“Our nation is strong because our people are strong.” President Donald Trump opened his first official State of the Union address tonight, declaring the strength of the nation and his continued commitment to embody the beliefs that makes the nation strong. In the midst of reporting on his first year in office, the president honored several modern American heroes. The most emotional moment of the night wasn’t focused on tax cuts, job growth, or prescription drug reforms. Instead, it was based on a police officer and his wife’s inspiring adoption story.
Live Action News reported last month about Officer Ryan Holets and his family, who were willing to adopt and save a baby from a life of drug addiction and pain. Officer Holets said he heard God speak to him to adopt the baby of a pregnant heroin addict:
— New Day (@NewDay) December 1, 2017
President Trump had invited the Holets and their adopted baby, Hope, to attend his address. As he told their story and they stood from their seats next to the first lady, Melania Trump, the applause seemed more rousing than it had been previously. The president said:
As we have seen tonight, the most difficult challenges bring out the best in America.
We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story of the Holets family of New Mexico. Ryan Holets is 27 years old, and an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department. He is here tonight with his wife Rebecca. Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin. When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep. She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.
In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him: “You will do it ― because you can.” He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids. Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt. The Holets named their new daughter Hope.
Ryan and Rebecca: You embody the goodness of our Nation. Thank you, and congratulations.
Baby Hope, content in her mom’s arms, despite the thundering applause all around her, became a picture of the beauty of the pro-life movement. In a culture that would tell a woman to abort her baby because she’s addicted to drugs, because the baby may have struggles as a result and because the mother is not ready to raise a child, Hope and the Holets family displayed a culture of life instead through their adoption.
The president’s other comments related to life included his commitment to changing the face of prescription drug market, in which some lifesaving medicines are cost-prohibitive. He said:
We also believe that patients with terminal conditions, terminal illnesses, should have access to experimental treatment immediately that could essentially save their lives. People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure. I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time for Congress to give these wonderful, incredible Americans the right to try.
President Trump’s first State of the Union address contained reports on the same platforms on which he ran, and as he told stories of families who have suffered violence, firmly promising that lifesaving drugs would not remain so expensive (“And prices will come down substantially. Watch!” he said) — a major theme prevailing was the value of the lives of Americans, from the womb to the tomb.
While the president did not overtly list his pro-life policies, he highlighted the value of life. It’s likely that the timing of the speech contributed to this. On Monday, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was defeated in the Senate, where 46 senators voted to keep allowing children to die even though they can feel the pain of abortion — of being dismembered in the womb. This was likely raw in both Trump’s and Republicans’ minds. The Act was a bill Trump had indicated he would sign. However, the president still managed to make a dramatic statement about life as he held up the Holets as heroes of the pro-life movement and a reminder of the 180 degree shift his administration has taken to honor life.
The Holets family’s adoption story is a picture of the pro-life movement, and President Trump’s honor of the adoption of their daughter speaks to the continued pro-life agenda of the administration.