Last night, President Trump delivered his annual State of the Union address, highlighting his administration’s achievements on the economy, taxes, and foreign policy, and calling for bipartisan solutions on immigration, infrastructure, and health care.
However, for social conservatives, the highlight of the speech was undoubtedly the president’s forceful denouncement of late-term abortion. Referring to recent legislation passed in New York that stripped explicit protections for babies born alive following a failed abortion, the president said:
There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our Nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.
The president also referenced embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam who last week appeared to endorse letting born alive babies die. President Trump did not mince words as he explained, “the Governor of Virginia… basically stated he would execute a baby after birth.”
Continuing with the topic of late-term abortion, President Trump asked Congress to pass legislation to prohibit “the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.”
He then offered stirring words that may be without precedent in modern American political history. Looking out at the gathered dignitaries, government officials, and lawmakers in the House chamber, President Trump said:
Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children – born and unborn – are made in the holy image of God.
From the perspective of the Christian worldview, one of the most fundamental doctrines affirmed in the Bible is the imago dei, the belief that all people are made in the image of God. By rooting his support for “all children, born and unborn” in the image of God, President Trump affirmed the biblical principle that all people possess dignity and value by virtue of being created by God. For Christians, human dignity and the sanctity of life are grounded in this doctrine, and it is quite remarkable for the President of the United States to affirm this belief in the State of the Union address.
Unfortunately, but predictably, the president’s political opponents did not respond favorably. As the cameras panned across the Democratic lawmakers, their response was painfully and visibly clear. To the President’s call to pass legislation that would prohibit abortion procedures when babies can feel pain, the Democrats sat stone faced, refusing to applaud. The lone exceptions appeared to be Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) who joined Republican lawmakers in giving the president a standing ovation for his support for unborn and newly born babies.
In response to the president’s public support for a ban on late-term abortion and infanticide, FRC President Tony Perkins said:
The president was right to call out the atrocious actions of lawmakers in New York and Virginia in pushing America toward infanticide. President Trump has not only been the most passionate president in talking about the humanity of the unborn, he has been the most persistent in protecting them.
Tony Perkin’s full statement on the State of the Union can be accessed here.