Reagan, Trump, and Abortion

“She was never very beautiful. That’s for sure.” In 2004, Donald Trump made this statement about Nancy Reagan. She was 82 at the time. 

These days, the news, radio, and internet echo and echo back again a roaring cacophony of such “Trumpisms.” It seems media attention ensnared the presidential candidate long ago, and he enjoys, especially as of late, creating controversy to capture the disdain of the American populace with little regard of whether it’s by representation or opposition. This week, however, the country paused for just a second to recognize the death and life of First Lady Nancy Reagan. For just a moment, amid the anger and hostility of today’s pop culture, our airways and search engines offered a quiet breathe of nostalgia. 

Pictures of the famous gaze the First Lady shared with the President reminded us that true love exists. No words quite express the palpable joy of when their eyes locked and their lips opened to an uncontrolled smile. There’s weight to such genuine emotion. It transcends our ordinary confines of the physical world, and it’s always very beautiful. For this love only grows from the recognition of dignity in another human being and not from the attraction that stems only from exterior appearances.

Allow, for a moment, such pictures of the First Lady to remind you or transport you to a more pleasant time in our culture. Not a simpler time, not an easier time, not a less dangerous time -- but undeniably a time when the voice of optimism spoke louder than that of anger and the appreciation of the beauty in every human life expanded popular approval. On September 21, 1980, the League of Women Voters held a presidential debate in Baltimore, Maryland. President Ronald Reagan, then a mere former governor, stood on the debate stage and in a rebuttal to his opponent’s pro-abortion response retorted, “I think all of us should have a respect for innocent life. With regard to the freedom of the individual for choice with regard to abortion, there’s one individual who’s not being considered at all. That’s the one who is being aborted. And I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.” 

In 1980, the willingness to protect human life gave voters confidence that if the president valued the most vulnerable, he would protect us all. Against conventional political tides, the former governor beat the incumbent President Carter on November 4, 1980. And in 1983, President Reagan became the first sitting president to author a book while in office, Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation. President Reagan exemplified what it means to be a Pro-life president by championing moral fortitude and encouraging the American people to value our fellow man, from our common beginning in the womb to our inevitable death.

With this thought, though, the noises of the present day get louder. And the torrid political landscape with its bombastic degradations and humiliations spewed from the mouth of Donald Trump can’t be ignored. On March 15th, voters in Florida, Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina, and Illinois will cast their ballots in the Republican primary. One important question to consider before voting, does this candidate embody the Pro-Life leadership of Ronald Reagan?  

The ready degradation of others does not elicit confidence in voters that the candidate will exercise strong leadership recognizing the beauty in all human life at all stages. But what is even more telling, is what Donald Trump praises -- the “phenomenal” judicial tenure of his sister and the “wonderful” work of Planned Parenthood. Both praises insult the intelligence of Pro-Life voters. 

Donald Trump praises his sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, as a “phenomenal” judge and recently even touted that she would be great on the United States Supreme Court. But in 2000, his sister ruled in favor of the legalization of partial birth abortion. In her opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Farmer, this “phenomenal” judge writes about how “dismembering” and “disarticulating” fetuses during all stages of pregnancy, even when that means “severing” or “deflating” a baby’s head, should be legal. This “phenomenal” judge writes how she supports a woman’s right to deliver a baby into her vagina, but then “kill the fetus” before the baby fully enters the outside world. This “phenomenal” judge writes that even when “the life of the fetus is terminated when a ‘substantial portion’ has passed through the cervix and is in the vaginal canal,” this does not transform the abortion into infanticide. This “phenomenal” judge writes about how she is “unpersuaded” that “ethical, philosophical, and moral issues” should sway her “legal analysis.” Being Pro-Life, we know that a fetus is a baby deserving of all the dignity given those already born. The dismemberment of a baby’s body, deflation of a baby’s head, and the murder of a baby moments before birth all ravage human dignity, to say the least. Would a truly Pro-Life leader describe this judge as “phenomenal” or does this display a characteristic disregard for humanity? 

Donald Trump unapologetically proclaims that Planned Parenthood does “wonderful things” for women’s health. These “wonderful things” remain mostly undefined by the candidate, but I opine this is not reference to the vending of infant body parts captured on video by the Center for Medical Progress, the testimony of how the organization misleads and lies to women by its former employee Abby Johnson, or the claims that Planned Parenthood does not even conduct mammograms. While the candidate supports the “wonderful things” Planned Parenthood does, Donald Trump asserts that he would not fund the “abortion part.” But we know that money, by its very nature, is fungible. Currently, the Hyde Amendment already forbids the direct federal funding of abortion, but reports estimate that Planned Parenthood receives $528.4 million each year in public funding. It is far-fetched in the extreme to believe that the abortion industry giant does not benefit from this funding in all respects, even if indirectly. Would a truly Pro-Life leader extol Planned Parenthood and forward this position?

When casting your ballot on March 15th, silence the noise and the banter, and remember these words uttered by a real Pro-Life leader: “There is no cause more important… than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings.” Voting Pro-Life always has been, and always will be, very beautiful. That’s for sure.

