WASHINGTON — President Trump issued a proclamation on Friday in recognition of National Adoption Month, citing the value of human life and encouraging “adoption as an alternative to abortion.” Trump identifies as pro-life but also supports the exceptions of rape, incest and the life of the mother.
“Adoption also offers a loving option for women who experience unexpected pregnancies or are unable to provide for their children,” the proclamation reads in part. “Every year, countless families -– including many who cannot have children of their own –- cherish the priceless gift of an adopted child.”
“My administration believes that every human life has inherent value, and encourages adoption as an alternative to abortion,” it states. “All children, born and unborn, deserve a chance to have a better, more prosperous future. I commend the selfless men and women who preserve the majesty of God’s creation by providing children with a chance at a better life.”
The proclamation notes that more than 153K children placed in the foster care system in 2019 due to neglect, with another 86K removed due to their parents’ drug abuse.
It outlines that the Trump administration desires to address the root cause of child abuse and to tackle the opioid crisis, so that more children can stay with their families. It also cheers that the number of children being placed in foster care is declining while last year marked the highest number of adoptions on record.
Adoption from foster care is essentially free, as opposed to private or overseas adoptions.
“This month, we celebrate the blessings of adoption and renew our resolve to promote a culture of respect for every human life,” the proclamation declares. “Countless Americans dedicate their time, energy, and resources to the adoption process, and we honor their selfless contributions as community members, faith leaders, caregivers, role models, and families.”
“Our nation is strengthened by the sacred institution of the family, and devoted parents who love and protect their adopted children. As a nation, let us commit to ensuring a brighter future for all of our nation’s children.”
As previously reported, Trump has stated publicly that he identifies as pro-life — but with exceptions. He became the first president in American history to speak at the annual March for Life, stating, “Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House.”
“As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly pro-life, with the three exceptions — rape, incest and protecting the life of the mother — the same position taken by Ronald Reagan,” Trump tweeted in May 2019.
“We have come very far in the last two years with 105 wonderful new federal judges (many more to come), two great new Supreme Court justices, the Mexico City Policy, and a whole new & positive attitude about the right to life,” he wrote. “The radical Left, with late term abortion (and worse), is imploding on this issue.”
“We must stick together and win for life in 2020. If we are foolish and do not stay united as one, all of our hard fought gains for life can, and will, rapidly disappear!”
In 2016, while still a presidential candidate, Trump wrote in an op-ed published by the Washington Examiner, “Let me be clear — I am pro-life. I support that position with exceptions allowed for rape, incest or the life of the mother being at risk.”
He also told NBC’s “Today” show that same year that he would like to see the exceptions in the Republican platform as there currently are none.
“The Republican platform, every four years, has a provision that states that the right of the unborn child shall not be infringed. And it makes no exceptions for rape, for incest, for the life of the mother. Would you want to change the Republican platform to include the exceptions that you have?” asked co-host Savannah Guthrie.
“Yes, I would,” Trump replied. “Yes, I would. Absolutely. For the three exceptions, I would.”
Trump’s statements allowing for exceptions are similar to those made by other recent Republican presidents, including George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
“My own position on abortion is well-known and remains unchanged. I oppose abortion in all cases except rape or incest, or where the life of the mother is at stake,” George H.W. Bush said in 1992.
”My position has always been three exceptions: rape, incest and the life of the mother,” George W. Bush likewise outlined in 2006.
However, some have expressed disappointment that America’s leaders hold to exceptions to the right to life.
Rebecca Kiessling of Save the 1, who was conceived in rape and is now a voice against killing children for the crimes of their fathers, lamented the president’s post last year, writing on social media, “There’s nothing quite like getting singled out for death by your president.”
“[T]he pro-life movement accepts this compromise that they will endorse candidates again and again that make illogical and cruel exceptions to abortion. Namely they support those who will single out the rape conceived child or the incest conceived child and call them subhuman and undeserving of the right to live,” also wrote the World Life Organization. “It’s awful and is one of the huge reasons the pro-life movement is so weak and pathetic to have allowed abortion in the land for almost half a century.”
“[R]egardless of how the child came into existence, … the child conceived is still a child,” it stated. “As a society we must not tolerate or condone in any way murdering the child as an option. And until we make this strong stand, without exceptions, I believe nothing will significantly change and our nation will continue to have presidents who make ludicrous and immoral statements such as this.”