Focus on the United States
A Pro-Life Turning Point Is Underway in the United States
United States is experiencing unprecedented support for the pro-life
position from the government and the American public as self-identifying
pro-life President Donald Trump begins his administration and both the
House and Senate begin the 115th Congress under control of
the pro-life Republican Party. Both branches of government are quickly
moving to take pro-life actions. This special moment in history also
enjoys public support and opposition to the elitist position supporting
US law that allows abortion on demand for all nine months of pregnancy
with many states enacting regulations and restrictions on abortion.
A new Marist poll
commissioned by the Knights of Columbus finds that 59 percent of
Americans believe abortion is morally wrong. A majority are against
taxpayer funding of abortion and support banning most abortions after 20
weeks of pregnancy. 61 percent of Americans oppose the use of tax
dollars to fund abortion within the United States and an overwhelming 83
percent oppose funding abortions around the world. 78 percent of
respondents believe that laws ought to protect the health and well-being
of both women and the unborn and laws should not choose to protect one
and not the other.
Highlights of pro-life actions by President Trump, Congress and states follow.
President Trump Nominates Pro-Life Judge to the Supreme Court
Donald Trump has nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
describing him as someone in the tradition of Justice Scalia. Justice
Scalia was known for his opposition to abortion, supported overturning
Roe v. Wade and allowing states to provide legal protection for the
unborn. He opposed the social activism of the Court and believed that
the Constitution should be interpreted as the Founding Fathers intended
and is not open to modern interpretations.
Gorsuch is believed to be in agreement with the late Justice Scalia and
is considered to be pro-life fulfilling another promise of President
Trump that he would appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court.
Americans United for Life reports that in his book The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,
Gorsuch eloquently argues that it "is incompatible with the promise of
equal justice under law that any of us should feel at liberty to sit in
judgement to decide who is and who is not entitled to the benefits of"
being treated as "fully human," and that "human life qualifies as a
basic good [and] it follows that we can and should refrain from actions
intended to do it harm. Such actions, after all, by their very
definition evince a denial of life's innate worth."
Senate must approve Judge Gorsuch through what is expected to be a very
contentious hearing process with strong opposition from Senate
President Donald Trump Expresses His Support for March for Life
thousands gathered in Washington, D.C. to mark the extreme 1973 Supreme
Court decisions that legalized abortion on demand in the United States
throughout pregnancy, President Donald Trump tweeted his support: "The #MarchForLife is so important. To all of you marching --- you have my full support!"
Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President Donald Trump, addressed
the March relaying President Trump's support and stating that he will
act to further the pro-life cause. Conway encouraged the March by
saying, "Allow me to make it very clear, we hear you, we see you, we
respect you, and we look forward to working with you. It is no
coincidence that the first right cited in the Declaration of
Independence is the right to Life. We are here to protect and promote
the most precious gift in the world - the gift of life."
Vice President Mike Pence Addresses March
President Mike Pence addressed the March in person. Despite heightened
security measures, anticipation was high as the former congressman and
governor once again addressed the March but this time in his role as
vice president. Mike Pence did not disappoint as the vice president's remarks excited and encouraged the crowd especially as he proclaimed "life is winning in America."
His speech included:
I am deeply humbled to be the first Vice President of the United States
to ever have the privilege to attend this historic gathering.
More than two-hundred and forty years ago, our Founders wrote words that have echoed through the ages.
declared 'these truths to be self-evident.' That we are, all of us,
'endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights,' and 'that
among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.'
Forty-four years ago, our Supreme Court turned away from the first of these timeless ideals.
today, three generations hence, because of all of you, and the many
more who stand with us in marches just like this across this nation,
life is winning in America again.
That is evident in the election of pro-life majorities in the Congress of the United States.
it is no more evident than in the historic election of a president who
stands for a stronger America, a more prosperous America, and a
president who I proudly say stands for the right to life - President
Trump actually asked me to be here today to thank all of you for your
support and for your stand for life and for your compassion for the
women and children of this nation.
The oversized crowd enthusiastically responded when Vice President Pence declared, "Life is winning in America. And today is a celebration of the progress that we have made in the cause."
vice president cited the many reasons why he believes "life is winning
in America" and why this is an "historic moment in the cause of life"
calling on all to "meet this moment with respect and compassion for
acknowledged the work of the pro-life movement, especially the
"compassion of caregivers and volunteers at crisis pregnancy centers and
faith-based organizations who minister to women, in cities and towns
across this country."