“She was never very beautiful. That’s for sure.” In 2004, Donald Trump made this statement about Nancy Reagan. She was 82 at the time. 

These days, the news, radio, and internet echo and echo back again a roaring cacophony of such “Trumpisms.” It seems media attention ensnared the presidential candidate long ago, and he enjoys, especially as of late, creating controversy to capture the disdain of the American populace with little regard of whether it’s by representation or opposition. This week, however, the country paused for just a second to recognize the death and life of First Lady Nancy Reagan. For just a moment, amid the anger and hostility of today’s pop culture, our airways and search engines offered a quiet breathe of nostalgia. 

Pictures of the famous gaze the First Lady shared with the President reminded us that true love exists. No words quite express the palpable joy of when their eyes locked and their lips opened to an uncontrolled smile. There’s weight to such genuine emotion. It transcends our ordinary confines of the physical world, and it’s always very beautiful. For this love only grows from the recognition of dignity in another human being and not from the attraction that stems only from exterior appearances.

Allow, for a moment, such pictures of the First Lady to remind you or transport you to a more pleasant time in our culture. Not a simpler time, not an easier time, not a less dangerous time -- but undeniably a time when the voice of optimism spoke louder than that of anger and the appreciation of the beauty in every human life expanded popular approval. On September 21, 1980, the League of Women Voters held a presidential debate in Baltimore, Maryland. President Ronald Reagan, then a mere former governor, stood on the debate stage and in a rebuttal to his opponent’s pro-abortion response retorted, “I think all of us should have a respect for innocent life. With regard to the freedom of the individual for choice with regard to abortion, there’s one individual who’s not being considered at all. That’s the one who is being aborted. And I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.” 

In 1980, the willingness to protect human life gave voters confidence that if the president valued the most vulnerable, he would protect us all. Against conventional political tides, the former governor beat the incumbent President Carter on November 4, 1980. And in 1983, President Reagan became the first sitting president to author a book while in office, Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation. President Reagan exemplified what it means to be a Pro-life president by championing moral fortitude and encouraging the American people to value our fellow man, from our common beginning in the womb to our inevitable death.

With this thought, though, the noises of the present day get louder. And the torrid political landscape with its bombastic degradations and humiliations spewed from the mouth of Donald Trump can’t be ignored. On March 15th, voters in Florida, Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina, and Illinois will cast their ballots in the Republican primary. One important question to consider before voting, does this candidate embody the Pro-Life leadership of Ronald Reagan?  

The ready degradation of others does not elicit confidence in voters that the candidate will exercise strong leadership recognizing the beauty in all human life at all stages. But what is even more telling, is what Donald Trump praises -- the “phenomenal” judicial tenure of his sister and the “wonderful” work of Planned Parenthood. Both praises insult the intelligence of Pro-Life voters. 

Donald Trump praises his sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, as a “phenomenal” judge and recently even touted that she would be great on the United States Supreme Court. But in 2000, his sister ruled in favor of the legalization of partial birth abortion. In her opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Farmer, this “phenomenal” judge writes about how “dismembering” and “disarticulating” fetuses during all stages of pregnancy, even when that means “severing” or “deflating” a baby’s head, should be legal. This “phenomenal” judge writes how she supports a woman’s right to deliver a baby into her vagina, but then “kill the fetus” before the baby fully enters the outside world. This “phenomenal” judge writes that even when “the life of the fetus is terminated when a ‘substantial portion’ has passed through the cervix and is in the vaginal canal,” this does not transform the abortion into infanticide. This “phenomenal” judge writes about how she is “unpersuaded” that “ethical, philosophical, and moral issues” should sway her “legal analysis.” Being Pro-Life, we know that a fetus is a baby deserving of all the dignity given those already born. The dismemberment of a baby’s body, deflation of a baby’s head, and the murder of a baby moments before birth all ravage human dignity, to say the least. Would a truly Pro-Life leader describe this judge as “phenomenal” or does this display a characteristic disregard for humanity? 

Donald Trump unapologetically proclaims that Planned Parenthood does “wonderful things” for women’s health. These “wonderful things” remain mostly undefined by the candidate, but I opine this is not reference to the vending of infant body parts captured on video by the Center for Medical Progress, the testimony of how the organization misleads and lies to women by its former employee Abby Johnson, or the claims that Planned Parenthood does not even conduct mammograms. While the candidate supports the “wonderful things” Planned Parenthood does, Donald Trump asserts that he would not fund the “abortion part.” But we know that money, by its very nature, is fungible. Currently, the Hyde Amendment already forbids the direct federal funding of abortion, but reports estimate that Planned Parenthood receives $528.4 million each year in public funding. It is far-fetched in the extreme to believe that the abortion industry giant does not benefit from this funding in all respects, even if indirectly. Would a truly Pro-Life leader extol Planned Parenthood and forward this position?

When casting your ballot on March 15th, silence the noise and the banter, and remember these words uttered by a real Pro-Life leader: “There is no cause more important… than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings.” Voting Pro-Life always has been, and always will be, very beautiful. That’s for sure.