Not since the Founders declared the self-evident truth that the Creator has endowed every person with life and liberty has any administration so boldly led the world in protecting those rights as has the administration of President Donald J. Trump. Countering the increasing tidal wave of what Gabriele Kuby calls a “global sexual revolution” which seeks “the destruction of freedom in the name of freedom,” the Trump administration has been relentless in its defense of unalienable rights as it has:
- Pulled the plug on US tax dollars funding abortions abroad. Three days after his inauguration in January 2017, President Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy and thereby halted funding for International Planned Parenthood and other groups that promote or perform abortions overseas. Abortionists everywhere immediately denounced the newly elected leader.
- Declared to the United Nations America’s commitment to protect the unborn and uphold the sovereignty of other nations wishing to do so. Speaking to the General Assembly in September 2019, President Trump declared, “The core rights and values America defends today were inscribed in America’s founding documents,” and “every child—born and unborn—is a sacred gift from God.” Therefore, “Americans will also never tire of defending innocent life. We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life. ”
- Demanded that the United Nations remove abortion and references to “sexual and reproductive health” in its response to COVID-19. In a May 2020 letter from USAID to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the Trump administration issued a stern warning that “the UN should not intimidate or coerce Member States that are committed to the right to life,” and demanded that it “remove references to ‘sexual and reproductive health,’ and its derivatives from the Global HRP, and drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the UN’s priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
- Built an international coalition that issued a historic declaration on life, family, children, and motherhood. In President Trump’s Proclamation on National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2020, he explained that his administration was “building an international coalition to dispel the concept of abortion as a fundamental human right.” That US-led coalition issued its historic Geneva Consensus Declaration in October 2020. Signed by a total of 32 nations covering every region of the world and representing over 1.6 billion people, a fifth of humanity, the declaration quoted UN consensus language in recognizing the “dignity and worth of the human person” and affirming that “every human being has the inherent right to life”; that “the child… needs special safeguards and care… before as well as after birth”; that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State”; that “motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance”; and that “women play a critical role in the family” and make an indispensable “contribution to the welfare of the family and to the development of society.”
- Warned that the United States will not tolerate UN agencies exerting pressure on sovereign nations to accept abortion. Speaking at the virtual signing ceremony for the Geneva Consensus Declaration, HHS Secretary Alex Azar stated, “Today we put down a clear marker. No longer can UN agencies reinterpret and misinterpret agreed-upon language without accountability. Member-states set the policy for the UN to pursue, not the other way around. Without apology, we affirm that governments have the sovereign right to make their own laws to protect innocent life and write their regulations on abortion. The stakes are too high to permit radical, divisive agendas to hinder the ability of women in countries at all stages of development to attain better health…. We will denounce these organizations when they overstep their mandates… We will unequivocally declare that there is no international right to abortion. We will proudly put women’s health first at every stage of life.”
- Hosted a landmark religious freedom event at the United Nations, calling upon all nations to respect religious freedom. In September 2019 at the UN General Assembly, President Trump hosted the historic Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom and declared, “The United States is founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government; they come from God…. Our Founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions…. Today, with one clear voice, the United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution…. America stands with believers in every country who ask only for the freedom to live according to the faith that is within their own hearts.” He then pledged $25 million to protect religious freedom and religious sites.
- Issued an executive order promoting religious freedom around the world. In his Executive Order on Advancing International Religious Freedom in June 2020, President Trump directed funding for programs that promote religious freedom abroad and called for diplomats to raise concerns with partner countries over religious discrimination. “Religious freedom, America’s first freedom,” he proclaimed, “is a moral and national security imperative. Religious freedom for all people worldwide is a foreign policy priority of the United States, and the United States will respect and vigorously promote this freedom.”
- Established the Commission on Unalienable Rights, whose final report affirmed unalienable rights and called out the United Nations for promoting pseudo-rights. In July 2019, on behalf of the administration, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo established the Commission on Unalienable Rights, whose final report in August 2020 observed that the Declaration of Independence “marked the first time in human history that an independent nation came into existence by affirming a universal moral principle that stood above, and served as a standard for, all government.” Mentioning the “transcendent foundations” the Declaration ascribes to “unalienable rights,” the report proceeded to call out the United Nations for its promotion of deceptive and dangerous pseudo-rights that undermine unalienable rights: “The effort to shut down legitimate debate by recasting contestable policy preferences as fixed and unquestionable human rights imperatives promotes intolerance, impedes reconciliation, devalues core rights, and denies rights in the name of rights.”
- Eliminated dangerous language in the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy. Under direction of the Trump administration in August 2020, USAID corrected the Obama-era Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy to eliminate dangerous sexual-rights language. The policy begins by announcing, “Our vision is of a prosperous and peaceful world in which women, girls, men, and boys enjoy equal economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights and are equally empowered to secure better lives for themselves, their families, their communities, and their countries. At USAID we are committed to empowering women and girls across the globe to advance communities in our partner countries on the Journey to Self-Reliance because we know no country can succeed if it excludes the talents and voices of half its population.”
Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s unprecedented leadership for the protection of unalienable rights is scheduled to come to a screeching halt on January 20, 2021. The track record of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris leaves no doubt as to the policies they will pursue. From day one, the Biden administration will seek to roll back the progress of the last four years and partner with the EU and powerful NGOs to impose abortion and other pseudo-rights that jeopardize life, encroach on religious freedom, and undermine the family. Betraying the sacred truths in America’s founding documents, the White House will commit the prestige and resources of the United States to further fund and foment the global sexual revolution which, in the words of Pope Francis, “has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings.”
In this dangerous new era, those who care about life, family, and freedom must not watch from the sidelines. “Throughout history,” warned Ethiopia’s Haile Selassie, “it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” What Ronald Reagan said in 1964 may well apply to us at this decisive moment: “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”