Promises Made, Promises Kept: President Trump Has Delivered for Pro-life Americans and People of Faith

1. Conscience Rights and Religious Liberty

Issued “Free Speech and Religious Liberty” Executive Order

May 2017 President Trump signed executive order stating that faith-based employers and organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor cannot be forced to violate their religious beliefs in order to comply with laws like the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This order also guaranteed that religious institutions cannot be punished for taking a position on political issues and candidates. NBC News, May 17, 2017

 Launched New Conscience Rights and Religious Liberty Division

January 2018 Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) established first federal civil rights office devoted exclusively to enforcing conscience rights laws for healthcare workers. New York Times, January 1, 2018

Reversed Houses of Worship Disaster Aid Policy

January 2018 Federal Emergency Management Agency reversed policy prohibiting houses of worship from receiving disaster aid funding. ABC News, January 2, 2018

Established National Religious Freedom Day

January 2018 President Trump made January 16 national Religious Freedom Day to “celebrate the many faiths that make up our country.” Catholic News Agency, January 16, 2018

Established New White House Faith Initiative

May 2018 President Trump signed a second religious liberty executive order establishing a new White House office to protect and champion faith-based charitable and service organizations. NBC News, May 7, 2017

Issued Rules Protecting Employer Conscience Rights

November 2018 Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor Departments acted on President Trump’s request to issue new rules protecting employer conscience rights. The rules ensure employers cannot be forced to violate their religious beliefs to provide coverage for things like abortifacients in healthcare plans. HHS.GOV, November 7, 2018

Issued Rule Protecting Conscience Rights for Healthcare Workers

May 2019 Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule strengthening enforcement of 25 federal conscience rights and religious freedom laws protecting doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare workers. The rule ensures healthcare workers cannot be punished or fired for refusing to perform or participate in services that violate their religious beliefs or refusing to dispense life-ending drugs against their conscience. NPR, May 2, 2019

Defended Religious Liberty and Conscience Rights in the Courts

The Trump administration has repeatedly defended conscience rights and religious liberty in the courts, including:

        • Opposing laws that discriminate against students seeking scholarships at religious schools
        • Opposing the District of Columbia’s ban on the Catholic Lent and Christmas ads on Metro and busses
        • Opposing efforts to force Colorado baker Jack Phillips to run his business in violation of his religious beliefs.

Reestablished Religious Liberty as Department of Justice Priority

October 2017 DOJ released a memo outlining 20 core principles to guide Administration’s litigation strategy to protect religious freedom. Justice.Gov, October 6, 2017

June 2018 DOJ launched “Place to Worship” initiative to bolster enforcement of Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act to protect churches and religious groups from local discrimination. Christian Post, June 14, 2018

July 2018 DOJ launched a Religious Liberty Task Force to ensure that key principles of religious liberty policy are implemented and enforced across all aspects of DOJ litigation. NPR, August 2, 2018

2. Right to Life

 First President to Attend the March for Life in Person

January 2020   President Trump became the first president to attend the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C, telling the audience: “It is my profound honor to be the first President in history to attend the March for Life.  We’re here for a very simple reason: to defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential… I am truly proud to stand with you.” Washington Post, January 22, 2020

Issued Proclamation Establishing Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

January 2019 President Trump issued a proclamation to establish National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, stating: “We mourn the lives cut short, and the tremendous promise lost, as a result of abortion.  As a Nation, we must resolve to protect innocent human life at every stage.  As President, I am committed to defending the Right to Life.” White House.Gov

Pushed Congress to Pass Pro-life Legislation in State of Union

February 2020 President Trump used State of the Union to call on Congress to ban late-term abortion, declaring “every human life is a sacred gift from God.” You Tube, February 4, 2020

Protected Life in U.S. Foreign Policy

January 2017 In first week of his presidency, President Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy to prevent tax-funding of organizations that promote abortion as a method of family planning overseas.  The new Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy was expanded to cover more than $8 billion of U.S. foreign aid. The Trump Administration also successfully quashed attempts to make abortion an international human right through the United Nations. NBC News, January 24, 2017

Defunded the Abortion Industry in the United States

February 2019 The Trump Administration implemented new rules to prevent Title X Family Planning funds from going to abortion clinics and redirected the funds to community health centers.  President Trump also took action to allow states to exclude abortion providers from state Medicaid programs. NPR, February 22, 2019 Planned Parenthood Press Release, January 30, 2020

