DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Almost half of President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet appointees are pro-life.
Some of Trump's picks, like Gen. James Mattis and newly appointed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have not spoken publicly on their stance on abortion. Eight out of 21 appointees have records indicating serious and longstanding advocacy of pro-life legislation.
The two who may have the most influence in the executive branch are Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.
Sessions, an Alabama attorney general and Republican junior senator, has helped Trump throughout his campaign, counseling him on whom to pick for vice president, and was himself considered for the position.
He has a 100-percent rating by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and a history of promoting pro-life legislation since 2007. In the Senate, he advocated the term "child" in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to include unborn children — a measure that ultimately failed. He promoted the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act prohibiting minors from obtaining abortions out of state in order to circumvent parental permission laws and pushed for "vigorous enforcement" for adults illegally transporting minors across state borders.
Additionally, he favors defunding Planned Parenthood and taking public money away from anybody performing abortions, banning embryonic stem-cell research and partial-birth abortions.
Tom Price, Trump's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), has a consistent record of pro-life advocacy. Church Militant reported earlier that the NRLC endorses Price. "Dr. Price will empower the Department of Health and Human Services to protect the most vulnerable members of our society: the unborn and their mothers, the elderly, and the medically dependent and disabled."
He opposes federal funding of abortion and Planned Parenthood, and in 2007 voted for the Right to Life Act declaring that unborn children are human beings and entitled to protection under the 14th Amendment.
Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned. When asked about allowing an exception for the "life and health of the mother," Carson offers the political response: "if people can come up with a reasonable explanation of why they would like to kill a baby, I'll listen." He continues, "Again, that's an extraordinarily rare situation. But if in that very rare situation it occurred, I believe there's room to discuss that."
Governor Nikki Haley is Trump's pick for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She proclaims herself pro-life for the anecdotal reason that her husband was a foster child, disclosing, "I'm pro-life because I got a chance to spend every day with the love of my life knowing that I am blessed that someone saved his life. I would be lost without him."
Other appointees' jobs don't directly have much to do with the implementation of pro-life legislation, but they have a history of pro-life advocacy.
On December 9, Trump selected Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers as Interior Secretary. She will manage conservation of federal land and natural resources. In Congress she advocated the defunding of Planned Parenthood, the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., Obamacare) and the banning of partial-birth abortion.
Trump's head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo, has an impressive pro-life record. He stated he believes life begins at conception, and he wants to remove all federal funding from Planned Parenthood and desires equal protection of unborn babies under the 14th Amendment. He also opposes forced abortions under the UN Population Fund.
Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was consistently pro-life and pro-family as Oklahoma's attorney general. Since his appointment in 2011, he has consistently fought against the Obama administration's increasing encroachments on civil and human rights. He opposed Obamacare, and sought to limit the use of abortion-causing drugs by women after seven weeks of pregnancy — a law blocked by the state Supreme Court.
Betsy DeVos, although having no experience as a politician, has been appointed Trump's Education Secretary. Her family has spent millions of dollars lobbying for pro-life and pro-family legislation in their home state of Michigan and on the national level. Her father, Edgar Prince, founded the Family Research Council, a Washington-based lobby group that advocates for pro-life legislation, opposes LGBT ideology and promotes religious liberty.