Two weeks ago I wrote some words of encouragement, noting that even should Biden win the election, there is much that the pro-life and pro-family movements can do to save lives, and restore sanity to our culture. More importantly, I noted that as Christians our hopes do not rest in worldly leaders. Whatever happens in the transient world of politics, our hope rests secure in the victory of Jesus Christ.
Nevertheless, neither do I advocate denialism or baseless optimism. The prophet Daniel faced down the lions in the pit, and came through unscathed thanks to the protection of God’s angel. But, at no point did he deny the existence of the lions. Again, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego remained peaceful when Nebuchadnezzar cast them into a fiery furnace. However, though another of God’s angels kept them safe, at no point did they deny the existence of the fire.
The lions and the fire were very real, though God’s power overcame them. So, too, with the threats to life and family posed by corrupt political leaders and governments. With God’s strength, we can overcome these too; but we must acknowledge them for what they are, and face them head on.
Elections have consequences. Should we find ourselves confronted with a Biden presidency, many things will change for the worse. If we are to stay the course under a Biden administration, we must acknowledge the difficulties in the road ahead, and develop a battle plan to counteract the worst of them.
A Flood of Executive Orders
If Biden is inaugurated as president on Jan. 20, we can expect the assaults on life and family to begin almost immediately.
The first thing to expect will be a flood of executive orders, undoing many if not all of the pro-life advances under the Trump administration. Biden has publicized a list of these orders, leaving no doubt about what he plans to do.
One of these orders will be to immediately rescind the Mexico City Policy. This policy prohibits U.S. taxpayer funding from being used to perform or promote abortion overseas. The policy has been subject to political ping pong ever since Reagan put it in place in 1984. Democrat administrations have repealed it in their first days in office, and Republican administrations have just as promptly reinstated it. With a Biden administration, it will once again be gone, and U.S. government funding will start flowing to radical pro-abortion groups overseas.
A second Biden order will immediately restore Title X funding to Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood did continue to receive hundreds of millions of dollars of government funding throughout the Trump administration, which was allotted to it by Congress in normal appropriations bills. However, the Trump administration found a backdoor method to deprive the organization of a portion of its funding, by barring any organization that provides or refers for abortions from receiving the funds. This amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars in lost government funding. Biden will immediately reverse that ban.
Additionally, Biden has vowed to restore the abortifacient contraception mandate to Obamacare. This mandate requires employers – including religious employers – to provide health insurance that covers contraception, including some abortifacient drugs, to their employees. Many religious employers have objected that funding such programs amounts to a serious violation of their conscience rights. Trump issued an executive order protecting such religious employers, including the Little Sisters of the Poor – the order of Catholic religious sisters who were the primary plaintiffs in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court.
Biden will also immediately begin funding the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The Trump administration, like previous GOP administrations, revoked funding for this organization, based upon piles of evidence that UNFPA is a radical population-control group. In some cases, including in China, the UNFPA has been caught actively participating in forced sterilization and abortion programs.
During the November meeting of the U.S. Catholic bishops, Archbishop José Gomez who serves as USCCB president, seeing the difficulties of a Biden presidency, warned the Conference saying, “He has also given us reason to believe that he will support policies that are against some fundamental values that we hold dear as Catholics. These policies include: the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and the preservation of Roe vs. Wade. Both of these policies undermine our preeminent priority of the elimination of abortion.”
Archbishop Gomez added that Biden has indicated his support for “the restoration of the HHS mandate, the passage of the Equality Act, and the unequal treatment of Catholic schools.” He continued saying, “These policies pose a serious threat to the common good, whenever any politician supports them. We have long opposed these policies strongly, and we will continue to do so.… But when politicians who profess the Catholic faith support them, there are additional problems. Among other things, it creates confusion among the faithful about what the Church actually teaches on these questions.”
Personnel is Policy
If one of the most impactful pro-life things the Trump administration did was nominate huge numbers of pro-life, conservative judges, you can be sure that the Biden administration will begin nominating equally pro-abortion judges. In fact, if there is one thing that Democrats have shown, is that they are even more brazen than Republicans in creating an abortion ‘litmus test’ for their judges.
