January 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The pro-life movement can make major progress during Donald Trump’s presidency but must “re-triple” rather than relax its efforts, according to New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith.
Smith, who chairs the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, told LifeSiteNews, “Even though the election is months ago, need to realize we evaded an existential threat to the unborn child in the United States and overseas.”
“The Hyde Amendment, as we know from Michael New’s report from the Charlotte Lozier [Institute], is saving about 60,000 unborn babies every year – two million since 1976 when it was enacted,” he explained. “And that was all going to be eliminated had Hillary Clinton won. Pro-lifers need to realize that we evaded…the worst setback for the pro-life movement ever, had she won.”
The 2016 Democratic Party platform was the most pro-abortion in its history. It called for taxpayer funding of abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy in the United States and overseas.
On Tuesday, the House will vote on Smith's bill, HR 7, called the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act. The bill, he says, “would make the Hyde Amendment and every other rider on funding bans in the federal government permanent…rather than being subject to an annual appropriations” battle.
Smith pointed out that the majority of Americans don’t want to fund abortions with their tax dollars. A January 2017 Marist poll revealed 83% of Americans don’t support the U.S. government promoting and enabling abortion overseas, and 61% don’t support using tax dollars to pay for abortions.
On Monday, Trump re-enacted the Mexico City Policy, which bans government funding of foreign pro-abortion groups like the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
The No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act would also take abortion funding out of Obamacare while its replacement is decided upon.
“I am absolutely committed to repeal and replace” Obamacare, said Smith. “No one knows how quickly the replace part will actually occur, and so there may be a lag time. Well, in the meantime, the unborn child is about to be killed with public funding. We need to enact a statute that takes abortion out of…Obamacare.”
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 1,036 of Obamacare plans sold in 2014 included abortion on demand. Other Obamacare plans lack transparency on their abortion funding.
Another major legislative priority for Smith is passing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end late-term abortions on babies five months along in the womb. One of Trump’s pro-life promises was to sign this into law. Numerous polls show Americans favor restricting late-term abortion.
“It finally takes the state of the art medical science concerning the excruciating pain that unborn children face while they’re being dismembered or otherwise killed from at least the 20th week on and perhaps earlier,” said Smith. “It would be a major step forward, I think, in at least protecting some children from the violence of abortion.”
He said a “serious flaw” must be corrected in the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which protects children born during failed abortions from infanticide.
“That is: who enforces it?” asked Smith.
Smith expressed his confidence in Congressional pro-life leadership and the commitment of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI, to funding federally qualified community health centers instead of Planned Parenthood.
“Planned Parenthood is Child Abuse Incorporated,” said Smith. “They kill 320,000 to 330,000 babies every year in their own clinics, which is a huge percentage of all abortions procured in America.”
“We really do have faithful and very effective leaders, and our Speaker has made it very clear that we will look to defund Planned Parenthood via the reconciliation process,” he explained, referencing the fast-tracked process through which the House can defund the abortion giant along with a simple majority in the Senate.
Smith is one of three members of Congress speaking at the 44th annual March for Life on Friday. He told LifeSiteNews his speech will likely focus on “emphasizing how much harm was done by ex-president Obama.”
“But no human rights abuse need to be forever,” he said. “We need to re-triple efforts for the defenseless unborn child and for their mothers, equally. They are co-victims. This movement has always been about compassion, empathy, and it has not changed. It has only gotten stronger. It has been tested in fire repeatedly during the Clinton administration and Obama especially. This is not a time to rest – just the opposite.”
Smith said pro-lifers should “not to be in any way intimidated by those who talk about blowing up the White House” or “show such hate” toward those who oppose abortion.
“We stand in empathy with defenseless children,” he said. “Every one of us can make a huge difference through prayer, through fasting, and through hard and effective work.”