In 2016, Trump secured the Evangelical vote with his abortion stance. Will he do it again? During his first three years in office, President Trump has embraced socially conservative policies, particularly on abortion. He has appointed judges who oppose it, cut taxpayer funding, and painted Democrats who support abortion rights as extreme in their views.
It was just four years ago when a political committee supporting one of Trump’s Republican rivals unveiled an ad slamming his views on abortion, complete with footage from a 1999 interview in which he declared, “I am pro-choice in every respect.” By 2016, however, Trump said his views had changed and that he was now opposed to abortion except in the case of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk. Despite his stance prior to running for president, Evangelicals have embraced him with open arms.
Since his January 2017 inauguration, Trump has worked to regulate and restrict abortion access using a series of rule changes that restrict the way taxpayer funds flow to foreign and domestic organizations that perform or promote abortions. Hours before his speech on Friday, officials at the Department of Health and Human Services threatened to withhold federal funding to California unless the state drops its mandate requiring private health insurers to cover abortion procedures.
Due to his follow-through on certain abortion-related policy promises, Trump has used the issue on the 2020 campaign trail to draw aggressive distinctions between himself and the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls, nearly all of whom support codifying Roe in legislation. He spent a sizable portion of his remarks Friday going after what he called the dangerous agenda of “far-left” Democrats — claiming that lawmakers in New York celebrated legislation allowing abortion up until delivery. This infuriated Evangelicals and nearly single-handily won the Oval Office for the current administration.
Trump wins the Evangelical vote with his abortion stance. Hence, many believe that Harris’s views on abortion will propel him to victory in the 2020 election. Evangelicals have already begun using abortion as a talking point against her. Evangelical leader Ralph Reed recently said:
These voters who are pro-life love Donald Trump and they will crawl across broken glass to get him reelected. Trump has masterfully capitalized on his pro-life position in a way I think no one could have envisioned four years ago.
Four years later and election season is in full swing. Joe Biden has officially chosen Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate for the 2020 election. Last year, Sen. Harris was a frontrunner among the numerous Democratic candidates running for president. However, Harris’s history as a prosecutor and attorney general in the state of California was a touchy subject and cause for concern long before her presidential campaign and is expected to be recirculated in the upcoming 2020 presidential and vice-presidential debates.
According to many in the Republican party, Harris is “without question the most radically pro-abortion candidate to run for president or vice president in the history of our country.” As a senator, Harris has cosponsored the most aggressively pro-abortion piece of federal legislation ever introduced, the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would override state restrictions on abortions in the last three months of pregnancy, well after fetal viability. The bill would invalidate any state law that prohibits “abortion after fetal viability when, in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating physician, a continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant woman’s life or health.”
Evangelicals cannot understand how anyone could vote for someone who is not vehemently against abortion. The reality is many Black Americans do not have the liberty of allowing one item, no matter how massive, to dictate their vote. There have been so many laws created to keep blacks at the bottom that this community must look at all issues before locking in a vote. While many have traditionally voted Democrat across the board, that stance changed long ago for others. Even still, abortion is not the only issue that concerns them. The Black community’s non-negotiables are centered on justice and equality. The dilemma many in the African American families has is once the baby gets here then they are forced to try and convince the world that the child’s black life matters.
In January 2020, President Donald Trump became the first sitting president to speak at the annual March for Life rally in Washington, and in so doing made a strong case before this anti-abortion group for his avowedly “pro-life” stance and actions as president. Critics have raised questions about the shift from his prior embrace of the “pro-choice” label, but many supporters say they are more interested in his current actions than what he may have done and said in the past. In 2016, Trump secured the election with his transformed abortion stance. Many Evangelicals are praying for an encore in 2020.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
US News: Trump, a Late Convert to Cause, Attends Anti-Abortion Rally
National Review: Kamala Harris’s Abortion Absolutism
Top Image by Shealah Craighead Courtesy of White House’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image by United States Senate – Wikimedia Creative Commons License
Featured Image Courtesy Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License