Donald Trump announced the creation of his terrifying "Pro-Life Coalition," headed up by Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser, on Friday, September 16.
Trump has wavered on abortion in the past, even defending Planned Parenthood in a Republican debate. But with a name like "Pro-Life Coalition" and a leader like Dannenfelser — who believes that birth control leads to an increase in abortions — it's no surprise that the new group is staunchly against women’s reproductive rights.
The main thrust of the organization is to mobilize anti-abortion leaders in support of Trump's campaign. Accompanying the group's creation is a letter that lays out the candidate's positions on reproductive freedoms — and boy, are they bleak.
First, Trump promises he'll nominate pro-life justices to the Supreme Court.
If Congress refuses to accept president Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland — which he made six months ago — Trump will be responsible for filling the seat left by Antonin Scalia. That would put us at at least four anti-choice justices on the Supreme Court — not a good look for any upcoming women's health decisions.
Second, he promises to sign the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which, aside from being a total mouthful, is also a death sentence for late-term abortion rights.
The bill bans all abortions past 20 weeks, institutes a 48-hour waiting period, and mandates counseling for rape survivors before they can obtain an abortion. The restrictions are so intense that some Republicans even balked — but Trump said he'd sign it into law as president.
Trump also claims he will defund Planned Parenthood as long as they provide abortions.
This part is just awkward, seeing as how Trump stood up for them at a recent Republican debate. Planned Parenthood provides crucial health services (like STD testing, cancer screenings, and relationship counseling) to millions of Americans. Defunding one of the country's community health providers is probably not in the nation's best interest.
Finally, and perhaps worst of all, Trump promises to make the Hyde Amendment permanent.
The Hyde Amendment currently prohibits government funding from being used to fund abortions. As Revelist previously reported, the restriction disproportionately affects poor women and women of color, who are more likely to rely on government-sponsored health care. Basically, it ensures that abortion is a right reserved for rich women. Hillary Clinton would repeal it; Donald Trump would not.
Trump ended his letter by promising to be an advocate for the "unborn and their mothers." We can't speak for the unborn Trump, but we know a few mothers who’d disagree.