Donald Trump achievements: Abortion

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Main article: Donald Trump achievements

This article is a non-exhaustive list of achievements by U.S. President Donald Trump, his administration, and Congress related to abortion and advancing pro-life policies.


President Trump kept his pro-life promises during his first year of his presidency and made several considerable achievements during that time.[1][2] Due to his achievements in advancing pro-life policies, along with other conservative social policies, President Trump was described as "taking back America's culture" by the conservative media.[3]

Legislation signed, 2017

  • April 13, 2017—President Trump signed a Congressional Review bill into law annulling a recent Obama Administration regulation that would have prohibited states from discriminating in awarding Title X family planning funds based on whether the local clinic also performs abortions (some states adopted rules which distribute federal family planning funds on the condition that the organizations do not perform abortions).[4] The Act was "the first major national pro-life bill in more than a decade."[5]

Executive actions, 2017

  • January 23, 2017—President Trump signed an order reinstating the Mexico City Policy, which defunded International Planned Parenthood and other organizations that promote foreign abortions.[6] However, unlike previous administrations, the Trump Administration expanded the policy to include all global health assistance funding.[1][7]
  • April 4, 2017—The Trump Administration halted U.S. funding of the United Nations Population Fund, which has links to inhumane abortion programs such as China's one-child policy. Instead, the $32.5 million was shifted to the U.S. Agency for International Development.[8]
  • President Trump appointed several pro-life advocates to Department of Health and Human Services positions. In late March 2017, he appointed Scott Lloyd to lead the HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement, which led the fight against allowing illegal immigrants obtaining abortions.[9] On April 28, 2017, in an apparent victory for the pro-life movement,[10] President Trump appointed Dr. Charmaine Yoest, a strong pro-life advocate and the former president of Americans United for Life, to the position of assistant secretary of public affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services, replacing a strong Planned Parenthood supporter.[11] The position did not require Senate confirmation.[12] In late May, Trump appointed Shannon Royce, who formerly served in the Family Research Council and the Southern Baptists' Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, to the HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.[13] Around May 1, 2017, President Trump appointed Teresa Manning, a pro-life advocate who worked for the Family Research Council and the National Right to Life, to be the HHS deputy assistant secretary for population affairs.[14] In July 2017, President Trump appointed Bethany Kozma, a strong conservative activist[15] who reportedly stated in March 2018 that the U.S. "is a pro-life country" at a private United Nations meeting,[16] as Senior Adviser in the Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment division of USAID.[15]
  • May 15, 2017—The Trump Administration massively broadened the scope of the Mexico City Policy to restrict funding to any international health organization that performs or gives information about abortions, expanding the amount of money affected from $600,000 to nearly $9 billion.[17]

Proclamations and commemorations, 2017

  • October 1, 2017—Becoming the first president since Bill Clinton in 1993 to recognize Down Syndrome Awareness Month,[18] President Trump issued a strongly pro-life statement.[19]
  • November 2017—President Trump proclaimed this month National Adoption Month, stating that "no child in America—born or unborn—is unwanted or unloved."[20]

Other achievements, 2017

While the following achievements were not official United States government policy actions by the Trump Administration, they were closely related to the Trump Administration and its policies:

  • January 27, 2017—Vice President Mike Pence became the first vice president in United States history to speak at the annual March for Life march in Washington D.C.[21] Additionally, Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway also spoke at the event, and Trump himself strongly expressed his support for the march.[22][23]


As in the previous year, not only did President Trump speak strongly against abortion, but he made substantial pro-life policy moves on the issue.[24][25] Despite these achievements, officials at the State Department and USAID worked to undermine the Trump Administration's pro-life policies.[26]

