A Powerful Week Under a Pro-Life President
If the momentum continues, 2017 could be the pro-life movement's most successful year to date.
During my bus ride to the March for Life this morning, I found myself gratefully reflecting on the good work the pro-life movement has been doing over the past week.
Only days after the conclusion of Barack’s Obama’s presidency, we are witnessing an unprecedented barrage of pro-life activity in Washington, D.C., Despite being a very recent convert on the pro-life issue, Trump may be presiding over the most energetically pro-life White House since Roe v Wade.
Let’s look at the week leading up to the March for Life, one day at a time.
This Week of Life and Hope
On Sunday, the 44th anniversary of Roe v Wade, NBC News reported that “a Trump administration official” told the network it was “a shame that the March for Life, which estimates the same number of marchers” as the pro-abortion Women’s March, “will not get anywhere near the same amount of coverage that this march got — and those pro-life members were NOT welcome at the Women’s March.”
On Monday, President Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, cutting off American taxpayer funding for abortions abroad. In a fuming press release, leading abortion provider Marie Stopes International reacted to Trump’s decision by providing some stats that are music to pro-life ears: “In 2017, USAID funding would have helped us reach 1.5 million women in some of the poorest, most underserved countries in the world.” (Read between the lines: That’s 1.5 million poor women whose children MSI won’t be able to abort.)
On Tuesday, the House voted 238-183 for H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017, which would make the Hyde Amendment permanent law, ending all federal funding of abortion and banning the use of Obamacare subsidies to obtain insurance coverage for abortions. The new legislation has yet to pass through the Senate, but the White House made a point of boosting its chances with a public promise: “The Administration strongly supports H.R. 7. … If the President were presented with H.R. 7 in its present form, he will sign the bill.”
Also on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer mentioned the March for Life to the White House press pool on national television, promising that the pro-life cause was “very important” to the president, and that there would be a “heavy administration presence” at the March.
On Wednesday, President Trump shamed the press to its face for the deliberate, yearly media blackout of the March for life. In a conversation with the President, ABC News interviewer David Muir seemed to be aiming for a “gotcha” moment when he confronted Trump for supposedly not paying enough attention to the pro-abortion Women’s March that occurred in Washington, D.C., the previous week.
“Could you hear them from the White House?” asked Muir.
“No, I couldn’t hear them but, the crowds were large,” the president replied, “but you’re gonna have a large crowd on Friday too, which is mostly pro-life people.”
Muir visibly tensed up.
“You’re gonna have a lot of people coming Friday,” Trump continued breezily, “and I will say this, and I didn’t realize this, but I was told, you will have a very large crowd of people, I don’t know as large or larger, some people said it’s going to be larger, pro-life people. And, they say the press doesn’t cover them.”
“I don’t want to compare crowd sizes,” Muir said, before trying to change the topic. “No, you shouldn’t,” Trump interjected, and repeated the complaint: “but let me just tell you, what they do say is that the press doesn’t cover them.”
On Thursday, President Trump again drew attention to the March for Life, and again embarrassed the press by calling out the obvious bias of refusing to cover it. This time, his comments had the advantage of coming during the nationally televised GOP Retreat in Philadelphia.
“By the way on Friday, a lot of people are going to be showing up to Washington,” the president said in what seemed to be an extemporaneous aside in the middle of his address.
Lot of people. You know the press never gives them the credit that they deserve. They’ll have three hundred-, four hundred-, five hundred-, six hundred-thousand people—you won’t even read about it. When other people show up, you read bigtime about it. Right? So it’s not fair, but … nothing fair about the media.
On Friday, of course all of this culminated in the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., the largest annual human rights march in the world, with tens of thousands attending every year, often despite harsh winter weather conditions. The Washington Post — but not its headline writers — described this year’s assembly as “massive.”
“This is a new day, a new dawn for life,” said White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
Not only was Conway a featured speaker, but for the first time a sitting vice president addressed the March for Life. In his beautiful, gentle speech Mike Pence declared, “Life is winning again in America.”
Later, as I marched, I was disappointed (if not surprised) at how few network news organizations were present. But unlike in past years, the White House not only took notice of the March, but publicly took note of its plight as a worthy human rights event purposely stifled by the powerful and the press.
“1000s gathered in DC to stand up for life & adoption and @CNN refers to them as ‘demonstrators’ #MarchForLife,” tweeted White House spokesmn Sean Spicer.
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) January 27, 2017
President Trump himself weighed in, tweeting, “The #MarchForLife is so important. To all of you marching — you have my full support!”
The #MarchForLife is so important. To all of you marching — you have my full support!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2017
Later, in an interview with CBN News, the President spoke of his imminent Supreme Court nomination. “Evangelicals, Christians will love my pick and we’ll be represented very, very fairly.”
Beyond the March for Life
There is still much to be done for the pro-life cause in 2017, but it can’t be denied we are off to a hopeful start. Pro-life Americans should all look to President Trump and the Republican majorities in the halls of power, reminding them continually of the commitments we fully expect them to deliver on, including the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and the nomination of a pro-life Supreme Court Justice, which Trump promises to announce next Thursday.
Again, this amount of pro-life advocacy from the White House is unprecedented, and inspires a lot of hope for the pro-life cause. In fact, if we keep up our efforts and President Donald Trump continues to keep his promises, 2017 will be the pro-life movement’s most successful year to date.