After a year of one of the most unconventional presidential primaries in American history, billionaire and political newcomer Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States last night.
During his remarks, he made a promise of particular relevance to the pro-life movement…
We are also going to appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution.
The replacement for Justice Scalia will be a person of similar views and principles. This will be one of the most important issues decided by this election […]
The death of Antonin Scalia in February intensified the Supreme Court as an issue in the election, ensuring that the next president’s replacement (on top of whatever new vacancies occur in the next four years) will either preserve the narrow 5-4 split between judicial activists who would uphold Roe v. Wade and originalists who would end it, or make pro-lifers a minority of three on the Court.
During the primary, Trump’s closest GOP runner-up, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, had noted:
We are one liberal justice away from the Supreme Court striking down every meaningful restriction put on abortion over the last 40 years. We are one justice away from the Supreme Court mandating unlimited abortion on demand up until the point of delivery with taxpayer funding and no parental notification,
Trump is running as a pro-life candidate, though doubts remain for some pro-lifers due to both his recent past as “very pro-choice” and a variety of statements he made during this election season. He impressed a number of skeptics in May by releasing a list of potential Supreme Court nominees, most of whom were reliable pro-life originalists.
During his speech, Trump also echoed the 2016 Republican Party Platform, which calls for repealing the 1954 Johnson Amendment that declares tax-exempt churches are “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”
This week, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life enthusiastically endorsed repealing the amendment:
The Johnson Amendment has no Constitutional basis. This is a message I have been spreading for years and is a focus of my book Abolishing Abortion (Nelson Books, 2015). There is no justification for either government censorship of the Churches or self-censorship by the Churches. I wrote the book, in fact, precisely to prepare Churches for this election year and to urge them to step up to the plate, stop the self-censorship, and open their mouths.
This provision is one of several that have led to pro-life advocates hailing the new platform as the “most pro-life” one in history.
As Live Action’s Danny David reported on Thursday, Planned Parenthood seems to take Trump’s stated opposition to abortion at face value.