Executive actions, 2018

  • January 19, 2018—The United States Department of Health and Human Services made several pro-life actions, rescinding a 2016 Obama Administration guidance that made it harder for states to defund Planned Parenthood, and it began the process of enacting a regulation to require healthcare providers to follow laws that protect workers' from being forced to perform services, such as abortions, that violate their consciences.[24][27]
  • February 23, 2018—The HHS changed its Title X family planning grants to promote conservative priorities, which included not allowing the grants to be used for abortions,[28] even though the HHS did not disallow Planned Parenthood from applying.[29]
  • By April 2018, the HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement had become an active force for pro-life policies.[30]
  • April 9, 2018—The HHS released an ObamaCare rule that exempted pro-life Americans from the individual mandate penalty for not buying healthcare plans if the only plans available covered abortion.[31]
  • April 20, 2018—The Trump Administration ended the Obama-era policy of listing abortion as a "human right" in the State Department's annual human rights report, and it added a section on population control.[32]
  • May 18, 2018—The Trump Administration began the process of enacting a federal regulation blocking the use of federal funds for clinics that provide or discuss abortion.[33] On May 22, 2018, the HHS moved to implement the rule by making a formal proposal.[34][35] In August 2018, the Trump Administration moved to shorten the process to implement the new policy,[36] and it released the final rule for the policy in February 2019.[37]
  • November 7, 2018—The Trump Administration finalized two rules allowing employers with religious objections to opt out of the ObamaCare contraceptive mandate and ensuring that taxpayer-funded health care subsidies would not be used to fund abortions.[38]
  • December 10, 2018—The National Institutes of Health announced it would give out $20 million in grants to look for alternatives to fetal tissue in medical research.[39]
  • The Trump Administration took a pro-life stance when dealing with international organizations. For example, in March 2018, a Trump Administration official reportedly stated that the U.S. "is a pro-life country" at a private United Nations meeting.[40] In April 2018, the U.S. and African countries rejected a UN resolution because it included pro-abortion language while failing to include language upholding national sovereignty,[41] and in May 2018, the Trump Administration issued a pro-life statement criticizing the World Health Organization for promoting abortion.[42] At the G7 summit in June 2018, the Trump Administration blocked Canada – the host country – from using the group's joint statement to promote abortion.[43] In November 2018, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley stated the U.S. would continue defending the unborn at the United Nations.[44] The U.S. attempted to remove pro-abortion language and policies from UN documents.[45]
  • President Trump continued making pro-life political appointments. For example, in June 2018, he appointed Dr. Diane Foley, a pro-life OB/GYN, to run the HHS's family planning program.[46] In November 2018, President Trump appointed Dr. Maureen Condic, a pro-life neurobiologist to the National Science Board.[47]

Proclamations and commemorations, 2018

  • January 22, 2018—President Trump proclaimed this day National Sanctity of Human Life Day.[48]
  • April 2018—When President Trump declared this month National Child Abuse Prevention Month, he included unborn children in his proclamation, stating that "they are endowed from conception with value, purpose, and human dignity."[49]
  • October 1, 2018—President Trump recognized Down Syndrome Awareness Month, issuing a pro-life statement that condemned Down syndrome-selective abortions.[50]
  • November 2018—President Trump proclaimed this month National Adoption Month, calling for adoption for children whether "born or unborn."[51]

Other achievements, 2018

While the following achievements were not official United States government policy actions by the Trump Administration, they were closely related to the Trump Administration and its policies:

  • January 19, 2018—President Trump became the first incumbent U.S. president to speak to the March for Life via live video feed, speaking strongly against abortion.[52] He also became the third incumbent president to speak to the rally at all, with the first two, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, choosing to speak by phone.[53]
  • May 22, 2018—President Trump spoke at the Susan B. Anthony List's annual gala and gave a strong pro-life speech.[35][54]


President Trump continued promoting pro-life policies as the Democratic Party became increasingly pro-abortion.[55] Because of the Trump Administration's Title X grant reforms, federal government funding of Planned Parenthood fell significantly.[56] The administration also worked to improve rural pregnancy care.[57]

