The American battle for life has marched doggedly over the decades. Nearly a century ago, Margaret Sanger founded her league of birth-control clinics to promote women’s decisions to dictate their fertility and further the science of eugenics. This movement opened the door to the acceptance of abortion and illegal procedures accelerated in the 1930’s. By the 1960’s, Planned Parenthood was born and, in 1973, the United States Supreme Court commenced a national moral tailspin with Roe v Wade that put a child’s life and constitutional rights at the mercy of the mother’s decision. The inauguration of the 45th president came just before the 44th anniversary of Roe v Wade. For 44 years, millions of unborn Americans have been legally murdered in their mothers’ wombs. For 44 years, millions of pro-life Americans have marched in Washington D.C. in peaceful protest and as a prayerful call that the law be reversed to protect life instead of to destroy life. With a new president, comes new hope—even if that president is Donald Trump—and the mall marchers of 2017 may well hope for some shift in the wind.
In a somewhat notorious MSNBC interview last March, Chris Matthews and Donald Trump discussed the possibilities and problems of banning abortion in the United States. Mr. Matthews asked the then Republican frontrunner if women who had an abortion should be punished, especially since Mr. Trump’s pro-life views maintain that abortion is the willful destruction of a human being and, as such, should be dealt with under law. Mr. Trump answered, yes, there should be some form of punishment. Later that day, Trump issued a statement that women who received abortions would not be punished, as they were victims together with the babies in their wombs, but that the doctors who performed illegal abortions would be punished. Even later that day, he said abortion laws should be up to the states. The next day, he said that the laws “are set” and should remain so. And finally, he said, as president, he would change the laws on abortion. Trump’s waffling, erratic declarations leaves it to be seen where he stands, or will stand, when push comes to shove on abortion.
Though admittedly pro-choice for a period in his life, President Trump has in recent years avowed a pro-life position—and it is a position that may have earned him much of the Catholic vote. For many Catholics, a central issue of this past election was the issue of life, and rightly so. The horror of abortion loomed large with the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s empty seat on an aging Supreme Court bench and a pro-abortion champion like Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. Donald Trump, on the other hand, announced a pro-life coalition in a letter last September in which he committed himself to the following if elected:
- Nominating pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Signing into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide.
- Defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions, and reallocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women.
- Making the Hyde Amendment permanent law to protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortions.
So far, Trump has presented pro-life candidates for the Supreme Court which could set the stage for overturning the law and ultimately render abortion illegal in many states. As President, Trump has sworn to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Let the marchers pray and propose that he preserve, protect, and defend the right to life as well. The pro-life movement must urge his policies to match the words he spoke at his inauguration: “Now is the hour of action.” Only action can save imperiled children who are, in his words, “infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator.” Perhaps the abortion holocaust will be added to the President’s categories of “American carnage” which must stop right here and right now.
Despite what President Trump has promised or said, it could be argued that the culture he has fueled in his past, and may continue to fuel, is the very culture where abortion bourgeons: the culture of power, money, and license. Hillary Clinton may have made abortion more available on demand, but the attitude that Trump has embodied, both in profession and personality, can promote the demand. Hillary Clinton may have attacked the pro-life movement purposefully from the outside, but Donald Trump may attack it accidentally from the inside. Self-aggrandizement and self-gratification have been Trump’s bread and butter for decades. Men, of course, can change. Even though Donald Trump was and remains the pro-life candidate, the proponents of life must remain on their guard while thanking God that Clinton was overthrown. But being wary does not exclude being hopeful that President Trump has truly taken the side of life and will act accordingly and decisively.
A possible sign of that hoped-for action may be in the encouraging fact that, for the first time in the history of the March for Life, a sitting White House official will personally address the event. President Trump’s campaign manager and top advisor, Kellyanne Conway, is scheduled to speak at the March, bringing her influence and the presence of the new administration to the protest which is traditionally ignored by the mainstream media. Her participation also provides a clear contrast to the antithetical Women’s March that took place in D.C. on January 21st, featuring shocking (even horrifying) displays of left-wing lunacy from a star-studded cast including Madonna and Ashley Judd. Mrs. Conway, daily-Mass-Catholic mother of four, holds a clear record of being successful and a clear record of being pro-life, which directly challenges the feminist pro-choice ideology. Her attendance at the March for Life may be the beginning of the commitment, or the attempt, by the Trump administration to revisit and restructure the laws surrounding abortion and restore the Constitutional right to life.
Abortion is the most heinous corruption that plagues this nation, snuffing out the beautiful, innocent lives of thousands of children every year. The effects are traumatic, even if they are quiet. The scars run deep, even though they are invisible. The disease is present, even as it is denied. Every American stands under judgment for their country—a country that allows for the butchery of babies. “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.” (CCC.2270) This is a truth that all must answer for in one way or another. Pray for mercy. March for life. March for change. Hope that President Trump will join the march and alter the course of American history by instituting policies based upon the principles set down by Founding Father James Wilson in his “Of the Natural Rights of Individuals:”
With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger.