I am deeply concerned. As a retired pastor and pro-life activist for over 40 years, I feel compelled to respond to President Trump’s new position on abortion and related life issues. In what follows I will largely address my brothers and sisters in Christ, but also all Americans who cherish our great experiment—that we should live together as one nation under the laws of nature and nature’s God.

What exactly did President Trump say? In essence, it was this: “In the Dobbs decision, the SCOTUS got it right. The justices saw that the Constitution says nothing about abortion. Therefore, in accordance with the 10th Amendment, they sent this matter back to the states. And I myself believe that’s where we should leave it.”

Here are some of the President’s exact words: “We have abortion where everyone wanted it . . . The states will determine [their position] by vote or legislation, or perhaps both. And whatever they decide must be the law of the land: in this case, the law of the state. Many states will be different. Many will [permit abortions after] a different number of weeks . . . At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people.”

In so speaking, a historically pro-life President, who previously accomplished great things for the unborn and their moms, has effectively become pro-choice. He is personally opposed to abortion; but if elected as President, he will not seek to restrict it by means of federal legislation, Supreme Court decision, or constitutional amendment.

In the face of rising criticism from pro-life leaders who expected more, the President seems unmoved. When asked if he would sign any kind of national ban on abortions, he simply said, “No.” Also, he expects—and apparently welcomes—electoral and legislative challenges to the kind of restrictive abortion laws we see in Arizona and Florida. He said, “So Florida’s probably going to change. Arizona is going to definitely change, everybody wants that to happen. And you’re getting the will of the people. It’s been pretty incredible when you think about it” (here).

Yes, it truly is pretty incredible.

A Stone of Stumbling, a Rock of Offense

I reckon this new states’ rights approach to abortion law to be an exceedingly dangerous error. Among other things, it places a spiritual and moral stumbling block before all Americans. It tempts us to accept the new status quo; to give up the fight for universal legal protection for unborn human beings; and to settle for a politically popular but spiritually lethal compromise, a compromise that will leave multitudes of unborn babies and their moms exposed to painful injury and death, and America exposed to the wrath and judgment of  a holy God.

Already, many have succumbed to the siren song. Kari Lake, a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Arizona, has publicly declared her agreement with President Trump. Accordingly, she has voiced her intention to oppose a recent Arizona State Supreme Court decision proscribing all abortions, except to save the life of the mother (here). Many other GOP hopefuls are falling in line with the President’s new stance (here). To judge from articles and comments appearing on conservative websites, multitudes of conservative Americans are doing the same (here). Doubtless many of my fellow Christians are in agreement. Even the leaders of longstanding pro-life ministries seem uncertain about how to proceed (here, here, and here). The Bible teaches that we are to be imitators of God (Eph. 5:1). President Trump now tempts us to become imitators of man.

Why So?

Why is the states’ rights approach to the life issues (abortion, in vitro fertilization, euthanasia, etc.) such a dangerous stumbling block? Here, to my mind, are a few of the most important reasons.

First and foremost, it ignores the will of God. Or rather, it actually seeks to replace the will of God with the will of man. God says, “You shall not commit murder” (Ex. 20:13). But President Trump and his followers say, “Well, personally we don’t agree with committing murder, but legally and constitutionally we must leave it to the people in the states to decide. Some will allow murder after 6 weeks, others after 15, others later still. At the end of the day, it’s all about the will of the people.” But this, as Roman Catholic leaders recently reminded us in Dignitas Infinitas, is simply another concession to the age-old temptation that fallen man should become his own god (here).

Secondly, this approach misunderstands the proper role of government. Biblically, government does not exist to implement the will of the people; it exists to implement the will of God. This is the thrust of Romans 13. Rulers are servants of God. They are given to us by God for our good. Their job is to commend those who do what is right, and to bring God’s wrath and retribution upon those who practice evil. In short, the purpose of government is to administer God’s holy law, not the wishes of fallen man, which are often sinful and unlawful. When God first instituted human government in the earth, he gave but one command: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God he made man” (Gen. 9:6). Similarly, on the second table of the Ten Commandments, the very first “Thou shalt not” is: Thou shalt not commit murder. Let every human ruler understand and tremble.

Thirdly, this approach misreads the nature and purpose of America’s founding documents. Like the Ten Commandments, these writings laid down the fundamental principles by which the nation as a whole covenants to live together. According to the Declaration, all Americans enjoy a God-given right to life, bestowed upon them by their Creator. That is the principle. The 14th Amendment gives us the principle put into practice: No state may deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall it deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

I am all too aware of those who try to argue that the unborn are not (yet) persons. For biblical Christians, this position is completely untenable, for Scripture everywhere depicts the unborn child as fully human, as a spiritual soul (person) united with a physical body. (Gen. 2:7; Ex. 21:22-25; Psalm 139; Luke 1:41-44; James 2:26). And even if there were doubts about the matter, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was surely correct when he observed that since God himself is the One who is developing a new human being in his/her mother’s womb, we dare not strike at his handiwork (here).

