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President Donald Trump delivered an impassioned defense of the rights of the unborn at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.
“We must build a culture that cherishes dignity and sanctity of innocent human life,” the president said. “All children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God.”
Faith leaders and others attending the event erupted in a standing ovation in response to his remarks.
Trump, who affirmed his opposition to abortion during his State of the Union message, did so Thursday as well.
“Every life is sacred and every soul is a precious gift from heaven. As the Lord says in Jeremiah, ‘before I formed you in the womb, I knew you — before you were born, I set you apart,’” he said, quoting the Old Testament.
Trump also drew on the words of Jesus Christ in his remarks.
“As Jesus promises in the Bible, ‘Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete,” Trump said. “Let us pray for the future of our country.”
Trump has received the support of many Christian faith leaders throughout his presidency, something Trump noted in the opening words of his speech.
“I will never let you down, I can say that,” he said. The president highlighted the faith community’s fundamental involvement in many of America’s greatest achievements.
“Faith leaders helped us achieve historic bipartisan criminal justice reform,” he said. “They’ve been wanting to do that for many, many years and we altogether got it done.”
Trump noted that faith leaders also contribute to the powerful American belief in second chances.
“America is a nation that believes in redemption. Every day, the people in this room demonstrate the power of faith to transform lives, heal communities…”
During his speech, Trump emphasized his administration’s support for adoption.
“We will always protect this country’s long and proud tradition of faith-based adoption,” he said. “My administration is working to ensure that faith-based adoption agencies are able to help vulnerable children find their forever families while following their deeply held beliefs.”
“Today and every day let us pray for the future of our country, let us pray for courage to pursue justice, and wisdom to forge peace,” he continued. “For a future where every child is warm, safe, in a loving home.”
Reprising his State of the Union call for unity, Trump urged all those in attendance and the nation at large to “come together for people, the strength of families, the safety of citizens, fulfillment of deepest hopes and highest potential, and let us always give thanks for the miracle of life, creation, and the grace of God.”
During his address to lawmakers Tuesday, Trump made clear that the foundational right of all Americans is the right to life.
“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our Nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth,” Trump said.
“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.”