May 23, 2018 - Wednesday
Trumping Expectations: Pro-lifers Celebrate a Year of Wins
When Donald Trump won the Republican nomination, he didn't have a pro-life record to run on. So imagine people's surprise when 16 months into his first term, this president has a more meaningful pro-life legacy than anyone who has come before him!
Last night, at the annual SBA List gala, conservatives had a chance to honor the man who's exceeded everyone's expectations – and not just on life. "I'm very pleased with the progress we've made," said Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), one of the many conservatives who's found a powerful ally for the unborn in this White House. "These are actions by the executive branch, something that former pro-life presidents like George W. Bush did not do..." In the words of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, "He's just delivered."
And the administration shows no signs of stopping. Just this week, pro-lifers celebrated progress they hadn't made since Ronald Reagan: a change in the family planning funding rules that will force groups like Planned Parenthood to move their abortion businesses out of any office that takes Title X dollars. For more than 20 years, FRC's Cathy Ruse points out in her new Hill op-ed, Title X funding has been used to pay for abortion counseling and referrals. That ends now. "Title X was never meant to promote abortion, and" thanks to Donald Trump and HHS, "Americans' tax dollars will no longer be misused in this way."
Tuesday night's gala was a salute to that change -- and so many others -- that have started to rebuild a culture of life in America. Planned Parenthood, not surprisingly, didn't share the festive mood. When leaders heard that the Protect Life Rule had been officially submitted, they went on a nationwide tirade, insisting the policy would somehow hurt poor women. The truth is, Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics weren't providing the bulk of that health care anyway. Thousands of non-abortion community health centers serve the same function (outnumbering Planned Parenthood 20-to-one), and not a penny of their dollars will be affected.
"If Planned Parenthood wants taxpayer cash, then it should drop abortion services from centers that get Title X dollars and move them offsite. That shouldn't be too hard for an operation that claims only three percent of its services are abortion services (a claim most outside sources dispute)." Like everyone else, Planned Parenthood has a choice: disentangle themselves from abortion or find some other donors. Americans certainly like the idea, telling McLaughlin & Associates that they support the rule by a 48 to 40 percent margin.
But, as President Trump said himself, the fate of so many of these policies rests in the hands of pro-lifers this November.
"For the first time since Roe v. Wade, America has a pro-life president, a pro-life vice president, a pro-life House of Representatives, and 25 pro-life Republican state capitols. That is pretty good. When I ran for office, I pledged to stand for life. And as President, that's exactly what I've done. And I have kept my promise.
...We all know what a Democratic majority would mean, especially for the people in this room, on the Supreme Court. These are the stakes on Election Day, and this is why you need to fight for victory in November. We can't be complacent. What happens, historically, a tremendous percentage of the time: You win the presidential election, you become complacent, you're happy. 'Oh, we won. Isn't it wonderful?' Then you have another election pretty quick -- two years... They say, 'Oh, we just won, so we sit back.' The other side has energy, and they win. Every values voter must be energized, mobilized, and engaged...
[V]ote for family. Vote for love. Vote for faith and values. Vote for country. And vote for life."
For the people in the room, who stood and applauded this unexpected champion for their cause, it was a powerful contrast from the administration they'd endured just two years earlier. This was not the man who stood behind the presidential seal at a fundraiser with Cecile Richards and declared, "God bless Planned Parenthood." On this night, conservatives celebrated a White House that's writing a new chapter for America -- and saving countless tiny lives in the process.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.