Donald Trump is the first U.S. president to have participated in the March for Life.* The event actually began 45 years ago, but no president has ever taken part in the demonstration until today. During his speech to the American pro-life activists, Trump established “National Sanctity of Human Life Day,” restating his firm opposition to abortion and his support for the battles dear to the anti-abortion world. “Americans are more and more pro-life. ... Under my administration we will always defend...the right to life,” the real estate tycoon explained.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services has overturned abortion guidelines that were established during the Obama administration. Conservative states, therefore, will be able to go back to interfering with organizations that provide services which facilitate abortion, making it more difficult to operate within their own walls. According to the new regulation, as reported by The Guardian, “...hospitals, universities, clinics and other entities that receive funding from HHS programs like Medicare and Medicaid must certify that they comply with some 25 federal laws protecting conscience and religious rights. Most such laws address medical procedures such as abortion, sterilization and assisted suicide.” So, it’s going to be an uphill struggle for Planned Parenthood and other such organizations.
Meanwhile, President Trump has been named the Pro-Life Person of the Year by a nongovernmental organization. Operation Rescue bestowed this recognition on the real estate tycoon for a few reasons. According to the organization, Trump has honored his commitments to bioethical issues made during his election campaign. He has appointed several anti-abortion dignitaries to top positions in America’s institutions (the Supreme Court and the president’s administration). He called into question the allocation of public funds to pro-abortion rights clinics and protected the right to “freedom of conscience” asserted by American medical personnel.
Positive reaction to Trump’s participation in the March for Life has also come from the Italian pro-life sphere: “The president’s participation is the fruit of a cultural, social, media and, ultimately, political effort that has taken decades to mature since the Supreme Court magically found the right to abort a child in the Constitution,” Filippo Savarese from CitizenGo Italia said on Facebook. “It's an effort begun in and through the awareness of having to start from the bottom, returning to testify to entire generations the meaning of life, freedom, responsibility and the common good. Generations are considering this evidence increasingly credible compared to the proclamations of death and the culture of waste that is passed off as an alternative,” explained the Italian activist.
After all, former President Obama’s health care law constituted reform for the pro-life faction. Among the regulations put in place by that mass of legislation so typical of the Democratic Party was the obligation of companies to supply their employees with contraceptives and abortion pills. At the time, the Supreme Court blocked that part of the reform. But the anti-abortion rights culture, under the Obama administration, was supported culturally and economically anyway.
Trump, on the other hand, restored the law that blocks grants for nongovernmental organizations that perform abortions or provide information on abortions outside U.S. borders. Needless to say, the Obama administration had halted the law blocking funding in 2009 reversing previous Republican action. Lastly, the United States president, at precisely the same time of the March for Life, directed the Senate to approve a law prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks. The bill which was passed by the House of Representatives in October, is now stalled in the Senate.** The situation created by the government shutdown will complicate things further.
*Editor’s note: The March for Life is an annual rally protesting both the practice and legality of abortion, held in Washington, D.C., on or around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision decriminalizing abortion.
**Editor’s note: The Senate on Jan. 29, 2018 voted to block the abortion bill from advancing.