President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order that he claims will ensure that babies born prematurely or that survive abortions will have guaranteed access to medical care.
The ‘Born-Alive’ edict, the text for which has not been made publicly available, specifically targeted Catholics, who are ideologically split on the issue of abortion.
Trump has also not yet made any mention of it on Twitter.
Watch Trump’s proclamation below, courtesy of The Washington Free Beacon:
“Catholics of all backgrounds share the love of Christ with the most vulnerable as they care for the eldery, the homeless, and neighbors in need. Our nation is strong because of Catholics and all people of faith,” the president said in a recorded address to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast.
“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 in the holy image of God,” Trump said. “I will always protect the vital role of religion and prayer in American society and I will always defend the sacred right to life.”
Today I am announcing that I will be signing the born alive executive order to assure that all precious babies born alive, no matter their circumstances, receive the medical care that they deserve. This is our sacrosanct moral duty. We are also increasing federal funding for the Neo-Natal Research [Network] to ensure that every child has the very best chance to thrive and to grow.
The NRN is a collaboration of intensive care units across the country focusing on caring for babies born prematurely. It has been an effort within the National Institutes of Health since 1986.
Trump’s vague “promise,” put forth with no details on how it will be executed or financed, is sanctimonious at best.
As president, he has condemned thousands of immigrants and their children to suffer in concentration camps and callously allowed more than 200,000 Americans to die from COVID-19. He has waged war against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and thanks to the sycophantic Republican-led Senate, will get to appoint a third ultra-right-wing Supreme Court Justice, threatening the reproductive rights of all Americans as well as their access to health care.
Moreover, Trump’s intended audience – the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast – received and disregarded a petition from Catholic progressives to rescind the Christifideles Laici Award it presented to Attorney General William Barr at the annual breakfast.
Faithful America, a huge online organization of pro-social justice Christians, argued in its petition that Barr is undeserving of praise due to his “record of unjust, corrupt authoritarianism.”
The petition, which has gathered more than 23,000 signatures, states:
Each year, the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast gives its Christifideles Laici award ‘In Honor and Gratitude for Fidelity to the Church, Exemplary Selfless and Steadfast Service in the Lord’s Vineyard.’ Attorney General William Barr’s work – which includes teargassing peaceful protesters in front of the White House, defending the president’s lawless corruption and attacks on American elections, and reinstating federal executions – has nothing to do with service to the Lord, and cannot be described as fidelity to the Church.
As fellow Catholics and other Christians, we call on the NCPB to cancel this award for Barr immediately and avoid any further appearance of endorsing Donald Trump or his Cabinet members so close to an election.
The push against Barr has also been echoed by members of the clergy.
On Tuesday, Sister Helen Prejean asked how Barr can be deemed pro-life while favoring capital punishment.
“The National Catholic Prayer Breakfast will present an award to Attorney General Barr for “Christlike behavior” tomorrow morning,” Prejean tweeted. “A.G. Barr has ordered the executions of six men with at least one more on the calendar. What is “Christlike” about using discretionary power to kill?”
The National Catholic Prayer Breakfast will present an award to Attorney General Barr for “Christlike behavior” tomorrow morning. A.G. Barr has ordered the executions of six men with at least one more on the calendar. What is “Christlike” about using discretionary power to kill?
— Sister Helen Prejean (@helenprejean) September 23, 2020
The Attorney General reinstituted executions, targets peaceful protesters with violence, protects corrupt politicians, and minimizes the impact of COVID-19. He fails to follow the teaching of our shared Catholic faith. This is the antithesis of a man who protects life, and it is scandalous that he is being given an award for such uncatholic behavior. In the political shadow of the Catholic Prayer Breakfast this morning, our politicians are once again attempting to wrangle Catholics with the all too flawed, narrow, and politically opportunistic view of our faith.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also swiped at Barr for being un-Christ-like.
“There’s a big difference between what Christ would do and what they’re honoring this morning,” Pelosi said.
Depsite these pleas, however, Barr ultimately got his trophy, and delivered remarks that only amplified the aforementioned concerns.
“Militant secularists have long seized on” the concept of separation of church and state, Barr claimed, adding – without offering any specific examples – that proponents of keeping religion out of politics are pushing “a new orthodoxy that is actively hostile to religion.”
Barr insisted that the “separation of church and state does not mean – and never did mean – separation of religion and civics.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.