Standing on a black-and-blue-colored stage at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas during the third presidential debate back in October of 2016, then candidate Donald J. Trump made a stark and bold promise.
“I feel that the justices that I am going to appoint — and I’ve named 20 of them — the justices that I’m going to appoint will be pro-life,” Mr. Trump stated. “They will have a conservative bent … They are great scholars in all cases, and they’re people of tremendous respect. They will interpret the Constitution the way the Founders wanted it interpreted. And I believe that’s very, very important.”
“I don’t think we should have justices appointed that decide what they want to hear. It’s all about the Constitution of — and so important, the Constitution the way it was meant to be. And those are the people that I will appoint.”
Just a few minutes later, Senator Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump’s opponent, stated:
“I strongly support Roe v. Wade, which guarantees a constitutional right to a woman to make the most intimate, most difficult, in many cases, decisions about her health care that one can imagine.”
Debate moderator Chris Wallace pressed Mr. Trump about his desire to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe, then turned his attention to the horrors of partial-birth abortion.
“I think it’s terrible,” Mr. Trump answered. “If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.
“Now, you can say that that’s OK and Hillary can say that that’s OK. But it’s not OK with me, because based on what she’s saying, and based on where she’s going, and where she’s been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day. And that’s not acceptable.”
Mr. Trump’s surprise victory that November afforded him the opportunity to appoint three justices to the Supreme Court: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. This past Friday, all three, joined by Justices Thomas and Alito, voted to overturn Roe.
During the 2016 campaign, even many conservatives were skeptical Mr. Trump would keep his promise.
Erik Erickson, a conservative blogger, stated, “He will waffle, he will backtrack, and he simply cannot be believed.”
But in the end, on the matter of the sanctity of life, President Trump could be believed – and Roe is now history.
Focus on the Family president Jim Daly referred to Mr. Trump as “the most pro-life president we have ever had.”
When it comes to pro-life policies and appointments, that’s no longer debatable – that’s fact.
It’s one of the great ironies of history that a brash businessman turned reality television star from Queens, New York, who for most of his career supported causes and acted in ways contrary to Christian teaching, is the president who would wind up appointing the justices who overturned the greatest evil of our day. Hollywood would deem the script implausible and unbelievable.
But that’s exactly what happened.
The words of William Cowper, the English poet and hymn writer, come to mind:
“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform. He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.”