Ever since he took over the presidency, Donald Trump and his administration have been working on taking away women’s reproductive freedom. Now, a group working toward the same goal is celebrating Trump’s achievement in the area so far. Trump is attending a Susan B Anthony List gala, where he will give the keynote address.
Susan B Anthony List is an anti-abortion organization that works to elect politicians who will support their goal of getting Roe v Wade off the books. It believes Anthony would have been against abortion, though her actual views on it are not known. Every year, the organization hold a “Campaign For Life” fundraising gala event — and this year, they’ve scored a top-level keynote speaker: the president.
They’ve had some recognizable keynote speakers in the past, including Vice President Mike Pence in 2017 and Sarah Palin at their “Celebration of Life” breakfast in 2010. They’ve never had a sitting president speak, though, so Trump’s presence is a significant success for them.
In their press release on the subject, SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser wrote that Trump was “governing as the most pro-life president in our nation’s history.”
“President Trump has diligently and successfully gone about fulfilling his promises to the pro-life voters who worked so hard to elect him, and it has been a privilege to stand with him to defend the innocent unborn,” Dannenfelser wrote. According to the same release, she worked with Trump before he became president, when she was the national campaign chair for the Pro-Life Coalition of the Trump Campaign.
The gala will also honor another figure closely connected to the president: senior White House advisor Kellyanne Conway, who will become the recipient of the group’s 2018 Distinguished Leader Award. Another featured speaker will be House majority whip Steve Scalise, who successfully recovered after being shot on a baseball field while training for the Congressional Baseball Game in the summer of 2017.
Numerous Republican politicians have appeared and been celebrated at SBA List events over the years, but the organization’s president likely doesn’t exaggerate when she says that Trump is the “most pro-life president” in American history. The administration has gone after women’s reproductive rights at home and abroad, in terms of access to both abortion and contraception.
It began with the global gag rule that Trump reinstated on the third day of his presidency, which prevented American money from going to any organization that so much as mentioned abortion in their written material. After that, several states have attempted to pass very restrictive abortion legislation. Many of these laws are still working their ways through the court, but that’s another front in the war on abortion rights — according to NARAL, Trump has been working to appoint anti-abortion judges wherever possible.
Most recently, the administration has taken direct aim at Planned Parenthood, with a new rule saying that no federal funding will go to any health care clinic that so much as refers patients to abortion providers or shares facilities with abortion providers. While SBA Lists’ website says that their “mission is to end abortion,” Marie Claire wrote that putting this new rule into place could actually raise the abortion rate, because cash-strapped clinics will be unable to provide free or low-cost birth control to low-income women who need it.
It has a goal to end abortion, and SBA List clearly has the support of the president and his allies in Congress and across the administration.