Donald Trump – 1

Donald Trump and Pro-Life

A lot has been made about Donald Trump being pro-life and is one of the reasons most white evangelicals voted for him back in 2016. He has said many things that have pleased Christians regarding abortion, but whether, like many other politicians, they have become law and change has happened is another matter! In researching US Government and other websites to identify the appropriate legislation is not easy, partly because some of it is ‘hidden’ in laws which cover a number of different issues.

So, what I have done is to, first provide an overview of all the legislation passed by Donald Trump in comparison to the previous three presidents. Then, I put the word ‘abortion’ in the search box on the US Government Tracker website and it came up with 34 Bills, many of whom overlap, and it looks like most of them will not pass, based on previous attempts, especially with the Democrats in control of the House of Representatives and Republicans the Senate, but only just.

So far there has been very little actual legislation has been signed into law as demonstrated by the following article:

 

Chicago Sun-Times

Trump, who once called himself ‘pro-choice,’ steps to forefront of anti-abortion movement

Laurie Kellman, Associated Press
Friday, February 8, 2019   

He once called himself “pro-choice.” But a year into his presidency, Donald Trump is stepping to the forefront of his administration’s efforts to roll back abortion rights.

And though his record is mixed and a midterm election looms, abortion opponents say they have not felt so optimistic in at least a decade.

“I don’t think anybody thinks that the White House is a perfectly regimented and orderly family … but that doesn’t change their commitment to the issue,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, which is expanding its door-knocking operation across states with Senate incumbents who have voted for abortion rights.

With a Republican-controlled Congress at his back on this issue, Trump is cementing his turnaround on abortion with a video address Friday to the annual March to Life. That’s a symbolic change from last year, when Vice President Mike Pence — in practical terms, the leader of the anti-abortion movement in the United States — addressed the group in Trump’s absence.

“In one short year, President Donald Trump has made a difference for life,” Pence told march leaders Thursday night.

Trump has given anti-abortion activists a few key victories.

Chief among them: the confirmation of conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Trump also has revived and expanded a ban on sending U.S. aid to groups overseas that provide abortion counseling. And he signed legislation allowing states to withhold federal family planning dollars from clinics that provide abortion services. The administration has made its priorities clear in other ways, too — including appointments to key government posts and a new mission statement for the Department of Health and Human Services. The agency announced it is dedicated to supporting Americans at “every stage of life, beginning at conception.”

On Thursday, the administration announced the creation of a new office to protect the religious rights of medical providers, including those who oppose abortion. Supporters of abortion rights say it adds up to a president doing administratively what he’s often failed to accomplish through Congress.

“Time and again, we have seen this administration radically redefine religious freedom to impose one set of ultraconservative beliefs on all Americans,” said Sarah Hutchinson Ratcliffe, vice president of Catholics for Choice.

Trump has failed to deliver on promises to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding or permanently ban taxpayer dollars from being used for abortions. The effort to defund Planned Parenthood, for example, failed with the Republican effort to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Behind the mixed record is Trump’s complicated personal history on abortion. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway says his transformation from supporting to opposing abortion rights dates back to at least 2011. And while she says he has shown his commitment to the anti-abortion movement “early and often,” he has at times seemed uncomfortable with the issue.

Dannenfelser recalls her struggle in 2016 after the SBA List told GOP primary voters in Iowa and elsewhere that Trump could not be trusted on the issue. But Trump’s pro-choice Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, made the choice easy, Dannenfelser recalled. One wobble came in October, when the “Access Hollywood” recording was released with Trump’s voice boasting of assaulting women. He denied having done so; and a conversation with an aide to Pence helped Dannenfelser stay aboard.

A year into Trump’s term, abortion opponents see the stall of anti-abortion legislation as a product of the slim Republican majority in the Senate. So, they’re focusing on the midterm elections. Conway says abortion is a key part of discussions with prospective GOP candidates. And groups like the SBA List are boosting their ground games in an effort to turn out people who want to roll back abortions, including Hispanics, but don’t tend to vote in non-presidential election years.

The group’s band of door-knockers, who make about $10 an hour, are among about 220 canvassers on the ground targeting Democratic Senate incumbents in Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Missouri and North Dakota. A spokeswoman said the group is aiming to quadruple the number of paid canvassers in 2018 and expand its operations into Senate races in West Virginia, Wisconsin and likely Minnesota.