In closing, Vice President Pence exhorted the pro-life movement to remain focused on its work, "To
heal our land and restore a culture of life we must continue to be a
movement that embraces all and cares for all out of respect for the
dignity and worth of every person."
on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial are the words of our third
president, who admonished us to remember that 'God who gave us life gave
behalf of the President of the United States, and my little family, we
thank you for your stand for life, for your compassion, for your love
for the women and children of this nation.
Be assured, we will not grow weary. We will not rest until we restore a culture of life for ourselves and our posterity.
God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.
President Trump Seeks to Protect Unborn Children Globally
Donald Trump, in one of his first Executive Orders, reissued and
expanded the Mexico City Policy (MCP) which prevents foreign
non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortion from
receiving funds from the population account of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
unless they pledge to stop performing or promoting abortion as a method
of family planning, regardless of the funding source, in order to be
eligible for U.S. funding.
The Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Mexico City Policy issued by President Trump not only revokes
President Obama's Memorandum of January 23, 2009 repealing the policy
and reinstates President George W. Bush's Memorandum of January 22, 2001
restoring the Mexico City Policy but is modernized to reflect current
challenges to the protection of women and children from the violence of
Trump has directed the Secretary of State, in coordination with the
Secretary of Health and Human Services, to, in the fullest extent
allowed by law, "implement a plan to extend the requirements of the
reinstated Memorandum to global health assistance furnished by all
departments or agencies."
action by President Trump was lauded by Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Oyo,
Nigeria, Director of Communications for the African Bishops who viewed
the action as a step toward "making America great again" and urged that
the policy will be strictly enforced. The the bishop stated, "I think
President Donald Trump, by banning government funding of pro-abortion
organizations and policies in foreign countries, has restored some
humanity to U.S. foreign policy and granted the U.S. a little more
legitimacy as a leading democratic civilization."
democracy nor civilization can be authentic if human life, even the
least, is sacrificed for the convenience and pleasure of a few, no
matter how rich or influential they may be."
Read more about the Executive Order here.
Trump's Pro-Life Ambassador to the United Nations
Governor Nikki Haley from South Carolina has been confirmed to serve as
US Ambassador to the United Nations. During Senate confirmation
hearings Governor Haley told the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee that she will oppose abortion on an
international level and stated that she is "strongly pro-life".
Haley, the daughter of immigrants from India, stated during her election for governor, "I
believe every life has a value and is blessed by God--my husband was
adopted and my pro-life convictions stem from the fact I feel the
blessings of that value every day knowing someone chose life for him. I
see it every day in my two children as I watch them grow. My hope is
that we continue to encourage and work towards educating that value of
life to everyone."
appointment of pro-life Ambassador Nikki Haley to the United Nations
brings hope to all who seek to protect women and children from the
violence of abortion globally and who struggle against UN elitists who
feverishly promote abortion.
Draft Executive Order Targets UN Funding
A draft Executive Order--Auditing and Reducing U.S. Funding of International Organizations--
targets the United Nations for a reduction of at least 40 percent of
U.S. voluntary contributions but release of the order has been delayed.
The U.S. is the largest single donor to the U.N. contributing 22
percent to the U.N.'s total operating budget- the U.N.'s approved budget
for 2016-2017 is $5.4 billion- in addition to providing more than 28
percent of the funds necessary for peacekeeping work.
The five-page draft order directs that an evaluating committee be formed "comprised
of the secretary of State, attorney general and director of national
intelligence, among others, and gives the panel one year to make
recommendations on how to increase U.S. leverage at the United Nations."
order includes a specific prohibition on U.S. funding for entities that
support abortion as a method of family planning and according to
includes a "special review of funding" for the U.N. Population Fund
(UNFPA). The U.S is the third largest donor to UNFPA after the UK and
to news reports, the work of the committee will proceed without the
executive order being issued and includes evaluations of other
international organizations receiving US funding.
House Votes to Make Abortion Funding Ban Permanent
The US House of Representatives passed H.R. 7,
the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full
Disclosure Act, banning federal funding for abortion. H.R. 7 will make
the Hyde amendment, which bars taxpayer funding for abortions through
Medicaid, permanent and expand it to all federal agencies. A report by
the Charlotte Lozier Institute indicates that the Hyde amendment has
saved over two million lives since it was first introduced in 1976.
Hyde Amendment is responsible for saving the lives of at least two
million babies, making this policy permanent will save countless more.
We have a responsibility to stand up and fight for the most vulnerable
among us, and I am proud to help lead that effort," said Rep Liz Cheney. H.R.
7 also requires transparency and disclosure for insurance companies and
Obamacare plans regarding which of the plans cover abortion.