Executive actions, 2019

  • The Trump Administration continued taking a pro-life stance when dealing with international organizations.[58] On April 23, 2019, the U.S. successfully got the UN to remove pro-abortion language from a sexual violence resolution.[59] It also lobbied other countries to support pro-life policies.[60] On September 23, 2019, the U.S. and eighteen other pro-life nations released a joint statement at the United Nations General Assembly stating that no international right to an abortion exists and calling on the UN to remove mentions of "reproductive health" from its documents.[61] In 2019, the Trump Administration succeeded in keeping abortion language out of a UN Security Council resolution on women in conflicts.[62] On November 14, 2019, the U.S. and ten other countries condemned a pro-abortion UN conference.[63]
  • February 22, 2019—The Trump Administration released its final rule for a policy, announced in May 2018, to defund any clinic that either provides abortions or refers people to abortion clinics, something that would reduce Planned Parenthood funding by about $60 million.[37]
  • March 26, 2019—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the U.S. would expand the Mexico City Policy so that any organization that supports pro-abortion organizations would lose U.S. funding.[64] Pompeo announced the Organization of American States would be the first organization to lose American funding because of the new policy.[64]
  • March 29, 2019—The Trump Administration announced that for 2019 it would give a $1.7 million grant – money that likely would have originally gone to Planned Parenthood – to the Obria Group, a crisis pregnancy center which opposes abortion and contraceptives, and it would continue giving grants through 2022.[65]
  • June 5, 2019—The Trump Administration announced it would end research at the National Institutes of Health that uses fetal tissue, and it also ended government funding to a university for such research.[66] The HHS also announced that it would conduct ethics reviews before funding private research projects.[66]
  • July 2019—The CMS released guidance requiring hospitals to treat survivors of abortion along with babies born prematurely.[67]
  • July 16, 2019—For the third year in a row, the Trump Administration withheld funding for the United Nations Population Fund, an international organization that promotes abortion and population control.[68]
  • December 20, 2019—The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a final rule ending the "abortion surcharge," thus making it more difficult for ObamaCare plans to fund abortions.[69]

Proclamations and commemorations, 2019

  • January 20, 2019—President Trump declared this day National Sanctity of Human Life Day.[70]
  • February 15, 2019—President Trump commemorated Susan B. Anthony's birthday, noting that "pursuit for equal rights demands respect for all human life, including innocent unborn babies."[71]
  • March 21, 2019—President Trump commemorated World Down Syndrome Day by reaffirming his support for life and inviting several individuals with Down syndrome and their families to the White House.[72]
  • October 1, 2019—President Trump recognized Down Syndrome Awareness Month, stating that "we must devote our efforts to ensure that the United States continues to exhibit reverence for human life — both born and unborn."[73]

Other achievements, 2019

While the following achievements were not official United States government policy actions by the Trump Administration, they were closely related to the Trump Administration and its policies:

  • Both President Trump[74] and Vice President Pence[75] made surprise appearances – with Trump speaking through a video feed – at the March for Life, making strong pro-life statements.[76]
  • In an interview with The Daily Caller in January 2019, President Trump criticized a radical pro-abortion bill in Virginia and Democrats' statements in favor of it.[77]
  • February 5, 2019—In his State of the Union Address, President Trump strongly condemned abortion, stating that "all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God," and he called on Congress to ban late-term abortions.[78]
  • February 7, 2019—Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump, among other statements, called for "a culture that cherishes dignity and sanctity of innocent human life," and stated that "all children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God."[79]
  • February 14, 2019—President Trump met with several pro-life advocates in the Oval Office, expressing his support for their efforts.[80]
  • Among other statements defending the sanctity of life,[81] President Trump strongly criticized Democrats for voting against criminalizing infanticide.[82] He also affirmed his administration's pro-life stance and criticized the United Nation's pro-abortion policies while speaking at the UN General Assembly on September 24, 2019.[83] Other Trump Administration officials spoke against pro-abortion policies,[84] including Vice President Mike Pence[85] and HUD Secretary Ben Carson.[86]
  • April 12, 2019—The White House hosted a screening of the pro-life movie Gosnell.[87]

Setbacks, 2019

The following setbacks to the MAGA agenda were often caused by Congress or officials in the Trump Administration, rather than President Trump himself. Some of them can also be considered partial achievements.

