President Trump’s opposition to late-term abortion resulted in a tense scene in the White House last week when he confronted a Democratic senator who is a professing Christian.
Democratic Sen. Chris Coons (Del.) and other religious politicians and leaders were attending a dinner in the White House’s Blue Room the night before the National Prayer Breakfast when the encounter occurred, Politico reported. Coons describes himself as a “practicing Christian and a devout Presbyterian.” He was co-chair of the breakfast and joined a Republican senator in praying for Trump the next day.
Three sources told Politico the scene was tense when Trump approached Coons in the Blue Room to discuss the Democrats’ support of a New York law and a Virginia bill that allow abortion up to the moment of birth.
“He was in his face about it,” one source told Politico. The same person described Trump as “worked up.”
“He saw a Democrat in the room, a Democrat who’s known to be a person of faith, and he was like, ‘Why aren’t you speaking out about this?’” the source told Politico.
A second source said the confrontation was awkward and attention-grabbing. Coons was elected in 2010 and holds the seat that Joe Biden formerly filled. He serves on five committees and is considered one of the top dealmakers in D.C. Coons also helps lead a weekly prayer breakfast for senators.
Trump also raised the issue during a private meeting with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
A White House official told Politico that Trump “genuinely views abortion… and isn’t afraid to make the Democrats defend their extreme positions.”
Politico reported that “people close to Trump say that he has developed an increasingly sincere passion for the cause.”
Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, said Trump’s pro-life beliefs developed long before he ran for president in 2016.
“I talked to him about it in 2010 and 2011 and he was unapologetically pro-life,” Reed said.
David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee, said he welcomes Trump’s outspokenness on the issue.
“He feels convicted,” O’Steen told Politico. He hopes Trump will “continue to speak from the heart if he’s as shocked as most people are by the idea of after-birth abortions.”
Trump discussed the issue of late-term abortion in his State of the Union address.
“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,” Trump said. “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,” he added. “And then, we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth. To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb.
“Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life,” Trump concluded. “And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children -- born and unborn -- are made in the holy image of God.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Pool
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.