President Donald Trump vowed Wednesday to sign an executive order to protect all babies born alive, including those who survive abortion.
In a pre-recorded address to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, held online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, the president said protecting life "is our sacrosanct moral duty."
"Today, I am announcing that I will be signing the born alive executive order to ensure that all precious babies born alive, no matter their circumstances, receive the medical care that they deserve. This is our sacrosanct moral duty," said Trump.
The president also noted that his administration is increasing federal funding for neonatal research “to ensure that every child has the very best chance to thrive and to grow.”
Further details on the executive order were not available from the White House as of Thursday morning but the announcement quickly drew praise from members of the pro-life community.
“President Trump’s executive order protects the youngest of patients and ensures that their right to life is defended to the greatest extent of the law,” Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said in a statement to The Christian Post. “We thank President Trump for his dedication to the right to life and for working to protect all innocent human life. He is a champion for the most vulnerable among us and committed to guarding the right to life of all babies—born and unborn.”
In his comments prefacing the announcement Wednesday, President Trump took the time to highlight the valuable contribution of Catholics and “all people of faith” to American society.
“I grew up next to a Catholic church in Queens, New York, and I saw how much incredible work the Catholic Church did for our community. These are amazing people. These are great, great people. Catholic schools give many underserved children the chance to reach their God-given potential. Catholics of all backgrounds share the love of Christ with the most vulnerable as they care for the elderly, the homeless and neighbors in need,” Trump said.
“Our nation is strong because of Catholics and all people of faith. We believe in the joy of family, the blessing of freedom and the dignity of work and the eternal truth that every child born and unborn, is made the holy image of God. I will always protect the vital role of religion and prayer in American society and I will always defend the sacred right to life,” the president added.
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Leonard Leo, president of the NCPB board of directors who introduced Trump before his speech, praised him as a champion of the Church’s values.
“There is a longstanding tradition of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast to invite and host presidents of the United States who embrace the Catholic Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life. President Donald Trump has fiercely defended the culture of life in this way more than any other president in my own lifetime,” Leo said.
“He’s done so much more to embraces policies that reflect the morals, teachings and objective of our faith. He has breathed new life into the First Amendment’s guarantees of religious liberty by protecting the conscience rights of healthcare professionals, ending discrimination against believers of all backgrounds when it comes to education, and fighting back against the movement to remove religious symbols from public spaces.
“President Trump has recognized the principle of equal opportunity and justice by pressing for educational choice and reform that would benefit the least fortunate in our society. And through his efforts at judicial selection, President Trump has helped secured human dignity by appointing jurists who bolster the rule of law by enforcing constitutional limits on the power of the state,” he said.
The National Catholic Prayer Breakfast was established in 2004 in response to Saint John Paul II’s call for a New Evangelization. Each year, over 1,500 people gather in Washington, D.C., for the nonpartisan event to pray for the nation.