The air is electric before the President of the United States takes to the stage at the 47th annual National March for Life. The vibrant and predominantly young crowd of more than 250,000 can hardly stand still because of the sheer excitement, myself included.
President Trump appears on stage while "God Bless America" plays, and he paces around with the kind of smile and swagger that few can carry off. We all madly clap and cheer, seemingly besotted by this playboy billionaire turned pro-life, and reportedly God-fearing, President.
Even before he even utters a syllable we love him. The fact he is there as the first President to attend the march in person, has automatically earned him pro-life royalty status.
And then there's the 6 home runs he's hit for life since taking office:
1. Judicial appointments. He has appointed 187 conservative / pro-life judges to federal courts, including 2 to the Supreme Court (which is crucial to overturn Roe v Wade and other abortion cases). These appointments are expected to make a generational difference for the pro-life cause.
2. Government foetal tissue research ban: The Government has ended the practice of foetal research using tissue from from elective abortions.
3. Defunding Planned Parenthood: Through legislative changes, the Trump administration has cut off access by Planned Parenthood (the nation's biggest abortion provider) and other abortion providers to $286 million of government funding.
4. Mexico City Policy: During his first week in government, Trump reinstated this policy which prevents US foreign aid being used to subsidise organisations that provide abortions overseas. Trump has extended this policy further again, so restrictions also apply to organisations that promote abortion.
5. Strong conscientious objection rights for health care professionals: Creating comprehensive legislation for full conscientious objection rights to abortion for health care professionals. Previously there were 30 different different pieces of legislation covering the right of health professionals to conscientious objection, and there were gaps, a lack of clarity and concerns by doctors who object to being involved with abortion, that they weren't properly covered.
6. Obamacare abortion transparency: Whenever Obamacare is used for an procuring an abortion, the Trump administration has mandated that it must be made clear, through the issuing of two bills by the doctor - one for medical care for the woman and the other for performing the abortion. Previously under Obamacare abortions were hidden as "medical care".
Trump also has the feather in his cap of bravely standing up to the United Nations on their global abortion agenda (aka, aggressive abortion mission), and has also informed the US Congress that he will veto any legislation that's even remotely anti-life.
This is the man that stands before us, a pro-life general, the "God bless Amercia" song concludes and when he speaks we love him even more:
"We're here for a very simple reason: to defend the right of every child born and unborn to fulfill their God-given potential...All of us here today understand an eternal truth, [that] every child is a precious and sacred gift from God....
"We are fighting for those who have no voice and we will win because we know how to win...."..
"Together we are the voice for the voiceless. When it comes to abortion, Democrats... have embraced the most radical and extreme positions taken and seen in this country for years...and you could say even centuries....
"Nearly every Democrat in Congress now supports tax-payer funded abortion all the way up until the moment of birth..." (the full transcript of his speech can be read here)
His speech is met with roars of delight, a few people shout "We love you!". It was beyond what I was expecting, and almost everyone I spoke with said the same thing.
Not surprisingly, the mainstream media were cynical about the President's attendance, painting it as an desperate grab for much-needed votes in an election year. But there is a lot more to it than that.
His administration's pro-life initiatives (listed above) implemented over the past three years strongly indicate that Trump is a committed to the plight of the unborn. That "pro-life" to him is not a vote slot-machine, but rather a premeditated and purposeful pursuit.
I concede that Trump does need the pro-life movement to vote for him en-masse to win the election, BUT the pro-life movement also needs Trump. He is the strongest and most pro-active pro-life US President, ever. By contrast the Democrats have have gone to a dark extreme pro-killing place. Indeed, each Democrat presidential candidate is supportive of access to legal, taxpayer-funded abortion up to birth.
Pro-life Americans only have one choice, and that is Trump, and they know it.
The pathway to stopping the slaying of the unborn in the USA is narrow, but clear, and Trump will play a starring role.
THE PATHWAY FOR ENDING ON-DEMAND ABORTION IN THE USA
PHASE 1 – Overturning Roe v Wade & Doe v Bolton
Roe v Wade (1973) is the landmark abortion case of the US Supreme Court, which ruled (the vote was 7-2) that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman's choice to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. It effectively struck down many (conservative) U.S. state and federal abortion laws.
Doe v Bolton (1973) was a case that was ruled on the same day as Roe v Wade, where the United States Supreme Court overturned the abortion law of Georgia. The plaintiff ‘Mary Doe’ was suing the state of Georgia as she had tried to obtain an abortion in her state of Georgia but could not do so easily. Like Roe v Wade, it created a dangerous, pro-abortion precedent where the Supreme Court rendered a state's restrictive or conservative abortion laws null and void.
Both these abortion cases, colloquially known as Roe-Doe, have led to the slaughter of 60 million unborn babies in the USA. These cases need to be overturned by the Supreme Court before meaningful and effective changes can be made to US state abortion laws. Although four US states have successfully passed “Heartbeat Bills” in recent years, they are being held up in the courts because of Roe-Doe.
If Roe-Doe were overturned by the Supreme Court, the states again would have the authority to make their own abortion laws as restrictive as they liked. The overturning of Roe-Doe is critical to saving babies and mothers in the US. This is why President Trump’s appointment of judges, especially Supreme Court judges, is so important. It is thought another 1 to 2 conservative judges will need to be appointed to the Supreme Court before Roe-Doe can be overturned. Judges traditionally can only be appointed to the Supreme Court when a current judge retires.
PHASE 2 – Most Republican states re-criminalising and rolling back abortion laws immediately
It is forecast that up to 50% of US states would roll back extreme abortion laws or recriminalize abortion almost immediately if Roe-Doe were overturned, because there are conservative Republican governors in those states.
Concurrently, there is a practical push to make there sure that there are more pregnancy support centres, and better supports for pregnant girls and women in schools and colleges. Similarly churches, individuals and families are encouraged to consider ways they can better support expectant mothers, new mothers and perhaps consider adopting.
PHASE 3 – Democrat states roll back of abortion laws later
Harder states like California and New York would not change their laws immediately, as the current governors of those states are rabidly pro-abortion Democrats. Over time as a political and cultural shift occurs, it is hoped these states will change their laws too.
The goal is that all across the USA, abortion would be both illegal (legal change) and unthinkable (cultural change). With Trump, and an on-fire pro-life movement all of this is within striking distance.
CLOSE TO VICTORY
The pro-life movement in the USA is at fever pitch, as they can see they are so close to toppling Roe v Wade and the abortion industry.
Conversely, they know if they don't hold at the election, much of the good work Trump has done will be undone by the next Democrat President. And they can forget about reversing Roe v Wade for at least another 8 years if Trump doesn't win.
The US election is set for 3 November 2020, and it feels like an epic fight of light versus darkness. The US pro-life movement is fighting for the next generation and their mothers while the Democrats are intent on taking new life.
US pro-lifers are fierce, organised and focused. I had the honour of catching up with some of them at the The National Pro-Life Summit - the day after the US March for Life.
The summit was attended by 3,300 committed pro-lifers, making it the largest pro-life conference ever anywhere in the world.
The first speaker, Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life, USA one of the conference hosts, encourages the crowd that we are so close to ending abortion.
“I believe…that 2020 can be the year we make history.. that we overturn Roe v Wade and Doe… I am determined to win. It’s not just fighting abortion, but winning against it!" she shouts.
We all cheer. We get it, Kristan gets it. Losing is not an option, we MUST win.
After hearing from many other excellent advocacy groups making a big impact, Abby Johnson (whose story formed the basis of the film Unplanned, who had two abortions of her own and was a Planned Parenthood director responsible for 22,000 abortions, and is now a passionate and prominent pro-lifer) takes to the stage.
“We have an election coming up in 2020. It is one of the most important elections of our time. We are this close to overturning Roe and Doe… Do you understand that? WE ARE SO CLOSE WE CAN ALMOST TASTE IT! It’s right there in our grasp.” Abby Johnson says.
“What does it mean if Roe Doe is overturned, does it mean that abortion is gone from our land? No, it means it goes back to the states. It means overnight about half of the states of USA would make abortion illegal.
