The tens of thousands of pro-life supporters who hit the streets in Washington, DC, today heard President Trump promise that he will veto any bill that promotes abortion.
Today's "March for Life" – in observation of the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade – witnessed a brief video address from the president after hearing from Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, in person. Both Trump and Pence highlighted the administration's pro-life accomplishments – among them reinstatement of a ban on federal funding for any foreign aid group with ties to abortion (popularly known as the "Mexico City" policy); and appointment of conservative judges to appellate courts across the nation, including two to the U.S. Supreme Court.
But it was these comments from the chief executive that rocked the crowd today:
"When we look into the eyes of a newborn child, we see the beauty in the human soul and the majesty of God's creation. We know that every life has meaning and that every life is worth protecting. As president, I will always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence, the right to life – a right that he said extends to "unborn children."
"Today I have signed a letter to Congress to make clear that if they send any legislation to my desk that weakens the protection of human life, I will issue a veto – and we have the support to uphold those vetoes. Every child is a sacred gift from God.”
Trump also stated he's supporting the effort in the U.S. Senate to make permanent the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion in spending bills. That got the attention of Marjorie Dannenefelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List.
"[The president] sent a bold message to Nancy Pelosi that popular pro-life policies like the Hyde Amendment that save unborn children and protect taxpayers are here to stay, despite her extreme attacks," says the pro-life leader. "[He] is the most pro-life president our nation has seen and is keeping his promise to the pro-life Americans who swept him into office."
VP Pence urged the throng of pro-lifers to stand strong. "Be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have," he said, paraphrasing 1 Peter 3:15. "Be prepared to defend life, but do so with gentleness and respect.
"They will attack you. They will question your hearts to silence others. But don't listen to them. Listen to the truth, and know that He who said 'Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you' also said 'I will never leave you or forsake you' as you stand for His creation, as you stand for the right to life. You do not stand alone."
Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Illinois) acknowledged that, just as in Congress, those participating in the March for Life do not agree on everything.
"We have all kinds of different ideas on all different kinds of issues. We don't agree on everything. We've got Republicans, Independents, Democrats – but we're all here because we all agree on one thing: Every life is sacred and needs to be protected. "
Indeed, Congress may be divided now with Democrats in control of the House and Republicans controlling the Senate. But speaking on EWTN, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says President Trump remains committed to the sanctity of life.
"Making the Hyde Amendment permanent is a big goal, and also continuing to nominate and see pro-life judges confirmed [to the federal judiciary]," she stated. "That will probably be one of the biggest parts of this president's legacy, for life and otherwise."
60-vote tally comes up short
A bill banning the federal funding of abortion failed yesterday (48-47) in the Senate. One of the people who voted against S. 109 was Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama). Speaking about this to EWTN, SBA List president Dannenfelser said they will not forget his vote.
"I don't know who he represents in the state of Alabama – probably about two or three people," she remarked. "His election is coming up soon – and believe you me, we will be using this in his election to make sure everyone knows what he did."
Democratic Senators Bob Casey (Pennsylvania) and Joe Manchin (West Virgina) voted with Republicans. GOP Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) sided with Democrats.