This continued vetting process underlines how, for pro-life voters, this presidential election may be the most difficult in decades. Try as many do to put a good spin on it, there are currently no good options for those of us who cannot compromise on the sanctity of life.
We are not alone in our feeling of dissatisfaction. According to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, 64 percent of registered voters answered “no” when asked if the presumptive nominees of both parties are “honest and trustworthy” In addition, a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll shows a whopping 44 percent of Americans want a viable third option.
On the one hand, we have Hillary Clinton, an unabashed proponent of abortion on demand—perhaps the most pro-choice candidate in history. She is uncompromisingly opposed to any legislative move towards protecting lives in the womb or regulating the abortion industry, even to protect and save women’s lives.
On the other hand, we have Donald Trump, who has shown that his pro-life convictions are on shaky ground—and negotiable, like many of his other policy positions. While the Republican Party has traditionally upheld pro-life values as part of its platform, its presumptive leader seems confused when asked basic questions on this issue, showing he lacks critical knowledge on what the pro-life movement really stands for.
A new Gallup poll indicates Trump specifically needs to improve his pro-life outreach. Yet for astute, committed pro-lifers, any outreach he does now would only seem like a ploy to gain our votes. It is plausible he will be the most liberal, pro-choice candidate the Republican Party has ever offered the American public.
The question remains: Will Trump actually help or hurt the pro-life movement’s decades of education and advocacy? We are committed not only to change the laws of our land, but also to change the hearts and minds of Americans, that every innocent life would be valued and defended. Standing against the prevalent culture of death takes conviction, not money or brashness.
As one whose own life was saved from forced abortion in communist China, I am exploring my options for whom to support this presidential cycle. Here are 44 reasons pro-life advocates are looking for another option for president:
Hillary Clinton’s Record on Life Issues
- Planned Parenthood endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries—a first for the nation’s leading abortion provider.
- Clinton has said abortion should be legal during any stage of a woman’s pregnancy for any reason whatsoever. She would not put any restrictions on a “women’s right to choose.”
- In speaking of Supreme Court nominees, Clinton said, “We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed.” Her Supreme Court justice picks will be, without question, extreme pro-abortion supporters.
- Clinton’s views are in fact in line with the Democratic Party platform, which supports aborting lives in the womb up to the time the child is born.
- In April 2016, Clinton said, “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights,” and that “the woman’s right to make decisions” trumps any rights the child has—including the right to life.
- Clinton has called abortion a “fundamental human right.”
- In March 2016, an investigative report found the Clinton campaign paid Planned Parenthood thousands of dollars for volunteering on behalf of the Democratic candidate.
- Clinton defends the violent (and currently illegal) practice of partial-birth abortion.
- She is happy her husband vetoed a bill to ban partial-birth abortions.
- In 2009, Clinton received Planned Parenthood’s highest honor, the Margaret Sanger Award.
- Clinton has said, ”I will always defend Planned Parenthood and I will say consistently and proudly, Planned Parenthood should be funded, supported and protected, not undermined, misrepresented and demonized”—even after the scandal involving Planned Parenthood illegally profiting from the sale of baby body parts.
- Clinton would repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits public funding for abortion services. Not only will she ensure abortion is legal in all nine months of pregnancy, Clinton wants taxpayers to foot the bill.
- Big Abortion is one of Clinton’s largest donors.
- Clinton compares pro-lifers to terrorists for wanting to defund Planned Parenthood.
- Clinton believes abortion must be a “core priority” in developing countries.
- NARAL Pro-Choice America endorsed Clinton for president.
- Clinton has a 100 percent pro-choice voting record with NARAL and Planned Parenthood.
- In 2015, Clinton slammed the U.S. House for passing a bill protecting pain-capable lives in the womb from late-term abortions.
- One of Clinton’s heroes is Margaret Sanger, racist eugenicist and founder of Planned Parenthood. She is “really in awe of” Sanger, whom she considers “one of the most transformational in the entire history of the human race.”
- Clinton has said if she becomes president she would ensure Planned Parenthood receives even more taxpayer funding.