In Madeira, Ohio, on a recent chilly Sunday, Alison Pavlicek led a band of six women down Miami Hills Drive, to homes suggested by an app that tracks voter information. They knocked and asked people who answered if they were aware of Sen. Sherrod Brown’s voting history. Pavlicek said she sometimes looks for statues of the Virgin Mary in front of homes — signals in stone of residents “friendly” to the anti-abortion cause.

“People are really receptive now,” she said.

Polling shows Americans have complicated feelings on the divisive issue of abortion nearly 45 years after the Supreme Court legalized it in the Roe v. Wade decision. A recent poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that just over a third of Americans think abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. That includes a majority of Republicans and about 20 percent of Democrats and 4 in 10 Hispanics.

More than 6 in 10 say abortion should usually be legal, though that includes just a quarter of Americans who think it should be legal under all circumstances.

Overall, 62 percent of Americans say they disapprove of how Trump is handling the abortion issue.

But the anti-abortion movement is facing challenges. Groups that favor abortion rights, such as Emily’s List, dwarf their anti-abortion counterparts when it comes to raising campaign cash or spending on lobbying, according to OpenSecrets.org.

And traditionally, the president’s party loses seats in the midterm elections, especially when his approval rating is below 50 percent, according to Gallup. Trump’s overall rating has never risen that high.

Madeira, Ohio, resident Ginger Ittenbach isn’t so sure the Trump administration is to be trusted, and that makes her a key “persuadable” voter in the eyes of anti-abortion activists. She says she is “very much pro-life” — but voted for Clinton.

“There were enough other red flags with Donald Trump just in how he treated women,” Ittenbach, 52, said after talking with the canvassers.

This article was published in The Chicago Sun Times.

 

The overall picture regarding all legislation:

We’re two years into Donald Trump’s presidency, and during that time, he’s often bragged about how much legislation he’s passed. Although some of those claims have been patently false, and a quick comparison of Trump and Barack Obama’s legislative achievements shows that Trump, at the two year mark, is trailing his predecessor in terms of significant bills signed into law.

To be sure, both presidents signed plenty of small or moderate pieces of legislation — the kind that renewed existing laws, renamed post offices, and that kind of thing. Moreover, exactly what constitutes a “significant” piece of legislation will always be a matter of debate.

Nevertheless, it would be difficult to argue that Trump’s legislative accomplishments in his first two years come close to those that Obama signed during the same period of time. Let’s take a look.

Obama passed several huge and historic pieces of legislation during his first two years. The most obvious of them is the Affordable Care Act, which extended health coverage to 20 million Americans and, more broadly, fundamentally changed the way in which Americans receive health care. Eight years after its passage, it continues to be one of the most talked-about laws in American politics; some have argued that Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally lost her 2018 campaign, in part, because of her votes to repeal the law years earlier.

But Obamacare isn’t the only big piece of legislation Obama signed during his first two years in office. Just nine days after being inaugurated, he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, which made it significantly easier for workers to sue their employers for wage discrimination. Less than a month later, Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more casually known as the stimulus package, injected $831 billion into the American economy in a (successful) attempt to prevent a depression after the financial collapse months earlier.

Similarly, in 2010, Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This was a financial reform bill intended to reign in the Wall Street excesses that many blamed for the 2008 financial crisis. As with the Affordable Care Act, it was criticized by conservatives for being too liberal and, likewise, by liberals for being too conservative. Nevertheless, Dodd-Frank resulted in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the first government agency dedicated to protecting consumers from predatory financial practices.

During the lame duck session after the 2010 midterms, Obama managed to sign a few more pieces of major legislation into law: The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which had banned LGBTQ Americans from serving openly in the military, and the extension of George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the richest Americans.

So, how does Trump stack up?

The biggest piece of legislation signed by Trump during his first two years is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. A highly regressive tax cut, the law cut the corporate tax rate by 15 percent, slashed the income tax rate for top earners by 2.6 percent primarily, and implemented several other changes that, in totality, primarily benefited the wealthiest Americans.

