SEPTEMBER 27, 2019
The U.N. Has Never Had a Pro-Life Champion Like Trump
By their own admission, the United Nations plan to impose abortion—which it calls “reproductive health”—on the whole world. It’s a project 25 years in the making, beginning no later than 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. (It was here that Catholics and Evangelicals were awakened by Pope St. John Paul II.)
This week, the United States officially joined the pro-life resistance. President Donald Trump told the U.N. General Assembly that “Americans will never tire of defending innocent life. We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand—right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life.”
Trump gets this exactly right. His statement was so on-the-money that I wish I could say I wrote it myself. All of us at the Center for Family and Human Rights have been making this argument at the United Nations for more than 20 years. I can tell you for a fact that not even George W. Bush ever gave such a passionate appeal to defend the unborn.
Less widely reported upon, but perhaps even more important, was a letter organized by President Trump and signed by 19 governments. The letter announced they will not even accept coded abortion language like “reproductive health” in an important new global document on health.
It should be noted that “reproductive health” entered into a hard-law treaty for the first time ever under Dubya’s watch. This was a disaster—perhaps the most significant pro-life loss at the U.N. ever. Gentleman George could have stopped it, but he didn’t. Trump, the so-called vulgarian, would’ve killed it dead.
We’re told ad nauseam by our moral, intellectual, and political betters that we ought to shun Mr. Trump. They tell us we have sold our souls for a bowl of pottage.
Evangelical policy mavens Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner are basically recycling the same Trump-bashing column over and over. National Review’s David French regularly joins in the anti-Trump fray. He’s astonished Christians could support Trump and says that, by our support for the President, we’ve utterly ruined the pro-life and conservative movements for a generation or more.
Note that Gerson and Wehner spent time in the George W. Bush administration; Wehner also served under Papa Bush and Reagan. I’ll say it again, because this is crucial: no American president has made as strong a pro-life statement as Donald Trump did this week at the U.N.—not Bush I, not Bush II, and not even Reagan.
Remember, Trump is basically going it alone here. Pro-lifers at the U.N. face stiff opposition from elements within the U.S. government (particularly the State Department) that view abortion as a sacrament. President Trump has had a hard time getting the bureaucracy to do what he wants. The much-ballyhooed pro-lifer Nikki Haley didn’t do a darn thing for the cause when she was our ambassador to the U.N. She went there to punch a foreign policy ticket and steered clear of the abortion debate.
What’s more, pro-lifers had to do battle with some of her staff and others in the State Department. One assertive pro-lifer, who had a top spot at the State Department, was chased out by permanent bureaucrats who ganged up on her. Yet another critical person at USAID was excoriated by the left-wing press for saying, “this is a pro-life administration.” How did the left-wing media learn of this faux pas? It was leaked by this woman’s colleagues, who are after her scalp.
Given the heated reaction to Trump’s anti-abortion language, even within our own government, it’s even more remarkable that Trump has pressed the issue this far. Even us veteran pro-life advocates at the U.N. are surprised by how far he has gone. These aren’t the actions of a politician who’s merely pandering to religious conservatives: Trump is a true believer.
Consider what we’ve been given in the past. GOP officeholders mouth support for the pro-life cause; then, when push comes to shove, they’re all too happy to sacrifice the unborn to a cause nearer their hearts (regime change in Iraq, for instance). I suspect that Nikki Haley is one such “pragmatic” pro-lifer—just pro-life enough to get our votes, but not enough to rankle the foreign policy establishment.
Trump, on the other hand, is defying both the U.S. and U.N. bureaucracies on behalf of the pro-life cause. Who saw that coming? Indeed, not a bunch of Catholic intellectuals (most of them friends of mine) who tried mightily to convince us it wasn’t the “Catholic thing” to support then-candidate Trump. I’m still waiting for some of them to admit that, perhaps, their calculations were wrong.
What happens next at the U.N.? The battle continues. No one thinks pro-abortion forces at the United Nations, State Department, USAID, and even the White House are going to pack their kit-bags and move along. Our opponents will only redouble their efforts. But, as we saw this week, pro-lifers have a resolved and unequivocal ally in the Leader of the Free World. Who would’ve thought,