But quite apart from biblical teaching on the matter, we have the testimony of John Bingham, the primary author of the 14th amendment. Summing up its purpose, he wrote, “No state in the Union should deny to any human being . . . the equal protection of the laws.” And subsequent to the passage of this amendment, the states acted accordingly. Nearly every one of them adopted laws prohibiting abortion, and most were classified as “offenses against the person.” Person, according to the original intent of the 14th amendment, means human being. Are unborn babies human beings? If so, the 14th Amendment protects their God-given right to life (here).

Here, then, is the all-important conclusion of the matter. Like slavery, abortion is a national (federal) issue. The Declaration declares that all American human beings have the right to life. The 14th Amendment guarantees that right, securing it under national law. And the 10th Amendment itself concurs. The Constitution does indeed delegate to the U.S. the power to protect the right to life, and so prohibits the several states from violating it (here). Just like slavery, abortion is an objective evil that is wholly inconsistent with the fundamental principles and documents of our nation. By its very nature, it is not a states’ rights issue, but a human rights, national, and federal issue.

In the Dobbs decision, the SCOTUS refused to acknowledge this self-evident truth. Rightly, the justices ruled that Roe. vs. Wade was unconstitutional. Wrongly, they refused to hear the pleas and reasoning of various legal briefs, arguing that legalized abortion violates the natural and original sense of the 14th Amendment (here). Rejecting these pleas, and hiding behind a fallacious view of the 10th Amendment, the justices remanded the matter to the states. Thus did they unleash the spiritual, moral, and political chaos that is now upon us. For the moment, the President and his followers have been bewitched by this legal fiction, and are now furthering the chaos. Until we return to our founding national principles, the chaos, death, and divine judgment will continue.

Along these lines, I would also point out, with Lila Rose of Live Action, that any Republican who adopts a states’ rights position is abandoning his own party platform. It reads as follows:

The Constitution’s guarantee that no one can “be deprived of life, liberty or property” deliberately echoes the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that “all” are “endowed by their Creator” with the inalienable right to life. Accordingly, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth. 

President Trump and his followers are new political creatures under the sun. If they love the truth, they will either change the party platform or stop calling themselves Republicans (here).

Though he seeks to wear the mantle of a pro-life leader, the President has done great harm to the pro-life movement. For any movement to be successful, it must have a clear goal, a united membership, and (ideally) a champion: a statesman, a true leader who will stand on principle and forward the cause. Our goal has never changed: the restoration of the (biblically-based) sanctity of human life ethic in society at large, and the legal protection of all Americans, from conception to the moment of natural death. For the moment, it appears that President Trump does not embrace that goal, and has therefore declined to be our champion. Indeed, he now undermines our goal, tempting pro-lifers in red states to turn a blind eye to the ghastly whirlpools of suffering and death that are swallowing up human lives in neighboring blue states. That approach did not work in the days of slavery; it will not work in ours. Almighty God will see to that.

The Way Forward

What is the way for forward for pastors, church members, and all traditional Americans?

My reply is fairly simple. We all must be well-informed, active citizens. We must remind ourselves of the founding principles of our nation, and embrace them afresh. We must proclaim to all the sanctity of human life. We must advocate for its full protection under law. More concretely, we must urge the SCOTUS to do its duty: to implement the 14th Amendment and protect the right to life of all Americans, including the unborn, the handicapped, and the aged. Failing that, we must advocate for a Personhood or Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, thereby compelling the SCOTUS to do its duty.

Along the way, we must diligently work to restrict abortion as much as possible, at the federal, state, and local level (here). And much is possible. Currently 7 in 10 Americans favor laws that limit abortion after the unborn are able to feel pain (12-14 weeks after conception). Out of 50 nations in Europe, 47 have enacted just such laws. We can and should try to do the same, all the while keeping the supreme goal before us and before the nation (here). We dare not abandon pain-capable unborn babies in the blue states to the tender mercies of the Whitmers, Hochuls, Newsoms, and Pritzgers of this present evil age. (here)

A Concluding Plea 

I will close as I began, by stating that I am deeply concerned. The wrath of God is much upon our land. We see this in the accelerating corruption of our national character, institutions, public policies, economy, military readiness, and standing in the world. As members of the Body of Christ we can rejoice in the corresponding growth of the Church. But as grateful citizens of the United States, we must lament the condition of our beloved homeland, and, for the honor of Christ, do all we can to strengthen the things that remain.

Why exactly are we in this condition? Romans 1 tells us plainly. We have turned away from God, with the result that God, in wrath, has turned away from us, handing us over to the idolatry, depravity, and corruption that we see all around us, and through which he mercifully warns us to turn back to him.

But second only to America’s spiritual apostasy and idolatry is her monstrous national assault on the most helpless and innocent of his image-bearers: unborn human beings. I know of no more fundamental crime or injustice. We may judge God’s heart in this matter by hearing afresh the words of his Law: “You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless (Ex. 22:22-24).

Though they are not without guilt, multitudes of troubled women, spiritually widowed by absentee husbands and boyfriends, have been deceived and led to the slaughter by Big Abortion. And the blood of their murdered children—nearly 65 million of them—cries out to God for vengeance from the hidden graveyards where their pitiful remains are found. Yes, there is great wrath upon this nation, it leaders, and its institutions, for many have not yet repented of their murderous assault on the apple of God’s eye, his unborn human children. 

And now, as if to make matters worse, the SCOTUS, President Trump, and their Republican fellow-travelers have placed a stone of stumbling before us all, tempting Christians, pro-lifers, and all traditional Americans to abandon the founding principles of our national life, and to embrace a species of libertinism that will bring God’s wrath even more heavily upon our land.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, under our Lord Jesus Christ we ourselves are the light of the world. We are the pillar and the support of the truth in this present darkness (1 Tim. 3:15). If we do not take action in this matter, no one will.

Let us therefore keep praying for spiritual renewal in America. Let us pray for our leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-2). As opportunities arise, let us speak truth to the SCOTUS, the President, our representatives, governors, party leaders, neighbors, and fellow-voters. Let us urge them to turn back to their Creator and Redeemer, and to do all they can to restore the right to life to all God’s children.

And let us especially pray for candidate Donald Trump. I feel a genuine affection for the man. He accomplished much good in his years in office. He has bravely endured outrageous attacks and injustices from nearly every quarter. He has shown supernatural perseverance in the pursuit of his goals. I believe he sincerely desires to make America great again. But he must understand what De Tocqueville understood: America cannot be great again until she is good again. His present policy on human life does nothing to advance that noble and indispensable end.

Therefore, while there is still time, may he—and all Christians and all Americans—hear the word of the Lord:

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deut. 30:19). 



leave it.” (here)


  1. President Trump’s position is helpful without being overbearing to people who do not have ears to hear yet. The reversal of Roe returning the decision to the states has been a miraculous advancement & gift from God as well as Constitutionally appropriate. I view it as a stepping stone to influence the nation to hopefully greater things. But there is no way to get to the greater things without our vote being rescued and this will require the military saving us from America being an occupied nation. (Law of War Manual Ch. 11) A federal amendment would be the desire of millions of Americans who are unable to express the will of God on earth, because their vote is stolen. Let the states who will set good laws against this infanticide lead & light the way until America sees her stench and cries out for our present day precious baby slaves to be liberated. Prayer is our mighty weapon, and praise our virtue. Thank You God for this start of returning our “goodness” that we might become ‘great’ to Your eternal glory.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Anne. Fundamentally, we are on the same page. I must say, however, that I do not find the President’s position helpful, but hurtful. As I wrote, the pro-choice, state’s rights approach, places a moral stumbling block before all parties involved, tempting us to relent in our pursuit of life, liberty, and justice for all. The right approach, to my mind, is simply to state clearly the principled goal (the right to life for all), and then declare one’s intention to pursue it, however long, and by however many steps, it may take to achieve it. Plus,we must relentlessly expose the murderous agenda of the progressive Democrat Party. That’s leadership and statesmanship. That’s what we need from President Trump. And so, like you, Anne, I pray. Blessings, d

  2. While we can appreciate and celebrate incremental steps in the fight for life as they occur, we must never lose site of the guiding principle. It is always wrong to intentionally kill another human being, no matter the stage of pregnancy.  We must never accept compromise as a goal in itself. 

    This is reminding me of when President Trump caved into the Covid hysteria and irresponsible government spending at the end of his presidential term. Instead of acting as a leader, he foolishly sought to be “liked” in a misguided and rather desperate attempt to get reelected. 

    Behind every great moral or legal breakthrough in history there has been a social movement driven not by legal subterfuge and political compromise but by laser-focused courage and clarity. The proponents of women’s suffrage never asked for anything less than a full vote for each woman. Martin Luther King never advocated for compromise in his quest for racial equality.

    False prudence is a loser’s game.

    1. Could not possibly agree more. My deepest concern, relative to this issue, is that we will fail to see how seriously the Creator and Judge we claim to honor as the friend of the American Experiment regards the willful destruction of his human children. The founders appealed to the God of Providence to protect them and the new nation. From all that I can see happening around me, he seems to be intent on destroying it. I do, however, take comfort when I remember that for the sake of even a few righteous, he is inclined to stay his hand.

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