Donald Trump and the Pro-life Movement: It’s an Open Door

Donald Trump and the Pro-life Movement: It’s an Open Door


Date: April 7, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today:

“Yesterday, a number of media outlets reported a story incorrectly regarding the relationship of Donald Trump to the pro-life movement, and I would like to correct the record.

Neither Mr. Trump nor anyone associated with him or his campaign canceled a meeting or phone call with pro-life leaders, nor did they break any commitment, promise, appointment, or expectation.

“In my role as National Director of Priests for Life, I arrange various events and conversations, some public and some confidential, between candidates and various leaders, groups, and activists in the pro-life movement. Moreover, we provide, in a non-partisan way, advice and information on abortion to any candidate or campaign seeking such advice or information.

“In that context, we consider the door to be fully open to Mr. Trump and his campaign, and he has a standing invitation to dialogue, both on the record and off the record, with the leaders of the pro-life movement. Such communication and dialogue are essential with anyone who is running for the highest office in the land, on a topic of the highest moral significance. But I cannot comment on arrangements that have been made or are being made when those arrangements or events are confidential. I stress again, however, that no commitments have been broken, nor has Mr. Trump or his campaign given me any indication of a lack of interest.

“Much has been made of his recent comments about who should be punished for abortion. As for punishing the woman, those who have had abortions are already in prison. As the Pastoral Director of the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion, Rachel’s Vineyard, and also of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, by which those who have had abortions speak out about their experiences, I know this very well. We don’t aim to imprison them, we aim to liberate them from the shame and guilt and wounds abortion brings. The punishment should be for the abortionist, not the baby’s mom. I have not spoken to Mr. Trump about this, but do look forward to doing so, and I am confident that he will listen to the voices and testimonies of women who suffer from abortion.

“But Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have also made comments recently on abortion, including in a Town Hall on Fox News with Bret Baier. Sanders could name no circumstance, and Hillary hardly any, in which they thought it would be OK to make a single abortion illegal. That position is out of step with the American people. And neither of them has corrected or edited those comments.

“Those who — mistakenly — think there should be a punishment for the women are much easier to bring to the right position than those who take the even more outrageous, offensive, and disastrous position — like Sanders, Clinton, and the Democratic platform — that the dismemberment and decapitation of children should continue in a practically unlimited way. In the former position, there’s an acknowledgment that society has to do something about the massive holocaust of children. In the latter position, there is a blatant disregard for the most fundamental right, the right to life.

“Priests for Life continues to be ready to discuss an issue of such monumental importance with all the candidates and their campaigns.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit


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