Ended Federal Funding of Research on Aborted Babies

June 2019 Trump Administration ended Department of Health and Human Services funding of research on human fetal tissue obtained from elective abortions and formed a Fetal Tissue Ethics Advisory Board to provide ethical guidance to researchers. NPR, June 5, 2019

Consistent Support for Pro-life Legislation

President Trump has repeatedly asked Congress to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a ban on late-term abortions and protection for babies who survive abortions.  He’s also vowed to veto any bill that weakens pro-life policies, including repeal of long-standing Hyde Amendment.  Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic House has repeatedly tried to repeal the Hyde Amendment, but has been stymied by the president’s clear veto threat. White, October 2, 2017 and The Hill, January 18, 2019

Recognized as the Most Pro-life President in History

The Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser and other pro-life leaders have called President Trump the most pro-life president in history. SBA List, June 3, 2019, Washington Examiner, January 18, 2018

3. Judges and the Courts

Transformed the federal judiciary

President Trump has nominated a record numbers of judges who will serve and uphold our constitutional rights for decades to come. Nominated over 194 judges who have been confirmed to federal courts.  One in four U.S. circuit court judges are now Trump appointees.  Pew Research Center FactTank, July 15, 2020

Promises Made, Promise Kept on Supreme Court Picks 

Candidate Trump was the first presidential candidate to release his list of potential Supreme Court picks prior to the election. He then fulfilled his promise to choose from that list when vacancies occurred.

President Trump appointed two stellar constitutionalist Supreme Court Justices in Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.  The president held firm and strongly defended Kavanaugh’s nomination when he came under unprecedented and grossly unjust attacks.

4. Coronavirus Response and People of Faith

Faith-based Institutions Eligible for Disaster Aid

President Trump insisted that faith-based entities be included in the CARES Act and be eligible for funding to help keep them afloat during the coronavirus crisis.  Faith-based non-profits were able to apply for the Small Business Administration “Paycheck Protection Program” and disaster assistance on equal footing with for-profit businesses.  This saved untold numbers of Catholic schools, churches, and charities from financial ruin, allowing them to continue to serve and to keep their employees working. GlobeNewswire, April 3, 2020

Protections for People of Faith

Attorney General William Barr, who has made protecting rights of people of faith a top priority at Justice Department, weighed in to stop state and local governments that unfairly penalized houses of worship in Covid-19 lockdowns Politico, April 14, 2020 

5. School Choice

Expanded tax-deferred education savings accounts for parochial school education

December 2017 Expansion of tax-deferred 529 education savings accounts that can be used for parochial school education CNBC January 26, 2018 USA Today, September 8, 2019

Insisted Catholic and independent schools be eligible for coronavirus Paycheck Protection Program

President Trump insisted Catholic and other independent schools be eligible for the coronavirus Paycheck Protection Program and other Covid-19 relief aid Catholic News Agency, April 27, 2020

6. International Religious Liberty

Appointed Top-Notch International Religious Liberty Ambassador

July 2017 President Trump appointed former Gov. Sam Brownback to be the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Well-known for his years of dedication to the issue and experience in advocating for religious liberty, Ambassador Brownback brought gravitas to the position. ABC News, July 26, 2017

Expanded “Watch List” for Religious Liberty Violations

December 2018 The Trump administration added 10 countries, including China, Pakistan, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia, to its list of “Countries for Particular Concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act for their violations of religious liberty and conscience rights., December 12, 2018

Hosted First Global Ministerial Religious Liberty Summit

 July 2018 The State Department hosted the first Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, featuring political and civic leaders from around the world. The result was the Potomac Declaration – an action plan for confronting international religious persecution, the International Religious Freedom Fund for persecution victims, and the Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Initiative for victims of ethnic and religious persecution in Northern Iraq.

Defended Religious Minorities

 Trump administration imposed targeted sanctions against top Burmese, Russian, Chinese and Iranian officials for their persecution of religious and ethnic minorities.  Reuters, July 16, 2019 New York Times, July 31, 2020 New York Times, December 19, 2019

Promoted Religious Liberty at United Nations

 September 2019 President Trump condemned China and Iran for religious liberty violations at UN Conference. Associated Press, September 23, 2019

Helped Free High-Profile Turkish Religious Prisoner

October 2018 Using sanctions and public pressure, President Trump intervened to help free pastor Andrew Brunson from prison in Turkey. New York Times, October 12, 2018

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