- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 9, 2016

History books documenting the decline of abortion in America may point to the presidency of Donald J. Trump as the turning point.

That’s what the pro-life movement hopes, in the wake of a shocking election that saw Republicans secure the White House and majorities in both legislative chambers against all odds.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life in America, said this is the best opportunity to roll back the abortion agenda in the decades-long culture war.

“This is our time. This morning we are closer than ever to defunding our nation’s largest abortion vendor, Planned Parenthood; appointing pro-life Supreme Court Justices; and blocking taxpayer funding of abortion by permanently enshrining the Hyde Amendment,” Ms. Hawkins said in a statement.

The unlikely marriage between the pro-life movement and the twice-divorced reality TV star has resulted in a rare opportunity for the pro-life movement to implement its agenda unimpeded by a Democratic Party increasingly antithetical to those who question the morality of abortion.

Due to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s uncompromising support for abortion rights, pro-life leaders were among the first constituents to back Mr. Trump once he won the Republican primary.

But there will be no honeymoon. Pro-life leaders did not mince words about what they expect from the billionaire businessman for their loyalty.

“Donald Trump made many promises to pro-lifers over the course of his campaign, and the pro-life generation will make sure he keeps those promises as President,” Ms. Hawkins said.

“It’s critical that we unite to hold Mr. Trump to those pledges to defund Planned Parenthood, to appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices and to ensure that taxpayers are never forced to fund abortions,” said Lila Rose, president of Live Action.

“Now, we must hold our new president-elect accountable for his promises to defund Planned Parenthood, pass a 20-week ban, and nominate a Constitutionalist to the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Mark Harrington, national director of Created Equal.

The unified Republican government could not have come at a better time for the pro-life movement. Anti-abortion sentiment is at an all-time high, underscored by an undercover video series last year alleging Planned Parenthood trafficks in fetal body parts from abortions for profit.

That investigation gave Congress the political capital to pass a bill defunding Planned Parenthood for the first time in the abortion provider’s history. Without the threat of the veto pen looming, pro-life leaders are confident that that exact same legislation will be enacted once Mr. Trump takes the Oval Office.

“President Trump has pledged to — and must — sign that bill,” said Ms. Rose, president of Live Action.

But the ramifications of the 2016 race aren’t limited to present day policy considerations.

“The bottom line is this: Today’s election results give us the momentum we need to achieve our mission of abolishing abortion in our lifetime,” Ms. Hawkins said.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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