Bill sponsor Rep Chris Smith,
Co-Chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, highlighted the recent
Marist poll showing 61 percent of Americans do not support federal
funding for abortion. "Pro-life Americans struggle for the day when
abortion violence will be replaced by compassion and empathy for women
and respect for the weak and most vulnerable among us, the child in the
womb," said Rep Smith. "They believe, as do my pro-life
colleagues, that we ought to love them both, mother and child, and not
fund the destruction of children through abortion."
House passed the bill by a vote of 238-183 and next moves to the
Senate. President Trump expressed his support for the bill in his first Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) which declares, "The
Administration strongly supports H.R. 7. ...If the President were
presented with H.R. 7 in its present form, he would sign it."
Members of Congress Address March for Life
of thousands of pro-lifers gathered in Washington, D.C. for the annual
March for Life to voice their support for the right to life for all.
Several Members of Congress addressed the crowd, affirming their
solidarity in the fight for life. Through tears, Rep Mia Love thanked her own parents for choosing life for her when they faced an unexpected pregnancy. "I
am certain that this couple never could have conceived that that child
would be elected to the United States House of Representatives as the
very first black Republican woman ever elected to Congress. But more
than that, they would have never dreamed that that child would grow up
to fight for all children, especially for those yet to be born," said Rep Love.
Rep Chris Smith,
speaking as Co-Chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus and on behalf
of the many Members crowded on the stage, encouraged the enthusiastic
crowd of pro-lifers to keep up the fight as he declared "This is the turning point for the right-to-life movement". He encouraged the crowd saying that "history and the survivors will note that you stood your ground," and that, "You pushed backed, and you endured any and every sacrifice, any and every smear, so that the least of these might live." House Speaker Paul Ryan addressed pro-lifers via video saying, "This is truly a new dawn for the unborn and for those women and men who defend them." He continued, "Today
you march to defend the rights of those who cannot defend
themselves...Thank you for your passion and courage. Know that we march
with you and that we will not stop fighting until every life is
protected under the law." Members of Congress sent President Trump a letter organized by Rep Robert Pittenger thanking
him for his pro-life leadership since taking office. The letter, signed
by 147 Members, thanked President Trump for reinstating the Mexico City
Policy and for his support for pro-life legislation to extend the Hyde
amendment and end federal funding of abortion, support for the
defunding of Planned Parenthood, and for a ban on late term abortion. "The
alignment of pro-life majorities in Congress and your election to the
White House presents a critical opportunity to protect our most
vulnerable from the brutal act of abortion and affirm that women deserve
better than abortion," stated the letter.
recognition of the anniversary of the Supreme Court's imposition of
abortion on demand on the US, Members of the House of Representatives
also held a Special Order on the House floor bringing attention to the
travesty of abortion on American women and their children.
Committee Releases Final Report on Investigation of Planned Parenthood
The US House special committee investigating Planned Parenthood released its final report
after spending the past year investigating the sale of unborn baby body
parts and tissue by abortion businesses. The Select Investigative Panel
on Infant Lives was created after an undercover video investigation
found compelling evidence that Planned Parenthood was selling the body
parts of aborted babies to fetal tissue procurement companies. The
investigation revealed concerning details of the practice in abortion
facilities throughout the US, often in violation of both national and
state laws and regulations.
the last year, the Select Panel's relentless fact-finding investigation
has laid bare the grisly reality of an abortion industry that is driven
by profit, unconcerned by matters of basic ethics and, too often,
noncompliant with the few laws we have to protect the safety of women
and their unborn children. I have never shied away from my own pro-life
views, but the findings of this panel should incense all people of
conscience," said Congresswoman Diane Black. The committee's report included 15 criminal and regulatory referrals to the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, and several state attorney generals.
The report also issued recommendations for ways to properly and ethically advance science and innovative therapies. "It
is my hope that our recommendations will result in some necessary
changes within both the abortion and fetal tissue procurement
industries. Our hope is that these changes will both protect women and
their unborn children, as well as the integrity of scientific research," said Committee Chairwoman Marsha Blackburn.
Virginia: House Passes Resolution Marking Jan 22 a 'Day of Tears'
The Virginia House of Delegates approved a resolution calling the January 22nd
anniversary of the Supreme Court's rulings legalizing abortion a "Day
of Tears". The resolution stated "that the citizens of the Commonwealth
of Virginia are encouraged to lower their flags to half-staff to mourn
the innocents who have lost their lives to abortion". The measure passed
by a vote of 57-36. "By making a visual step in support of life,
hopefully we can help save lives," said the bill's sponsor Delegate Ben
Kansas: Leading the Country in Most Pro-Life Laws
At a pro-life rally this month, Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas declared with pride, "Kansas is the leading pro-life state in America, and we will stay that way."
The state was ranked the second most pro-life state in the country by
Americans United for Life due to its many laws protecting the right to
life. "It has been my great honor as
governor, working with this legislative leadership and others, to sign
17 pro-life bills for the state of Kansas," said
Governor Brownback. The rally was held at the state's Supreme Court,
which is currently considering a challenge to a recently passed law
protecting babies from dismemberment abortion.
Arkansas: Governor Signs Bill Banning Dismemberment Abortion
A bill to ban dismemberment abortions was signed into law
by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. The Arkansas Unborn Child
Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act prohibits the use of dilation
and evaluation (D&E) abortions, a gruesome abortion method often
used in the second trimester. Governor Hutchinson said he believes the
bill is constitutional and would be upheld by any court challenges. The
new law, which passed both the Arkansas House and Senate with a large
majority, would go into effect this summer.
Netherlands: Establishes Abortion Fund to Counter Loss of US Funding
The Dutch government has established a fund for abortion in response to President Trump's reissuing of the Mexico City Policy. Lilianne
Ploumen, the Dutch minister for Foreign Trade and Development
Cooperation, launched the She Decides - Global Fundraising Initiative
to give financial contributions to organizations affected by the Mexico
City Policy and counter what it projects will be a loss of $600 million.
Ploumen committed 10 million Euro from the Netherlands for She Decides and said, "As
well as contacting a number of European countries that we work with on
these issues, we're also in touch with countries in South America and
Africa, as well as the foundations. It's important to have the broadest
possible support for the fund." She seeks to raise $600 million "within the next couple of weeks".
Luxembourg's Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, Romain Schneider, announced that Luxembourg
will strengthen its support for reproductive health and rights programs
and gives its political support to the Dutch initiative She Decides. He
also announced that Luxembourg will "revise upwards its existing contributions, in particular to the UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund)". The size of the contributions has not been determined.
Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo launched a crowd funding site for She Decides and announced that he
will host an international conference this spring in Brussels "bringing
together like-minded countries, organizations and private companies
that support the Global Fundraising Initiative She Decides. During the
countries can express their political and financial support, aid
organizations can map their needs in detail and private companies can
show their commitment.
I invite countries, organizations and private companies to massively
join and support the Global Fundraising Initiative She Decides. This
initiative is open to all who care about the rights of women and girls.
Girls and women should be able to decide when and how many children they
want. This is a human right."
meeting in Brussels "will launch a common strategy to limit the impact
of this American decision for millions of women and girls."
Dutch Minister Ploumen also sought support from Canada's International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau who stated that Canada
had already decided to increase funding "to support advocacy work for
women's reproductive rights and for the provision of comprehensive
sexual and reproductive health services, including safe abortion (in
jurisdictions where it is legal) and post-abortion care" before the
Mexico City Policy was reissued.
In regards to funding She Decides, Bibeau said that it has not been decided if Canada will contribute to the fund.
Denmark is reported to also be considering
supporting She Decides and its Development Minister Ulla Tornaes stated, "Denmark
will continue to be a strong international voice for girls' and women's
rights, including their sexual and reproductive rights."
Pro-abortion NGO, Rutgers Foundation, based in the Netherlands, will manage the fund.
Chile: Senate Instructs Commissions to Consider How to Legalize Abortion
Senate in Chile voted to advance a bill that would open the door to
abortion in this South American country that has banned all abortion
since 1989 and has the lowest maternal mortality rate in Latin America.
The measure would allow access to abortion for the first twelve weeks of
pregnancy in case of danger to the mother's life, in the case of
pregnancy resulting from sexual violence and for life threatening
disability of the child. The 12-week limit would extend to 18 weeks when
the mother is 14 years of age or younger. It has been referred to
Senate commissions which will work on the details of the next steps for
Michelle Bachelet introduced the legislation two years ago and in March
of 2016 the Chamber of Deputies voted to advance the bill. The vote in
the Senate follows votes in Senate commissions on health and the
Armenia: Danger of Sex-Discriminatory Abortion
Armenia was warned
that sex-discriminatory abortions are creating a grave gender imbalance
that threaten the very future of the country and could result in a
society of single men. The strong male preference in the country results
in pregnant women being pressured to have an abortion if it is known
that she is pregnant with an unborn baby girl. The birth ratio in 2012
was 114 boys born to 100 girls while the natural ratio for the country would be 102-106 male to 100 female births.
The warning comes from Garik Hayrapetyan, UNFPA's assistant representative for Armenia, who said,"In
10 to 20 years, we will face a shortage of women and-combined with a
dramatic decline in fertility rates-that will lead to a serious
demographic crisis. By 2060, some 100,000 potential mothers will not
have been born in Armenia. We will become a society of single men."
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