The pro-life movement’s Big League deal (and what they should do now)


The pro-life movement made a big league deal with Donald Trump, and they should praise him for keeping it.

Trump critics are upset at various moderating statements he made in his 60 Minutes interview on issues such as immigration, Obamacare, and gay marriage.

That makes it all the more striking what Trump did not even slightly hint that he is wavering on:

“The judges will be prolife.”

Pro-life leaders should certainly remain vigilant to see these promises through to completion. But part of vigilance is praising someone when they say they will honor their promise.

You don’t make a contract with someone and then publicly insist the person intends to break it. That’s counterproductive and downright rude. Part of vigilance is positive reinforcement.

We should praise not only Trump but also pro-life leaders who negotiated this yuge deal. Christians critical of Trump often minimize the importance of the Supreme Court with a straw man, saying that all pro-lifers got was a quixotic chance to overturn Roe v. Wade.

That is seriously incorrect.

Hillary’s court would not have merely kept Roe. It would have redefined it into a super-duper “equality” right, reversing past 5-4 decisions to force all taxpayers to fund abortions, legalize partial birth abortions, and coerce organizations to participate in the abortion process by insisting abortion “access” trumps religious freedom.

The pro-life movement prevented that catastrophe by abandoning vagueness when it comes to the courts. Gone are generic promises for “strict constructionist” judges. Instead, we have a promise of “pro-life” judges, and more than that, we have a pre-approved list of great nominees. Nothing is left to chance. 

(This, by the way, is why people should stop suggesting Senator Cruz for the court. He’s wonderful. But he’s not on the list.)

Mr. Trump made his promises so concrete that he told Hugh Hewitt if he veers from his list, Senator McConnell could block his nominee–as he just blocked President Obama’s nominee. Because, Trump said, he intends to pick from the list. And he is still saying it now.

Pro-lifers should remain vigilant, but not by being Negative Nancys. They should praise President-elect Trump for continuing to insist he will keep his side of the pro-life deal.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

Matt Bowman is a pro-life, religious liberties and constitutional law attorney in the Washington, DC area. He graduated from Ave Maria School of Law in 2003 and clerked for several federal judges thereafter. The Bowmans are involved in homeschooling and classical Catholic education and are rabid fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Matt is a member of the Knights of Columbus and his local parish.


  1. Theodore Seeber on

    I will praise him when he nominates a prolife judge and gets his appointment through the senate.

    Unfortunately, this is a man who has a history of breaking contracts whenever it is in his best interest to do so. He told us that in the late 1980s when he published The Art of The Deal. Skepticism is warranted

  2. Pro-life Judge? How Pro-life? I don’t know where Judge Garlands stands on the life issue. He has been determined to be highly qualified, which to me means that his experience on the courts have been impeccable and he stands ready to defend and protect our Constitution. That has always been the litmus test for SCOTUS nominees. The Republican Senate leadership has caused a major disruption on the high court by FREEZing the nomination vetting process. That caused the 4/4 split to order certain cases to the lower courts which doubled their workload, Slow moving Senator Mitch McConnell in his tour of the Senate with Trump shows no sigh of being overworked. He will rue the day.

  3. The end does not justify the means. Trump is far more trouble than he’s worth on the single pro-life issue. If the first value on a hierarchy is life, he has threatened life immediately in other ways. Any vote for trump for any reason was an irresponsible gamble. Try stopping abortion by evangelizing and changing hearts and minds rather than aligning with and supporting authoritarian, corrupt republican fake-christian sadistic sociopaths. The Catholic church has run aground in its moral authority by supporting trump.

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