“Data shows us when abortion is restricted abortion goes down and unplanned pregnancies goes down…. People start making better choices before a child is conceived.”
"You know abortion has a smell?" Abby says. "It smells like a mix of blood and death." The room goes deadly silent... “Lives are on the line this election…”
“You know people say to me ‘I don’t know how you can vote for that man [Trump]’...
“You know what, I don’t care what he [Trump] says on Twitter! I CARE ABOUT WHAT HE DOES TO HELP THE UNBORN!” Abby booms,
“If we get this wrong guys… if one of the Democrats nominees becomes our President, every one of the states' legislative efforts [to preserve life or support pregnant women], will be undone. Every one….They support barbaric laws.”
Message received loud and clear, Abby: It has to be Trump, Trump's our man. We lose every life advancement in the past three years if we lose Trump. There will be more babies killed for years to come if we lose. Vote Trump, work for Trump, pray for Trump, and expose those Democrats.
Susan B Anthony List (SBA List) was also one of the sponsors of the conference. They are one of my favourite US pro-life lobby groups because they were set up as the pro-life rival to pro-abortion EMILY’s List, and have committed US $52 million to help get Trump re-elected. Talk about bringing out the big guns! Meanwhile Planned Parenthood has committed US $45 million to help pro-abortion Democrats. The abortion giant is angry at the Trump Administration, as since Trump has been president Planned Parenthood has been stripped of US $60 million.
I caught up with a friend who is a manager at SBA List who said they are working in eight “swing states”, what we Australians term "marginal seats", and will be using extensive polling, door knocking, mailouts and social media to help Trump hold those key states. They have had a lot of success at previous elections. Republican politicians treat them with a great deal of respect; Vice-President Mike Pence said of them they are the most effective grassroots pro-life organisation in the US, while the Democrats fear and loathe them.
The March for Life officially concluded just past the US Supreme Court, an eerie building with “Equal Justice Under Law”, engraved in marble above the entrance – the place which signed the blood-stained death warrant of 60 million babies and counting. This day there is a stage set up outside and brave woman after brave woman takes to the microphone to share the story of their abortion or abortions. All horrible accounts of great loss and regret, but thankfully all found healing in God's infinite love and mercy. Many of the women said the names of their children they had killed, some with tears, some with brave but sad smiles - saying their children were in heaven. All in all it was a deeply solemn and moving time; a number of us in the audience shed a tear.
One story gripped my heart perhaps more than the others - it was a young woman named Keisha. She had a hard upbringing and had two abortions by the time she was 15. The first time she didn't even know she was having an abortion - the doctor tricked her. Then she had another two by the time she was 22 because of threats of homelessness, as well as being impoverished and single. During her fourth abortion she died on the theatre table and began to float out of her body. Looking down at herself she knew she was dead and called out to God in desperation – begging him for forgiveness. Somehow her life was spared and she turned to God with her whole heart. An amazing story; beauty for ashes indeed.
Like our young friend Keisha, now a shining light for life and truth, I can't help but think that Trump has had a miraculous revelation of God's mercy and love. His actions for the unborn are decisive and effective.
It's like decades of hard work and prayers are being answered before our eyes in this man, an unlikely hero for the unborn and women – who are, of course, the second victims of abortion.
There are skeptics about him, but whether President Trump's faith is genuine or not, is not my business. How he treats the unborn and pregnant women is, and in that regard he certainly is impressive. Very impressive.
I am immensely thankful for President Trump and the fiery US pro-life movement which is backing him. I am confident that this brave pro-life leader will be re-elected with God's help and the help of the pro-life movement, and very importantly that Roe and Doe will be overturned within his next term - eventually leading to the end of abortion on demand in the USA. What a wonderful day that will be! I also hope that President Trump's strong leadership and pro-active approach to protecting the unborn and pregnant women will inspire Australian conservative politicians, both at the federal and state level, to do the same. The unborn deserve the right to life, and as a nation we need to be doing more for the smallest and most vulnerable amoungst us.