President Donald Trump announced this week that he plans to sign an executive order that will ensure that babies who survive abortion procedures receive proper medical care.
"I will always defend the sacred right to life," the president said in pre-recorded remarks delivered to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast.
"Today I am announcing that I will be signing the Born Alive executive order to assure that all precious babies born alive, no matter their circumstances, receive the medical care that they deserve," he said, adding, "this is our sacrosanct moral duty."
Today, President @realDonaldTrump addressed the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast by video and announced he will b… https://t.co/d31rP9UsNo— The White House (@The White House)1600890443.0
Trump did not go into specifics about the forthcoming order, but according to the Daily Signal, it would likely add enforcement provisions to a 2002 bill, which extended legal protection to infants born alive at any stage of development.
Legislation proposed in the Senate this year sought to do as much by requiring that babies born alive during botched abortion procedures receive equivalent medical care to any other newborn. The bill, called the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, included criminal consequences for health care providers who violated the 2002 law.
But the legislation was ultimately rejected after it failed to reach 60 votes in the chamber.
In response to Trump's announcement, a representative for the nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, repeated the same lines that many Democrat lawmakers used during debate over the Senate legislation, saying that the effort is redundant.
"It seems this administration will once again seek a solution to a nonexistent problem. An executive order like Donald Trump described would only spread misinformation, shame people who get abortions, and try to score low-hanging political points," said Jacqueline Ayers, the vice president of government relations and public policy for the organization's political arm.
In contrast, March for Life President Jeanne Mancini celebrated the move, saying the president had "stepped up for life."
"His actions today provide necessary legal protections for some of the most vulnerable in society: survivors of failed abortions," Mancini said in a written statement. "These steps had to be taken because some Democrats in the Senate promised to block legislation that mandates basic medical care for children who survive an abortion — an extremist view shared by vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris."
During his remarks, the president also tipped his hat religious Americans, saying, "Our nation is strong because of Catholics and all people of faith. We believe in the joy of family, the blessing of freedom and the dignity of work, and the eternal truth that every child, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of God."