Trump, Pence Say Unborn Lives Matter
As both White house counselor to President Trump Kellyanne Conway and Vice-President Mike Pence noted at the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., it is an important historical fact that when the Declaration of Independence was written that it was no accident that life was first among the unalienable rights we were endowed with by our Creator, before even liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Among the rights we enjoy and defend, some newly invented, is the right to an abortion found in the “penumbras and emanations” of the U.S. Constitution inventive Supreme Court justices. These days, liberty takes a back seat to the pursuit of happiness, or should we say self-indulgence, and the right to life the Founders exalted is denounced as the legacy of the allegedly anti-women old white men who wrote the Declaration and the Constitution. As Pence noted Friday, the first sitting vice-president to address a March for Life, the Trump administration is determined to restore life to its proper position of an unalienable right:
Vice President Mike Pence assured anti-abortion protestors Friday that their cause has friends in the new administration, vowing that it "will not rest" until the "pro-life" culture is restored in the U.S.
Speaking at the annual "March for Life" event in Washington DC, Pence proclaimed that "life is winning again in America" and outlined how the Trump administration would advance anti-abortion policies.
"Be assured, along with you, we will not grow weary. We will not rest until we restore a culture of life in America, for ourselves and for our posterity," he said at the event.
Pence, the first sitting vice president to attend the March for Life, vowed that the administration would work with Congress to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
While no federal government money goes towards abortions performed by Planned Parenthood, the organization can be reimbursed by the government for other health services performed for women who are on programs like Medicaid. Blocking that funding has long been a target for anti-abortion lawmakers….
Pence also praised Trump's signing of an executive order than bands U.S. aid to international healthcare organizations that provide or promote abortions.
"Life is winning again in America. Today is a celebration of that progress...That is evident in the presence of pro-life majorities in the Congress of the United States of America," Pence said.
And perhaps a pro-life majority on the Supreme Court as well? Roe V. Wade was decided in an age when you could argue that the fetus was a soulless clump of cells and get away with it. There was no ultrasound and no way to monitor the fetal heartbeat, or even to perform fetal surgery. We are now able to save premature babies at earlier and earlier dates. Should our right to life be determined by technology? What kind of right is that?
Viability was and still is a determining factor in limiting abortions. Many states have added restrictions on when abortions can be performed based on the ability of the unborn to save birth. But here’s a test for you. Take a full-term newborn and leave it alone. See if it feeds and changes itself. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized when Texas passed a late-term abortion ban, the humanity of the unborn was even grudgingly acknowledged by one of the majority in Roe V. Wade:
The 20-week benchmark wasn't pulled out of a hat. The respected University of Utah expert Maureen Condic recently testified before Congress that at 20 weeks a fetus can feel pain and has "an increase in stress hormones in response to painful experiences" along with other reactions that "reflect a mature, bodywide response to pain." It is her view that fetuses "deserve the benefit of the doubt regarding their experience of pain and protection from cruelty under the law."
The public would seem to agree, as the advent and advances of ultrasound have largely shredded the "clump of cells" argument of abortion proponents. A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll found 62% of people support the ban. Nationwide, even a recent Huffington Post/YouGov poll found that 59% support an abortion ban after 20 weeks. A Gallup poll late last year found that 64% think abortion should be illegal after 12 weeks....
Thanks to medical science, the time it takes for a baby in the womb to become viable is shrinking. It's been said that if the Supreme Court in 1973 had seen ultrasound pictures of the unborn, as is routinely done today, Roe v. Wade would have been decided quite differently.
Indeed, writing the majority opinion back then, Justice Harry Blackmun said: "We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins."
He also wrote that if the unborn life was proved to be a person, "the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed."
We may be only one or two more Supreme Court justices away, the fetus’ right to life being guaranteed in law. When President Trump issued an executive order restoring the Mexico City policy on funding of organizations that provide abortions, we got a clear message on his view of the humanity of the unborn. As The Hill reported:
President Trump on Monday reignited the war over abortion by signing an executive order blocking foreign aid or federal funding for international nongovernmental organizations that provide or "promote" abortions.
The so-called Mexico City policy, established by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1984, blocks federal funding for international family planning charities that provide abortions or actively promote the procedure….
I think the president, it’s no secret, has made it very clear that he’s a pro-life president,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his first briefing Monday afternoon.
“And I think the reinstatement of this policy is not just something that echoes that value, but respects tax payer funding as well, and ensures that we’re standing up not just for life of the unborn, but for also taxpayer funds that are being spent overseas to perform an action that is contrary to the values of this president.”
On the wall of the Jefferson Memorial are the words: “God who gave us life gave us liberty.” The two are inseparable. Slaves were once considered something less than human, as the unborn currently are. The Supreme Court, which gave us Roe V. Wade, once gave us the Dred Scott decision. A new decision may soon correct another gross injustice.
Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.