***Correction***: Trump isn’t the first sitting president to address this rally, but he is the first to do it via satellite. The Washington Post’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey notes that Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush called into the march while in office.
Donald Trump will become the first sitting president to speak at the annual anti-abortion March for Life today, according to Ben Shapiro of The Daily Wire. This move once again panders to the fan base that got Trump elected in the first place and conveniently comes at a time the president is fighting back against allegations that he paid hush money to a porn star who he said reminded him of his daughter. (You know, family values.)
So what is this event? Every year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, thousands of people flock to Washington D.C. to protest and pray that the decision to legalize abortion will one day be overturned. Because if the Supreme Court even reversed that ruling, abortions would magically stop and no women would ever need one.
This is a moral move for Trump — Roe v. Wade, decided in 1973, is not only one of the worst legal decisions in American history, but one of the most immoral. Abortions have been declining markedly across the United States since their heyday in the 1990s; in 1990, for example, the Centers for Disease Control reported 1.4 million abortions, while in 2013, that number was 644,435, less than half. The American people have also become significantly more pro-life over the decades, thanks to the hard work of the pro-life movement.
They can pat themselves on the back all they want, but decreasing abortion rates almost certainly have more to do with comprehensive sex education in public schools, affordable contraceptives, and measures to make parenting more affordable. But who’s keeping track?
Speaking at the March for Life is also a smart political move for Trump — it’s a low cost way to reassure his base that he still maintains their priorities, especially in light of new reports regarding his sexual profligacy while married. Evangelical Christians have been Trump’s most solid supporters, and they will likely continue to do so if he speaks out strongly against abortion, despite his checkered history on the issue.
This is both entirely accurate and a not-so-flattering portrait of evangelical Christians, who will apparently let Trump get away with anything as long as he is with them on this one issue.
That description also reads like a textbook example of an abusive relationship: Trump says or does something bad. His supporters get angry or embarrassed. They try to excuse his behavior, even though it’s beyond excusable to those of us on the outside even on their terms. But then, Trump shows up with
flowers a decision to speak at a march against abortion, and just like that, he’s forgiven.
You see, his followers say, He didn’t mean to pay $130,000 to that porn star to shut her up after she spanked him on the ass with a Forbes magazine! He really is a good Christian!
And round and round it goes; a vicious, ugly cycle.
There’s little doubt the media will savage Trump for speaking at the March For Life — they’ll suggest that he’s a sexist, since the media routinely conflate protection of the unborn with hatred of women, a nonsensical and deeply disgusting conflation. But that may be good for Trump, too: most Americans don’t see pro-lifers as sexist at root, and pro-lifers certainly won’t stand for such an insulting proposition.
Trump is sexist, for a growing list of reasons. And there are plenty of examples of how the Right’s policies display a hatred of women whether or not they want to admit it. After all, they want to shut down Planned Parenthood, even though abortions amount to less than approximately 3% of their services. Millions of women — myself included — rely on Planned Parenthood for healthcare services that have nothing to do with abortion, or even sex, such as cancer screenings and pap smears. To suggest otherwise, despite the facts, is also an “insulting proposition.”
I wonder how many protestors will show up with signs asking why, if Trump is so passionate about saving the unborn, he’s not doing a damn thing to restore CHIP, which helps a lot of children survive. “Pro-lifers” rarely seem to lift a finger to help people who are already born and in need of help.
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