  • May 18, 2019—In an otherwise strongly-worded tweet promoting pro-life policies and unity, President Trump stated he supported abortion in cases of rape and incest, something which appeared to imply he disagreed with a pro-life Alabama law not making exceptions for those two specific reasons.[88]
  • Trump Administration appointee Kathryn C. Kaufman, the managing director at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, publicly opposed the administration's pro-life stance.[89]


Executive actions, 2020

  • February 2020—It was announced that Donald Trump's unveiled 2021 budget plan would effectively de-fund Planned Parenthood and furthermore prohibit all federal funding for certain entities that provide abortion "services" such as the United Nations Population Fund.[90]
  • September 23, 2020—President Trump announced that he would sign an executive order to ensure that newborn children including those who survive abortions get necessary medical care,[92] which he did several days later.[93] This was after Democrats had repeatedly blocked the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act from being passed in both the House and Senate.[94][95]

Proclamations and commemorations, 2020

  • January 21, 2020—President Trump made a proclamation announcing that the following day, January 22, which marked the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, would be the National Sanctity of Human Life Day.[96]

March for Life speech

See also: March for Life

Donald Trump became the first president to give a live speech on the Mall at the March for Life, on January 24, 2020.[98]

Other achievements, 2020

  • March 11, 2020—It was announced that the Trump-led Department of Justice would argue before a federal court to uphold an Ohio law prohibiting "doctors" from performing abortions on Down syndrome babies if they are aware that the woman is only seeking it for the reason that the baby has Down syndrome.[99]

