Smith: Trump's High Court Legacy — Abortion's Injustice Can End
U.S. President Joe Biden at the San Damaso Courtyard after a meeting with Pope Francis at the Apostolic Palace – Oct. 29, 2021 – Vatican City, Vatican. Biden met with Pope Francis for talks on climate change, COVID, and the debate whether Biden should receive communion after supporting abortion rights. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
By Rep. Chris Smith | Tuesday, 07 December 2021 01:48 PM
As the U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments on the Mississippi law to protect unborn children after 15 weeks from abortion, I was struck by the fact that had Hillary Clinton been elected president in 2016, she would have stacked the court with at least three Justices who support abortion, making overturning — or even modifying — Roe and Casey an impossibility.
When President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to our nation’s highest court, they were met with extraordinarily harsh and vindictive opposition precisely because all three were believed to be reliably anti-abortion.
Now, sometime next year, they and the other Justices will render an opinion that could significantly empower states to protect unborn babies and their mothers from abortion's violence.
That landmark decision doesn’t come a moment too soon.
Shockingly, since the infamous 1973 decisions legalizing abortion-on-demand, more than 62.5 million unborn children have been killed — a staggering loss of children’s lives that equates with the entire population of Italy.
For decades — right up to this very moment — abortion supporters have gone to extraordinary lengths to ignore, trivialize, and cover-up the battered baby victim and the deleterious impact of abortion on many women.
Today, however, thanks to ultrasound, babies alive but not yet born are more visible than ever before. Which begs this question: why does what happen in the abortion process fail to elicit so much as a scintilla of empathy, mercy, or compassion from the anti-abortion rights crowd?
President Biden understands these gruesome realities — this injustice.
Or, at least he once did.
As senator, Biden wrote to constituents explaining his support for the Hyde Amendment prohibiting taxpayer funding for elective abortion and said that it would "protect both the woman and her unborn child . . . " He declared at the time, "I have consistently — on no fewer than 50 occasions — voted against federal funding of abortions . . . those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them."
Today, President Biden is aggressively pushing to repeal the Hyde Amendment and "compel" every taxpayer to pay for abortion on demand, and much more.
In less than a year, President Biden has weaponized every part of the executive branch —from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the Justice Department (DOJ) to the State Department — to promote, expand access to and subsidize abortion on demand both here at home and globally.
By his words and deeds, President Biden is the "Abortion President."
In September, Biden said "it has never been more important to codify this constitutional right" and conveyed to Congress a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) pledging to sign a House-passed bill which would not only codify abortion on demand until birth but would nullify nearly every modest anti-abortion restriction ever enacted by the States, including Women’s Right to Know laws in 35 states, parental involvement statutes in 37 states, pain-capable unborn child protection laws in 19 states, waiting periods in 26 states, and more.
By executive order, Biden reversed numerous anti-abortion rights policies enacted by President Trump including the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy — a significant reiteration and expansion of President Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City Policy that originally applied to half a billion dollars in family planning funds to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money was not funneled to foreign nongovernmental organizations that perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning.
(Of note: 37 years ago — in July of 1985 — I authored the first of several successful annual amendments on the floor of the House of Representatives to preserve the Mexico City Policy.)
Under President Trump, the significantly expanded policy established pro-child safeguards — benign, humane conditions — on nearly $9 billion in annual global health assistance funding appropriated to the U.S. Agency for International Development and the departments of State and Defense.
President Trump also faithfully and effectively ensured that the Hyde Amendment and every other anti-abortion rights policy were protected including my amendment that was enacted in 1983 barring funding for abortion under the Federal Employees Health Benefits program (FEHB).
For eight years, the Obama administration absolutely refused to enforce America’s conscience protection laws including the Weldon Amendment — which resulted in health care professionals and hospitals being forced against their will to participate in the ugly business of abortion.
President Trump, working with anti-abortion Members of Congress, not only ensured that conscience protection laws weren’t overturned but were faithfully enforced.
President Trump even made clear that he would veto any bill that reversed any existing anti-abortion law or executive order including Title X regulations he promulgated that included an end to co-location of abortion clinics with federally subsidized family planning programs.
In sharp contrast to the actions of President Trump and his administration,
President Biden poses an existential threat to unborn children everywhere.
Biden even sent his solicitor general Elizabeth Prelogar last week to the high court during oral arguments on Dobbs to rail against the anti-abortion Mississippi law.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, by at least affirming the constitutionality of Mississippi’s law to prohibit elective abortion after 15 weeks, can make a powerful step towards inclusion, respect, and justice for the weakest and most vulnerable nearly 50 years after Roe.
Injustice need not be forever.
Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., represents and serves the residents of New Jersey's 4th congressional district,"a large swath of central New Jersey." (Source: https://chrissmith.house.gov)