That’s the only bill Trump has signed that, in terms of scope and consequence, could reasonably be compared to the Affordable Care Act or Dodd-Frank. However, he has signed a few smaller laws that are worth noting.

In August 2017, Congress passed a bill that both imposed new sanctions on Russia and restricted Trump’s ability to ease existing sanctions. When it landed on his desk, the White House called it “clearly unconstitutional” and said that it “purport[s] to displace the President’s exclusive constitutional authority to recognize foreign governments, including their territorial bounds.” However, Trump signed it into law anyway.

Trump also signed bills to provide relief money after various natural disasters and make it easier for the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire employees at that agency. And that’s about it.

To be sure, signing legislation isn’t the only way a president can leave their mark on America. Confirming judges, creating or eliminating regulations, appointing agency heads, issuing pardons, exercising prosecutorial discretion, choosing which lawsuits to defend and making foreign policy decisions are all other ways for presidents to affect change, and Trump has done many of those things, often with significant consequences.

In terms of signing legislation, however, Trump is not a force to be reckoned with — and any honest account of his first two years would conclude that, in terms of legislation, he’s had a far smaller influence so far than Obama did at the same point in his presidency.

https://www.bustle.com/p/what-laws-trump-has-passed-in-his-first-two-years-vs-obama-say-so-much-about-their-priorities-13186888

 

The only Pro-life law to actually succeed has been the following:

April 13, 2017: H.J.Res. 43 – “Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule submitted by Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to compliance with title X requirements by project recipients in selecting subrecipients”

This law reverses an Obama-era rule that prevented states from withholding federal funding to facilities that perform abortions, including Planned Parenthood. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote on the measure after two Republican Senators opposed it.

 

When it comes to other important issues which relate to pro-life concerns, Donald Trump certainly has brought into law much which favours ‘big business’ and the military. For example, military funding has had its biggest increase for decades, making the overall defence budget bigger than Russia, India and China combined!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

December 12, 2017: H.R.2810 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018

This law appropriates nearly $700 billion to the Department of Defense for FY2018. The annual legislation authorizes a major hike in military spending and exceeds the $54 billion defense budget increase requested by President Donald Trump for 2018 that aimed for more aircraft and ships. It fully authorizes a pay increase for service members, increased missile defense, and adds additional ships and aircraft.

This means that more money is being spent on killing others than on preserving life.

Guns

February 28, 2017: H.J.Res. 40 – “Joint Resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007”

This measure rolls back an Obama-era regulation aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of some severely mentally ill people. The regulation, finalized in December 2016, required the Social Security Administration to disclose information quarterly to the national gun background check system about certain people with mental illness.

Ownership of Guns should be abolished, especially as it is still possible to buy a gun, even if you are mentally unstable (see above). With shootings increasing, Americans need to not only stand up against the National Rifle Association, but also stop using the Second Amendment as an excuse to a ‘right’ to own a gun – the Amendment applied to a time when there was no proper standing army and police force to protect civilians from criminals and from the USA’s enemies.

The Police and the killing of civilians

The Officer Down Memorial Page reports 150 deaths in the line of duty.[22] The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund counted 144 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers killed. Firearms-related fatalities were the leading cause of officer deaths for the year.[

List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States – 1166

https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/

We should be concerned as much about abortion being wrong as killing civilians (most of whom were unarmed).

We also need to put the so-called ‘terrorism threat’ into perspective.

Terrorism

‘After sifting through databases, media reports, court documents, and other sources, Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration expert at the libertarian Cato Institute, has arrived at a striking finding: Nationals of the seven countries singled out by Trump (for visa restrictions) have killed zero people in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and 2015.’

‘Between 1975 and 2015, the “annual chance of being murdered by somebody other than a foreign-born terrorist was 252.9 times greater than the chance of dying in a terrorist attack committed by a foreign-born terrorist,” according to Nowrasteh.’

‘The 9/11 attacks were carried out by 19 men—from Saudi Arabia (15), the United Arab Emirates (2), Egypt (1), and Lebanon (1). The incident remains influential in how Americans think about the nature of terrorism; Trump’s executive order cites 9/11 as a prime example of the U.S. visa process catastrophically breaking down. But it’s misleading as a guide to where today’s terrorists come from.

