Holding onto Trump’s pro-life promises
The Susan B. Anthony List’s Emily Buchanan is confident in the new president
Emily Buchanan is the executive vice president of the Susan B. Anthony List, which works to advance pro-life policies around the nation. I spoke with her recently about the state of pro-life advocacy before and after 2016’s landmark election.
What type of work did the Susan B. Anthony List do during the most recent political campaign? This election cycle, we spent $18 million, and our field operation hit 1.1 million doors. That was in North Carolina, Florida, Missouri, and Ohio. We chose those states early on. We started early hitting those doors, making sure that pro-life voters turned out. Overall, through the mail and the door-knocking and online efforts, we reached 1.6 million targeted pro-life voters. These were the key voters who were needed to win in these states. They were pro-life voters who may not vote in every election. We also talked to pro-life Democrats and pro-life Hispanics.
How is the Susan B. Anthony List advocating for a ban on abortions of pain-capable unborn babies? It’s been front and center for a number of years now. We’ve made that our top legislative priority. It’s the first piece of legislation to really point to the humanity of the unborn child. This is a child that can feel pain, and it’s absolutely wrong that we would be having an abortion at this point. It’s a place where the country is at. We have a majority of support. It was voted on in both the House and the Senate last session, and we plan to move it forward. We have a commitment from Donald Trump, who has said that he will sign this into law. We have every intention at the Susan B. Anthony List to advance this legislation in the current Congress and continue to build votes for it. The partial-birth abortion ban went through Congress several times, was vetoed several times, and then we had a pro-life president sign it. That’s what we expect with the pain-capable bill.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony List, was on President Donald Trump’s pro-life advisory committee. How comfortable are you that Trump will fulfill his promises for pro-life policies? We’re absolutely confident that he will fulfill his promises. When he invited Marjorie to be on the pro-life advisory committee, we secured those commitments and added one to codify the Hyde Amendment. He is a pro-life president and he maintained that all throughout the campaign. We have no reason to question that.
If you did have a reason to question that, would anything prevent you from speaking out? No, not at all. We have one mission, and that’s to save unborn children. It’s not to pay favors to any candidate or to shield any candidate from the consequences of their decisions. We are going to always make the choice: What’s best for unborn children? If a politician abandons his promises, we will be right there to make sure voters know about that. They feel the consequences in the electorate.
What other legislative priorities do you have for the new administration, especially in the first 100 days? One of the unsung heroes of the 2016 election really is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who made sure that we did not confirm an Obama appointee and said the election should determine the direction our Supreme Court went. It did, and his leadership and his standing strong means Trump will get to nominate a pro-life nominee to make sure we maintain the balance in the Court.
We’ll be working on that and then also defunding Planned Parenthood. In the last reconciliation bill and the budget process, we included defunding Planned Parenthood, and the House leadership and Senate leadership pushed that all the way to the president’s desk. … We established that precedent for right now, for this moment, when we have a pro-life president who can now sign that into law.
Listen to Warren Smith’s complete conversation with Emily Buchanan on the Jan. 13 edition of Listening In.
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