person.

The fundamental root of the systemic violence in our culture did not emerge from nothing, but rather lies in our disregard for human life in its most innocent form, a baby. Turning that tide and transforming a culture of death into a culture of life begins with protecting the rights of all people, from the unborn child to the elderly. The Trump administration’s recent actions reveal a commitment to stand for constitutional conscience rights, the preservation of the unborn and a future for those with disabilities, such as Down syndrome. Insofar as our laws continue to protect all people, we will witness a transformation into a culture of life, of love and of honoring the inherent dignity of our brothers and sisters.

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