June 24th, 2023
by Ashley Oliver
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) honored the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Dobbs decision by acknowledging former President Donald Trump’s contribution to the pro-life movement and previewing Congress’s forthcoming federal pro-life initiatives.
“I think when it comes to the Supreme Court nominations, President Trump was the most pro-life president we’ve ever had,” Stefanik told Breitbart News ahead of speaking at a celebratory event hosted by the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List this week.
“And thank goodness for his strong nominations to the Supreme Court,” Stefanik added. “I certainly am proud that we have so many pro-life leaders stepping up at all levels to run for office in the Republican Party.”
Stefanik, the House GOP Conference chair and a member of leadership, was an early endorser of Trump’s reelection bid and reiterated her support for him Saturday on social media, saying, “We must continue strengthening the culture of life in America by electing President Trump in 2024!”
While SBA List has not made an endorsement in the packed GOP primary, the prominent group also gave the former president credit.
“He’s the most pro-life president we’ve ever had, without question,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser told Breitbart News. “We hope that past is prologue. We’re just waiting to hear what his plans are.”
During his time in office, Trump nominated three conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, who sided with the high court’s majority in a 5–4 vote overturning Roe one year ago.
The former president, who won over middle America, and evangelical voters in particular, in his 2016 rise in part by promoting a pro-life position, is now joined in the primary by a number of fervently pro-life challengers who are all facing questions from the Republican base about forwarding the pro-life movement in the post-Roe era.
Trump’s top challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has stood firmly by a heartbeat bill he signed into law in his state this year banning most abortions after six weeks gestation. Trump raised eyebrows when he hit back at his opponent in an interview with the Messenger by claiming some pro-lifers view the ban as “too harsh.”
Stefanik at the SBA List’s event delved into federal-level pro-life efforts, saying that while Democrats have in recent years targeted the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for most abortions, House Republicans would use their narrow majority to protect the amendment through the forthcoming appropriations process.
“Those are important policy riders that used to be bipartisan,” Stefanik said. “Those days are long gone as the Democrats have become so radical in today’s party under Joe Biden.”
She said she is also advocating for the House to pass H.R. 7, which would codify that no taxpayer dollars are used to fund abortions, as well as a bill she has cosponsored banning abortion at 15 weeks with the exception of rape, incest, and life of the mother.
Almost all Republicans would have to be on board with the bills for them to pass the House.
Asked how Republicans reconcile supporting abortion regulation being flipped back to states while pushing for federal legislation on the issue, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), the GOP Conference’s vice chair, told Breitbart News the Pro-Life Caucus is working with national groups like SBA List to find consensus on the matter, and whether there should be a “ceiling.”
“There’s a broad swath of opinions on that, you know, should it be a 15-week ban, six-week ban,” Johnson said. “I think we may be close to building a consensus, but it’s still being worked out.”
Johnson, who himself is pro-life and worked as an attorney in that arena for two decades, said discussions remain ongoing “about where we land on that,” a testament to the challenge House Republicans face with encouraging a national pro-life culture legislatively while holding such a slim majority in the lower chamber alongside a Democrat-controlled Senate and White House.
The House in January passed two fairly mild pro-life bills with unanimous Republican support and little to no Democrat support, a bill that would implement protections for babies born alive after botched abortions and a resolution condemning attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers, neither of which has been taken up in the Senate.
See the full story from Breitbart here.