(Yet we do not restrict trade and other relationships with Saudi Arabia, but we do with Iran, who have not sent any terrorists to the USA. Iran is censored for its nuclear policy, yet the USA still deals with all the other nuclear powers (Pakistan, Israel, France, UK, Russia, and China)

Nowrasteh found that foreign-born terrorists who entered the country, either as immigrants or tourists, were involved in 3,024 of the 3,432 murders caused by terrorists on U.S. soil from 1975 through 2015. But 2,983 of those murders came on 9/11 alone.’

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/01/trump-immigration-ban-terrorism/514361/

Death Penalty

Looking at another aspect of the pro-life agenda is the death sentence. How we can justify capital punishment is beyond my understanding, especially as it does not prevent any crime and often there are miscarriages of justice. The actual process of execution is barbaric. Fortunately, around the world and in the United States, numbers are going down as is the number of US states who banned the practice.

https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/Outcomes_of_Death_Warrants_in_2018

So, whilst it is good that Donald Trump has been speaking about stopping abortion, the whole pro-life agenda needs to be considered, and that includes violence, poverty and the environment. With a reduction in tax that really only benefits the rich and business, poverty is due to get worse. With the current administration not believing in climate change, and in particularly encouraging the coal industry, people will start to die from pollution and more extreme weather conditions.

On a positive note, it is good to see more help for Native Indians, Veterans and victims of Human Trafficking.

 

So, let us pray for President Trump that he will truly be consistent in protecting the unborn as well as the living, take care of your creation in the United States and the world, seek peace and partnership with all nations and peoples, control the excesses of business and government, bring people of all races together and lift the poor out of the poverty trap.

 

Appendix – bills due to be debated in 2019 regarding abortion:

  1. 119: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

Sponsor: Sen. Marco Rubio [R-FL]

Introduced
Jan 15, 2019
Cosponsors
21 (21R)
Prognosis
2%

 

H.R. 219: No Abortion Bonds Act

Sponsor: Rep. Jason Smith [R-MO8]

Introduced
Jan 3, 2019
Cosponsors
62 (62R)
Prognosis
2%

 

H.R. 20: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Christopher “Chris” Smith [R-NJ4]

Introduced
Jan 17, 2019
Cosponsors
91 (90R,1D)
Prognosis
2%

 

  1. 109: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2019

Sponsor: Sen. Roger Wicker [R-MS]

Introduced
Jan 10, 2019
Failed Cloture
Jan 17, 2019
Cosponsors
43 (43R)
Prognosis
2%

 

  1. 105: Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act

Sponsor: Sen. Marsha Blackburn [R-TN]

Introduced
Jan 10, 2019
Cosponsors
25 (25R)
Prognosis
2%

 

H.R. 296: Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act

Sponsor: Rep. Virginia Foxx [R-NC5]

Introduced
Jan 8, 2019
Cosponsors
86 (86R)
Prognosis
2%

 

  1. 130: Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

Sponsor: Sen. Benjamin Sasse [R-NE]

Introduced
Jan 15, 2019
Cosponsors
45 (45R)
Prognosis
2%

 

H.R. 611: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

Sponsor: Rep. Mike Johnson [R-LA4]

Introduced
Jan 16, 2019
Cosponsors
30 (30R)
Prognosis
2%

H.R. 962: To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.

Sponsor: Rep. Ann Wagner [R-MO2]

Introduced
Feb 5, 2019
Cosponsors
84 (83R,1D)

H.R. 956: To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit dismemberment abortions, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep. Debbie Lesko [R-AZ8]

Introduced
Feb 4, 2019
Cosponsors
21 (21R)

 

  1. 311: A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.

Sponsor: Sen. Benjamin Sasse [R-NE]

Introduced
Jan 31, 2019
Ordered Reported
Feb 4, 2019
Cosponsors
46 (46R)

H.R. 888: To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to allow for greater State flexibility with respect to excluding providers who are involved in abortions.

Sponsor: Rep. Sean Duffy [R-WI7]

Introduced
Jan 30, 2019
Cosponsors
14 (14R)

H.R. 833: To prohibit Federal funding to entities that do not certify the entities will not perform, or provide any funding to any other entity that performs, an abortion.

Sponsor: Rep. Vicky Hartzler [R-MO4]

Introduced
Jan 29, 2019
Cosponsors
60 (60R)

 

H.Res. 102: Providing for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 962) to amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempt

Sponsor: Rep. Steve Scalise [R-LA1]

Introduced
Feb 6, 2019
Cosponsors
0

 

  1. 194: Child Custody Protection Act of 2019

Sponsor: Sen. Robert “Rob” Portman [R-OH]

Introduced
Jan 19, 2019
Cosponsors
0
Prognosis
2%

 

H.R. 634: Ultrasound Informed Consent Act

Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Duncan [R-SC3]

Introduced
Jan 17, 2019
Cosponsors
16 (16R)
Prognosis
2%

 

  1. 160: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Sponsor: Sen. Lindsey Graham [R-SC]

Introduced
Jan 16, 2019
Cosponsors
44 (44R)
Prognosis
2%

 

H.R. 708: Taxpayer Conscience Protection Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Pete Olson [R-TX22]

Introduced
Jan 22, 2019
Cosponsors
18 (18R)
Prognosis
2%

 

  1. 182: PRENDA

Sponsor: Sen. John Kennedy [R-LA]

Introduced
Jan 17, 2019
Cosponsors
3 (3R)
Prognosis
2%

 

H.R. 490: Heartbeat Protection Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Steve King [R-IA4]

Introduced
Jan 11, 2019
Cosponsors
80 (80R)
Prognosis
2%

 

H.R. 661: Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Virginia Foxx [R-NC5]

Introduced
Jan 17, 2019
Cosponsors
20 (20R)
Prognosis
2%

 

  1. 190: Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Act of 2019

Sponsor: Sen. Mike Lee [R-UT]

Introduced
Jan 17, 2019
Cosponsors
31 (31R)
Prognosis
2%

 

  1. 183: Conscience Protection Act of 2019

Sponsor: Sen. James Lankford [R-OK]

Introduced
Jan 17, 2019
Cosponsors
23 (23R)
Prognosis
2%

 

H.R. 573: Protecting Life and Integrity in Research Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer [R-MO3]

Introduced
Jan 15, 2019
Cosponsors
34 (34R)
Prognosis
2%

 

H.Res. 50: Memorializing the unborn by lowering the United States flag to half-staff on the 22d day of January each year.

Sponsor: Rep. Jody Hice [R-GA10]

Introduced
Jan 16, 2019
Cosponsors
4 (4R)

 

S.Res. 20: A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy should be permanently established.

Sponsor: Sen. Mike Lee [R-UT]

Introduced
Jan 17, 2019
Cosponsors
31 (31R)

 

H.R. 437: Safe RESEARCH Act

Sponsor: Rep. James Sensenbrenner [R-WI5]

Introduced
Jan 10, 2019
Cosponsors
15 (15R)
Prognosis
2%

 

H.R. 369: Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Vicky Hartzler [R-MO4]

Introduced
Jan 9, 2019
Cosponsors
112 (112R)
Prognosis
2%

 

H.J.Res. 36: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to parental rights.

Sponsor: Rep. Jim Banks [R-IN3]

Introduced
Jan 30, 2019
Cosponsors
15 (15R)
  1. 141: Protect Funding for Women’s Health Care Act

Sponsor: Sen. Joni Ernst [R-IA]

Introduced
Jan 16, 2019
Cosponsors
34 (34R)
Prognosis
2%

 

H.R. 671: Protecting the Dignity of Unborn Children Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Robert Latta [R-OH5]

Introduced
Jan 17, 2019
Cosponsors
40 (40R)
Prognosis
2%

 

H.R. 264: Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Mike Quigley [D-IL5]

Introduced
Jan 8, 2019
Passed House (Senate next)
Jan 9, 2019
Cosponsors
0
Prognosis
2%

 

H.R. 21: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Nita Lowey [D-NY17]

Introduced
Jan 3, 2019
Passed House (Senate next)
Jan 3, 2019
Cosponsors
0
Prognosis
61%

 

H.R. 648: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Nita Lowey [D-NY17]

Introduced
Jan 17, 2019
Passed House (Senate next)
Jan 23, 2019
Cosponsors
0
Prognosis
2%

 

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/browse?congress=116&text=ABORTION#sort=relevance