For the first time in nearly a decade, a sitting U.S. president has released a powerful defense of the “humanity of the unborn” in a declaration for the 2018 National Sanctity of Human Life day, which is Monday.
“Science continues to support and build the case for life,” President Trump wrote in his statement from the White House. “Medical technologies allow us to see images of the unborn children moving their newly formed fingers and toes, yawning and even smiling. Those images present us with irrefutable evidence that babies are growing within their mothers’ wombs – precious, unique lives, each deserving a future filled with promise and hope.”
Trump restored the practice of issuing such a declaration after it had been abandoned by Barack Obama. The first such declaration came from President Ronald Reagan and was continued by Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
The practice was ignored by Bill Clinton.
Along with abortion, the event addresses concerns for the elderly, infirm and disabled.
Trump’s reference to the advances of science is relative to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that created a “right to privacy,” which is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution the right to abortion.
Justice Harry Blackmun, who wrote the opinion, conceded that if “the fetus is a person,” the newly created justification for abortion would collapse, because the unborn’s “right to life would then be guaranteed” by the Constitution.
Kevin Theriot, a senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom and vice president of the organization’s Center for Life, said “all innocent human life deserves to be protected, and so does the freedom of those who selflessly empower women – at no charge – to choose life for their children.”
“As the president wrote in his proclamation declaring Jan. 22 to be National Sanctity of Human Life Day, ‘citizens throughout our great country are working for the cause of life and fighting for the unborn, driven by love and supported by both science and philosophy,” he said. “These compassionate Americans are volunteers who assist women through difficult pregnancies, facilitate adoptions, and offer hope to those considering or recovering from abortions.'”
Theriot said ADF is seeking to protect the rights of pro-lifers in the U.S. Supreme Court case National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra.
“In that case, the government is forcing pro-life advocates to provide free advertising for the abortion industry,” he said. “Americans shouldn’t be forced to communicate a message at odds with their core beliefs. Instead, they should be allowed to celebrate life on this day and every day.”
In his declaration Monday, Trump said: “Today, we focus our attention on the love and protection each person, born and unborn, deserves regardless of disability, gender, appearance, or ethnicity. Much of the greatest suffering in our nation’s history – and, indeed, our planet’s history – has been the result of disgracefully misguided attempts to dehumanize whole classes of people based on these immutable characteristics.
“We cannot let this shameful history repeat itself in new forms, and we must be particularly vigilant to safeguard the most vulnerable lives among us.”
The day is celebrated, he said, “to affirm the truth that all life is sacred, that every person has inherent dignity and worth, and that no class of people should ever be discarded as ‘non-human.'”
Therefore he wrote, the nation’s concerns include “the health of pregnant mothers and their unborn children. It animates our concern for single moms; the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled; and orphan and foster children. It compels us to address the opioid epidemic and to bring aid to those who struggle with mental illness.”
He commended the Americans who are seeking to protect the unborn.
“These compassionate Amerians are volunteers who assist women through difficult pregnancies, facilitate adoptions, and offer hope to those considering or recovering from abortions. They are medical providers who, often at the risk of their lifelihood, conscientiously refuse to participate in abortions. And they are legislators who support health and safety standards, informed consent, parental notification, and bans on late-term abortions, when babies can feel pain.”
The president said these “undeterred warriors, many of whom travel to Washington, D.C., every year for the March for Life, are changing hearts and saving lives through their passionate defense of and loving care for all human lives.”
On Friday, Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to address the March for Life in a speech from the Rose Garden that was broadcast live to the tens of thousands gathered at the National Mall.
“Though the fight to protect life is not yet over, we commit to advocating each day for all who cannot speak for themselves,” the president said. “I call on all Americans to reflect on the value of our lives; to respond to others in keeping with their inherent dignity; to act compassionately to those with disabilities, infirmities, or frailties, to look beyond external factors that might separate us; and to embrace the common humanity that unites us.”