Gary Bauer: The Pro-Life Case for Donald Trump

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garyGary: How can you as a Christian and a conservative ever consider voting for, much less endorsing, Donald Trump for president?”

This question, or some variation of it, has come through my Inbox or been asked of me in person many times over the last couple of months. It’s a question I have thought long and hard about, and my decision to support Trump for president is not one I came to lightly. But let me explain my reasoning as it relates to the most important issue we face: the defense of unborn human life.

First, let me state that in the primaries, I endorsed Ted Cruz, because I felt he would do the most to advance conservative values, and I felt he could win. I also felt several other Republican candidates — including Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina — had what it takes to be effective presidents who would advance the conservative cause.

But Donald Trump won the Republican nomination. He is the nominee of the party of Lincoln and Reagan and the only person standing between Hillary Clinton and four or eight more years of radical policymaking, particularly on abortion.

Barack Obama has often been called the most pro-abortion president in American history. But Clinton would be even worse. Dawn Laguens, vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, has said Clinton would be an abortion “champion” and that “She’s … hands down, the strongest nominee we’ve ever seen on women’s health and rights,”

Regarding the more than half-billion dollars of taxpayer funds Planned Parenthood receives annually, Clinton has said, “I would like to see Planned Parenthood even get more funding.”

Clinton wants to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of taxpayer funds for most abortions. The amendment enjoys strong majority support among the public and has typically gotten bipartisan support in Congress. But this year, Clinton added repealing Hyde to the Democratic National Platform and has pledged to eliminate it if she becomes president. By one estimate, the Hyde Amendment is responsible for saving 2 million unborn lives.

On a narrowly divided court, the next president will have an unprecedented opportunity to shape the Supreme Court for decades. Either Trump or Clinton will nominate one justice at the outset of his or her term. And, with two justices in their 80s, Trump or Clinton will likely get at least two more picks, and as many as four total. Hillary has made it clear that she would support only justices who would uphold Roe v. Wade and support abortion on demand.

She has said, “The only people that I would ever appoint to the Supreme Court are people who believe that Roe V. Wade is settled law.”

Trump, meanwhile, has produced a list of 21 conservative jurists, all of whom have been vetted by the conservative Federalist Society.

But don’t forget the other federal courts. President Obama has appointed 329 federal judges (including two Supreme Court justices), about one-third of the total. We can expect Hillary to appoint at least as many. Think the lower courts don’t matter? The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that pro-life pregnancy centers must promote abortion.

In August Clinton said, “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” so that women around the world can get abortions. Any Catholics, evangelicals and other people of faith who don’t believe their religious freedom will be threatened under Clinton should think again.

Some pundits have suggested that conservatives should focus on retaining control of Congress, where they can thwart any attempt by a President Clinton to pass liberal legislation. But she has pledged to bypass Congress whenever possible, just as Obama did.

Clinton has said, “If elected president, I will do everything I can to protect the president’s executive actions and go further to bring more people relief and keep families together.”

As New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has argued, “Asking Christian conservatives to accept a Clinton presidency is asking them to cooperate not only with pro-abortion policy-making, but also their own legal-cultural isolation. If you can’t see why some people in that situation might persuade themselves that Trump would be the lesser evil, you need to work harder to imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes.”

Do we know what we’d be getting with Donald Trump? Not exactly, no. But we know exactly what we’d get with Hillary, because she’s worked her entire career to promote abortion and to tear down freedom of conscience, and she’s vowed to continue to do so if she wins.

Trump has come to the pro-life position late, which makes some pro-lifers worry about how committed he is to the cause. But in the first chance he had to appoint someone to an important position, he choose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to be his running mate. Pence is not only a highly competent and consistent conservative, he is also proudly pro-life.

My supporter’s question about my support for Trump has taken on more significance now that we are only days from the election and polls show that it could go either way. This election is not about conservative purity but about which candidate is preferable to the alternative. This is especially true on abortion, an issue about which the choice could not be clearer.

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