GOP judicial nominees often have to delicately tiptoe around the abortion issue at their confirmation hearings, carefully disguising their personal opinion about Roe v. Wade with vague judicial speech about “respecting the constitution” or “judging each case based upon its merits.” One result is that often conservatives can’t be quite sure that Republican judicial nominees actually are pro-life.
Democratic judicial nominees often do not feel themselves similarly constrained. Ruth Bader Ginsburg set the example at her confirmation hearing in 1993, when she forthrightly endorsed abortion. What this means is that Democrat-appointed judges are often unapologetically ideological on abortion. And we can expect a Biden-Harris administration to apply the Democratic abortion litmus test widely.
Within presidential administrations, personnel often is policy. We’ve seen this throughout the Trump administration. With so many committed pro-lifers in the White House, or representing the U.S. at the UN, or in embassies, there were all manner of quiet, but significant pro-life victories in the country and around the world. Pro-life personnel in the Trump administration forged alliances with pro-life countries around the world, encouraging them, and strategizing how to create a Culture of Life.
Biden is already indicating that his personnel choices will be anything but pro-life. He has announced that Ron Klain will serve as his White House Chief of Staff. Klain, Biden’s chief of staff while he was VP, is strongly pro-abortion. He has repeatedly praised the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), one of the most extreme pro-abortion organizations in the country. On one occasion he tweeted out to NARAL president Ilyse Hogue, that he is just “a soldier in your army.” In other words, he’s militantly pro-abortion.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of the radically pro-abortion and anti-family appointments we can expect in the Biden-Harris cabinet and all throughout the administration. It’s no surprise that Planned Parenthood enthusiastically endorsed Biden for president. “We can count on Joe Biden to fight for our health and rights, and take decisive action to undo the damage of Donald Trump’s presidency,” they stated in their official endorsement.
A “Time to Heal”?
Pro-life organizations have warned that a Biden-Harris administration would be “the most pro-abortion presidential ticket in American history,” in the words of Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.
The last thing this country needs right now is a radically pro-abortion, anti-family and militantly “progressive” administration. We are already experiencing rock-bottom birth rates in our country, well below replacement level. Divorce and family breakdown are endemic. Good Christian families feel themselves under assault from increasingly brazen LGBT and anti-life propaganda in public schools.
A huge number of liberal media outlets have been claiming that with Biden in office it is a “time to heal.” This, unfortunately, is based upon a painfully superficial judgment that Biden is simply a “nicer” person than Trump, and that this niceness will somehow bring people together. But while Biden’s presentation may be smoother and more folksy that Trump’s, that smoothness does not indicate any substantial wholesomeness. It is a facade.
How can our country heal, when the ruling administration believes that a particular class of human beings – preborn children – do not possess the right to life; or when they believe that anyone who holds certain beliefs must be forced to change their minds, or be punished (as with the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor)?
How to Get Things Done
To be forewarned is to be forearmed. I do not say any of the above to depress you. These are simply the realities of the situation, should Biden clinch the presidency. The pro-life movement had four years of close access to the president and the White House. This was a blessing that made certain things a lot easier. It was also deeply encouraging for the whole movement.
However, it would be a mistake to think that we need access to the seat of power to get things done. That is the great strength of the pro-life movement. It is a vast, grassroots movement that accomplishes great things without waiting for support or permission from those in power.
We don’t need a pro-life president for us to go stand and pray outside abortion clinics. We don’t need a pro-life president for us to pool together our resources and start up a local crisis pregnancy center. We don’t need a pro-life president for us to fast and pray for an end to the stain of abortion and all acts of violence against the dignity of human life; to adopt a child heroically saved from the violence of abortion; to counsel a fearful mother; to propose and lobby for legislation at the state level; to expose the crimes of abortionists; to go to the March for Life; to begin a pro-life group; to write letters to our Congressmen and Senators; to teach our children to value and treasure life; to start a Christian school where we can teach about the Culture of Life; etc. etc.
As I urged you several weeks ago, do not despair. Do not be afraid. There is great reason for hope. Christ has won the victory. The rest is mop up work. Sometimes this work may be difficult and discouraging. But we can always look ahead, knowing that the greater work has been done for us. Christ made the ultimate sacrifice. We need only reap the fruits of His labors.