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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Election Reflection


In some ways, nothing has changed.

Regardless of who is in office, all pro-life people have an obligation to advocate for policies that will reduce abortion. Priorities will include confirming a pro-life replacement for Justice Scalia, and preserving the Hyde Amendment (which has saved the lives of over two million Americans) against attacks from the abortion industry. During campaign season, an apparent bipartisan consensus emerged on paid maternity leave; we'd like to see that bear fruit.

For our part, Secular Pro-Life will continue to make the science- and human-rights-based case for the right to life. We'll continue to work with student groups to expand their reach across religious divides. We will continue to do our part to prevent unplanned pregnancies, and to support those who face challenging pregnancies. We'll keep doing what we've been doing, outside the political arena, for the past seven years.

In some ways, everything has changed.

In his victory speech, President-elect Trump pledged to be "president for all Americans" and called for unity among Americans "from all races, backgrounds, and beliefs." I hope, for everyone's sake, that Trump's presidency adheres to that vision. But that is, to put it mildly, a very different vision from the one I have seen Trump espouse for the last year and a half.

The pro-life leaders and organizations that endorsed Trump are now in a position of power and responsibility. They will have the President's ear. I hope that they do not take that for granted, because they won't be the only ones seeking influence. I hope they not only encourage him to pass anti-abortion laws, but guide him toward a pro-life, pro-woman path, emphasizing the need for genuine respect of every human life. And yes, that includes the lives of people of color, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault, Muslims, Mexicans, and so on. It may get uncomfortable. I hope these leaders appreciate that our movement (particularly our youth movement) is largely made up of marginalized people, who identify with preborn children for that very reason.

One final thought: I have definitely been guilty of failing to look outside my college-educated social-media echo chamber. I thought Clinton was sure to win. Trump's victory took me completely by surprise. It should not have. I am going to make a concerted effort to expand my horizons, and suggest that we all do the same.

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