- Clinton has said “religious beliefs” against abortion “have to be changed.”
- Clinton’s abortion views appear to have become more extreme. In 2008, she said abortions should be “safe, legal and rare, and by rare, I mean rare.” She has since dropped the “rare” rhetoric, saying in 2016 that abortion should be “safe and legal.”
Donald Trump’s Record on Life Issues
- Trump has said he does not support changing the laws on abortion, because right now “the laws are set.” The Susan B. Anthony List responded by saying if that was his position, he had “disqualified himself as the GOP nominee.”
- Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Planned Parenthood, saying it “does a lot of good,” “does do wonderful things,” and “does a really good job.”
- Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood, thanked Trump for praising her organization—which named Trump their favorite Republican candidate this cycle.
- Trump has said his sister Maryanne Trump Barry, who supports partial-birth abortion, would make a “phenomenal” Supreme Court justice. He reportedly changed his mind a few months later.
- When Trump released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court nominees on May 18, many praised the judges listed for their strong records. Within hours of releasing the list, Trump walked back his commitment to nominate one of these judges.
- Trump has profited from female exploitation, as the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, became the city’s first casino to have an in-house strip club in 2013. Many pro-life leaders connect the issues of sex trafficking and abortion.
- In his 2000 book “The America We Deserve,” Trump wrote, “I support a woman’s right to choose, but I am uncomfortable with the procedures.” Since then, he says his views have “evolved.”
- Known for generating news from his tweets, Trump was oddly silent on one trending topic. During this year’s March for Life, all other conservative candidates celebrated the thousands gathered to defend innocent lives, while Trump said nothing.
- Trump has said he’d “absolutely” liberalize the pro-life platform of the Republican Party to include the exceptions of rape, incest, and the life of the mother.
- Trump has said he supports the status quo of funding Planned Parenthood as it is currently being funded. Yet when he was forced to clarify his stance, he finally said he would sign a bill to defund it if he became president.
- Trump said he became pro-life because one of his friends planned on aborting a child, but decided against it, as the daughter turned out to be a “superstar.” Yet what does he think should happen to vulnerable babies with disabilities who aren’t considered “winners”?
- Trump spreads the lie that abortion is a “fairly small part” of what Planned Parenthood does.
- Trump has said there should be “some sort of punishment” for women who have abortions—a view the pro-life movement largely does not support.
- When Trump was asked whether he believes abortion is murder in the early stages of pregnancy, he said “No.” He has said a baby becomes a person “as the process goes along.”
- Trump’s position on abortion evolves depending on the day. For example, he took five different positions on the issue in a span of three days in March and April of this year.
- Trump has donated at least $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, which supports abortion overseas.
- Trump has donated thousands of dollars multiple times to his pro-choice opponent, Hillary Clinton.
- Trump has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to pro-choice Democratic politicians over the years.
- In his only congressional primary endorsement to date, Trump backed Rep. Renee Ellmers—who actively worked against the pro-life movement’s top legislative priority in 2015. When votes were tallied in the North Carolina Second District primary election, Ellmers lost to the candidate endorsed by Susan B. Anthony List.
- In his book “The Art of the Deal,” Trump wrote, “If I told the real stories of my experiences with women, often seemingly very happily married and important women, this book would be a guaranteed best-seller.” Such cavalier dishonor of women and sacred marriage bonds is antithetical to a culture of life.
- Trump claims “millions and millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood” because it provides women’s health care like cervical cancer and breast cancer treatments. Yet its CEO has admitted Planned Parenthood has never even provided mammograms.
- Despite what Trump has said about what he believes about the sanctity of life and abortion, he has not done anything substantial or noteworthy to further the pro-life cause to date.
This will indeed be a confounding presidential election for pro-life voters, considering the current candidates. Can I in clear conscience vote for either Clinton or Trump with what is plainly documented about their pro-choice views?
As citizens of a democratic republic, we have a great privilege and responsibility to stay engaged in the electoral process. Unless something drastic changes, at this point I am prayerfully exploring my options.