We are now nearly a year into President Trump’s presidency. The wheels of the federal government do indeed turn slowly, and many critical pro-life laws have yet to be passed. However, there have been a number of significant pro-life achievements for which pro-lifers can be thankful.
- Judge Neil Gorsuch was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in what has been widely viewed as a monumental long-term pro-life victory. His appointment improves the chances of future state and federal legislative victories being upheld by the Court.
- The Mexico City Policy was reinstated and expanded. This keeps some $8.8 billion overseas aid money from funding abortion internationally, including through International Planned Parenthood. The Trump administration has also stopped funding the U.N. Population Fund, which has ties to international abortions as well.
- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) added language to its draft 2018-2022 Strategic Plan that confirms life begins at conception. The document states that the department’s mission is “serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.”
- President Trump signed into law a roll-back of an Obama administration rule that had forced states to fund Planned Parenthood and similar organizations with federal Title X money. With this new law, states may now choose to spend family planning money on organizations that do not provide abortions.
The White House has also taken steps to roll back the Obama HHS mandate. Now, anyone with an Obamacare insurance plan must be notified if it includes a separate abortion premium. Further, HHS now allows educational institutions and private employers to refuse to cover abortion-causing drugs for their employees if they have religious or moral objections. The Trump administration also settled with over 700 Christian-run organizations that were suing because of the Obamacare mandate to cover abortion drugs in their health insurance plans.
While pro-lifers are still waiting for big victories such as passing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (which, at the time of this writing, still awaits a vote in the Senate) and defunding Planned Parenthood, the actions taken to date are significant steps. Advocates for life have been successful so far in holding their elected officials accountable to their campaign promises. We must not let up until the lives of the unborn are put before other political priorities.