Commentary

The ‘Trump Effect’ Is Becoming Evident In the States

By Bill Donohue | May 23, 2017 | 1:36pm EDT
President Donald Trump (Wikimedia Commons Photo)

Human rights legislation is quickening in the states: protections for the unborn are gaining across the nation. Similarly, there is a determined effort to secure religious liberty.

Progress against child abuse in the womb is so strong in Kentucky that it may become the first state not to have a single abortion clinic. Planned Parenthood efforts to house new abortion clinics have been stopped, and it is now illegal to kill children after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Requiring doctors to inform pregnant women of ultrasound details is also law.

On May 12, Tennessee made it illegal to end the life of an unborn baby beyond viability. The law is different from the more than 20 other states that ban abortion beyond viability: it actually requires doctors to assess viability beginning at 20 weeks.

Indiana has tightened its parental consent law by allowing a judge to inform an underage girl's parents that she wants to abort her child. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are up in arms over this expansion of parental rights.

Lawmakers in Iowa passed a bill denying reimbursement to abortion clinics that rely on Medicaid; starting July 1, they can no longer expect to be refunded for such expenses. True health services—unrelated to killing—will still be refunded.

Catholics have sued St. Louis for disrespecting the religious liberty rights of employers and landlords opposed to abortion. The law mandates that all employers—including Catholic institutions—must respect the "reproductive health decisions" of its employees. In practice, this means that pro-abortion teachers could sue if denied a teaching job at a Catholic school.

The Texas legislature has passed a bill that respects the autonomy of foster care and adoption agencies that receive public monies. Radical homosexuals, as well as men and women who have undergone surgery to adopt the genitals of the opposite sex, are unhappy with this religious liberty legislation.

A lot of good things are happening. Is this the "Trump Effect"? If so, the pope should be very pleased when they meet.

Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of seven books and many articles.

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