Setbacks, 2020


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  2. Multiple references:
  3. Berry, Susan (July 30, 2017). Seven Ways Trump Is Taking Back America’s Culture. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  4. Multiple references:
  5. Dinan, Stephen (April 13, 2017). Trump gives states power to cut off Planned Parenthood money. The Washington Times. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  6. Multiple references: The State Department reported in February 2018 that nearly every organization agreed to comply with the order: See also:
  7. LaBarbera, Peter (January 25, 2017). Trump didn’t just re-enact old ban on funding International Planned Parenthood – It’s now much stronger. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  8. Multiple references:
  9. Leahy, Michael Patrick (April 4, 2017). Knights of Columbus Attorney Named Director of Office of Refugee Resettlement. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
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  12. Pradhan, Rachana (May 28, 2017). Trump names anti-abortion leader Yoest to top HHS post. Politico. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  13. Multiple references:
  14. Multiple references:
  15. 15.0 15.1 Hodges, Mark (July 6, 2017). Trump appoints anti-transgender activist, stay-at-home mom as key advisor. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  16. Multiple references:
  17. Multiple references:
  18. Brown, Lauretta (October 4, 2017). President Trump Is the First President Since Clinton to Recognize Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Townhall. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  19. Multiple references:
  20. Multiple references:
  21. Multiple references:
  22. Nelson, Louis (January 27, 2017). Trump: March for Life demonstrators 'have my full support'. Politico. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  23. Bilger, Micaiah (January 27, 2017). President Donald Trump Tweets March for Life: “You Have My Full Support!. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Shellnutt, Kate (January 19, 2018). It’s Official: Trump Turns HHS from Pro-Life Antagonist to Advocate. Christianity Today. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  25. Multiple references: See also:
  26. Multiple references: See also:
  27. Multiple references:
  28. Multiple references:
  29. Hellmann, Jessie (February 23, 2018). Planned Parenthood won't be barred from applying for family planning funds. The Hill. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  30. Peters, Jeremy W. (April 5, 2018). Under Trump, an Office Meant to Help Refugees Enters the Abortion Wars. The New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  31. Multiple references:
  32. Multiple references: See also:
  33. Multiple references: See also:
  34. Multiple references:
  35. 35.0 35.1 Boyer, Dave (May 22, 2018). Trump says 'historic' rule change means taxpayers will no longer be forced to subsidize abortions. The Washington Times. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  36. Multiple references:
  37. 37.0 37.1 Multiple references: See also: The Trump Administration began enforcing the rule on July 15, 2019: However, the Trump Administration paused enforcement of the rule to give clinics more time to comply: The administration later moved to implement the rule again, and Planned Parenthood defunded itself as a result: The Trump Administration shifted the funding that Planned Parenthood and other groups rejected because of the rule: Other actions:
  38. Multiple references: See also:
  39. Multiple references: See also:
  40. Multiple references: See also:
  41. Gennarini, Stefano (April 20, 2018). US, African nations hold the line on abortion at UN. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  42. Multiple references:
  43. Multiple references:
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  45. Multiple references:
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  47. Multiple references:
  48. Multiple references:
  49. Multiple references:
  50. Multiple references:
  51. Multiple references:
  52. Multiple references: Full speech transcript:
  53. Multiple references:
  54. Multiple references:
  55. Multiple references: See also: Opposing point of view from conservatives:
  56. Richardson, Valerie (April 2, 2019). Trump administration puts squeeze on Planned Parenthood with Title X abortion reforms. The Washington Times. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
    See also:
  57. Fiano-Chesser, Cassy (September 17, 2019). Trump’s health department will send $9M to 3 states to improve rural pregnancy care. LifeSiteNews (from Live Action News). Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  58. Oas, Rebecca (February 8, 2019). War of words: World Health Organization sneaks pro-abortion language into resolutions. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
    Other examples, including internal and external opposition to the administration's pro-life policies:
  59. Multiple references: See also:
  60. Multiple references:
  61. Multiple references: See also:
  62. Yoshihara, Susan (November 5, 2019). Trump admin torpedoes abortion language for second year at UN Security Council. LifeSiteNews (from C-Fam). Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  63. Multiple references: See also:
  64. 64.0 64.1 Multiple references:
  65. Multiple references: See also:
  66. 66.0 66.1 Multiple references: See also:
  67. Multiple references:
  68. Multiple references:
  69. Multiple references:
  70. Proclamation 9838 of January 18, 2019 -- National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2019. Federal Register. January 25, 2019. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  71. Multiple references:
  72. Multiple references:
  73. Multiple references:
  74. Multiple references: See also:
  75. Multiple references:
  76. Multiple references:
  77. Multiple references: See also:
  78. Multiple references: See also:
  79. Multiple references: President Trump's address: See also: Subsequent statements on abortion:
  80. Multiple references:
  81. Multiple references:
  82. Multiple references: See also:
  83. Freiburger, Calvin (September 24, 2019). Trump blasts ‘global bureaucrats’ for pushing abortion ‘until the moment of delivery’ in UN speech. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
    See also:
  84. Multiple references: See also:
  85. Multiple references: See also:
  86. Multiple references:
  87. Multiple references: See also:
  88. Multiple references: More on President Trump's series of tweets: See also:
  89. Multiple references:
  90. Multiple references:
  91. Two references:
  92. Multiple references:
  93. Multiple references:
  94. Desanctis, Alexandra (February 25, 2020). Democrats Block Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in the Senate. National Review. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  95. Richardson, Valerie (February 28, 2020). House Dems block -- for 80th time -- born-alive bill requiring care for botched-abortion survivors. Washington Times. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  96. Multiple references:
  97. Trump highlights pro-life, school choice issues in State of the Union
  98. HISTORY: President Trump March For Life Rally FULL SPEECH
  99. Multiple references:
  100. Multiple references: