I was encouraged when, during a meeting with evangelical and social conservative leaders this week, Donald Trump reiterated the most important pro-life commitment he has made to date: that he would appoint pro-life judges to the U.S. Supreme Court.
To quote him verbatim, “We are going to appoint great Supreme Court justices… These will be justices of great intellect… And they will be pro-life.”
Mr. Trump also spoke about threats to religious liberty and how the federal government continues to threaten the ability of people of faith and conscience to speak out in the public square.
The conversation which started on Tuesday is far from over, but it is encouraging and important that it is taking place. Over the next few weeks and months, I will continue to encourage Mr. Trump to reiterate all of the pro-life commitments he’s made to date:
- That he will appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court.
- That he will advocate for and sign into law the Pain-Cable Unborn Child Protection Act that would ban abortions after 5 months — a point by which the science is clear: unborn babies can feel pain.
- That he will defund Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion business.
He may get another opportunity to speak to these promises on Monday, when the Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether states have the right to protect the health and safety of women inside of America’s abortion facilities and to require abortionists to be known to the local hospital and have admitting privileges in case of emergencies.
Mr. Trump has previously spoken at length about advancing women’s health issues. Here’s his next chance. Next week, I hope to see Mr. Trump acknowledge the reality that the abortion industry cannot be trusted to regulate itself. That’s why they have fought tooth and nail against these common sense standards in Texas and elsewhere. Consider that:
- In the last five years, at least 26 abortion facilities in a dozen states have shut down due to noncompliance with local health and safety regulations. We’re talking, in some cases, about even weaker standards than required by Texas’ HB2 legislation.
- After Pennsylvania abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s 2013 murder conviction, many states reviewed and strengthened their standards for abortion clinics. The Gosnell grand jury specifically recommended treating abortion facilities as ambulatory surgical centers — just like ones that perform colonoscopies, liposuction, polyp removal, and similar procedures.
It is a threat to women’s health and safety when we treat abortion differently than other invasive procedures.
We cannot be afraid as a nation to look into these clinics and hold them accountable. Kermit Gosnell’s house of horrors was only able to flourish because the state’s regulatory and health agencies looked the other way — or refused to look at all.
As a result, babies were routinely born alive, then killed; women were subjected to filthy conditions that spread disease; and mothers were permanently and, in some cases, fatally injured.
In upholding the Texas law, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that safety standards comparable to those for other outpatient procedures place no “undue burden” on women. They were right. Exempting abortion facilities from the standards that govern other ambulatory medical facilities actually discriminates against women.
I hope to see Donald Trump speak out for women and against the abortion industry when the Supreme Court issues its decision on this important law. The abortion lobby’s opposition to reasonable, common-sense safeguards for women reveals the true nature of its for-profit business model.
Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life organization dedicated to electing leaders and advancing legislation to reduce and ultimately end abortion.