No one would have expected that President Donald Trump with his chequered marital history and colourful past would have turned out to be a champion of pro-life values, but that is exactly what he has become, and he has become an even more committed champion than past pro-life Republican Presidents.
In his first weekday as President his White House reverted to the pro-life Mexico City policy of blocking any US money going to US or foreign groups that perform or promote abortion in other countries. This immediately ended President Obama’s policy of funding abortion overseas through groups like International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Previous Republican Presidents had blocked US aid from going to foreign groups that perform or promote abortion, but Trump’s White House went further than Presidents Bush and Reagan. For the first time Trump didn't just bring $600 million in taxpayer funding under the authority of the pro-life rule, but $8.8 billion from the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, and Defence. That's almost 15 times more money flowing through the abortion ban than President Bush's policy.
Liberals nearly had public seizures - “ the US is ending its global health outreach – PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE without America's help, the sky is falling in” etc. As usual, it was fake news. President Trump didn't cut international aid -- he expanded it. Now sick people don't have to compete with the abortion lobby to get real care. Dollars that would have been spent propping up the culture of death are finally going to projects that improve lives – not take them. (Remember those pictures of “health clinics” in Africa stacked with abortion pills and condoms but no antibiotics or bandages? )
A year into the Left's dire predictions, Trump’s new approach to foreign aid is working well. In a report by Secretary Rex Tillerson's agency, the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance is having the desired effect. It is tearing down the financial stranglehold that groups like Planned Parenthood had on developing nations, and it is sending a message to the world that America recognizes that all human beings have inherent worth and dignity. If President Trump wanted to discourage international abortion, liberals say he has - a former member of USAID's population fund, lamented the "huge, huge chilling effect" the White House's policy is having on abortion activism. So the freeze is working!
The Trump administration has managed all of this without any disruption to US aid – the perpetually agonised Left were sure that organizations all around the world would end their partnership with the US government if they had to abide by the new pro-life rules but out of the 733 groups that provide foreign aid, only four refused to comply – including abortion giants Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International. (Surprise! Surprise!). So far, they're the only ones more interested in destroying babies than helping those in need.
Meanwhile a number of helping agencies in developing countries have cheered President Trump’s policy. Carmel Nisha Pius Franco, director of a pro-life organization in India, pointed out:
Indian women need life, dignity, education and empowerment, not abortion. We have been exploited through decades-long population control propaganda which has resulted in at least 300 million abortions - 16 million abortions being performed in India in just one year . Americans do not want their hands in the blood of innocent children killed in India. Yes, we need to deal with development issues, but not by killing our children. Thanks to President Trump for setting things right.
(India also has a skewed gender ratio of births with only around 899 girls born for every 1000 boys due to sex-selective abortions.)
The message from Trump’s White House is simple: promoting health means protecting life. And President Trump has shown his sincerity by the statement he issued in October l, 2017, on Down Syndrome Awareness Month:
During Down Syndrome Awareness Month, we celebrate the significant contributions that people with Down syndrome make to their families, to their communities, and to our Nation. We also salute the family members, caregivers, medical professionals, and advocates who have dedicated themselves to ensuring that these extraordinary people enjoy lives filled with love and increasing opportunity. As a result of these remarkable efforts, people with Down syndrome are living longer, more enriching lives than ever before.
This month, we renew our Nation’s strong commitment to promoting the health, well-being, and inherent dignity of all children and adults with Down syndrome. Through sustained advancements in education, research, and advocacy, we will further empower those with Down syndrome to pursue the American Dream of independence, pride in work, and full participation in civil society. We will also continue to increase public awareness regarding the true nature of this condition, and to dispel the stubborn myths about the degree to which it is disabling.
Sadly, there remain too many people – both in the United States and throughout the world – that still see Down syndrome as an excuse to ignore or discard human life. This sentiment is and will always be tragically misguided. We must always be vigilant in defending and promoting the unique and special gifts of all citizens in need. We should not tolerate any discrimination against them, as all people have inherent dignity.
The approximately 250,000 Americans with Down syndrome truly embody the great spirit of our Nation. They inspire joy, kindness, and wonder in our families, our workplaces, and our communities. We will always endeavour to make sure that their precious gifts are never maligned or taken for granted.
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