Trump Takes Action on Religious
Donald Trump used the occasion of the annual National Day of Prayer
last Thursday to issue a much-anticipated executive order on religious
The main feature of Trump's order was instruction to the
Internal Revenue Service to relax its enforcement of laws prohibiting
political involvement by churches and religious organizations.
President Trump made clear during his campaign that he was strongly opposed to what is known as the Johnson Amendment.
provision of the federal tax code restricts churches from making any
statements in support of or opposition to candidates for public office.
Churches who violate the restriction are subject to loss of their
exemption from federal taxation.
The executive order directs the
IRS not to "unfairly target" the tax-exempt status of churches and
religious organizations who engage in political speech.
giving churches their voices back," Trump said in signing the executive
order in the Rose Garden. "The federal government will never
penalize any person for their protected religious beliefs. We will
not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silenced again."
one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors," Trump
remarked. "In America, we do not fear people speaking freely from
the pulpit. We embrace it."
Trump cited the historic impact
of African-American churches in "spurring our nation to greater justice
and equality." "We must never infringe on the noble tradition of
change from the church, and progress from the pew."
Trump has also directed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to
"re-examine" the Obama Administration's contraceptive and abortion drug
Under that mandate, every health insurance policy
issued in the United States was required to include no-cost coverage of
abortifacient drugs such as Ella and Plan B, often referred to as
Present at the ceremony were
members of the Little Sisters of the Poor, who have been waging a legal
battle with the federal government over the requirement that their own
health plan include abortion drug coverage.
President Trump told
the nuns who were present: "Your long ordeal will soon be
over. With this executive order, we are ending the attacks on your
Secretary Price said that his department
would be "taking action in short order to follow the President's
instruction to safeguard the deeply held religious beliefs of Americans
who provide health insurance to their employees."
President of the Family Research Council, cheered the President's
actions. "The freedom to live out faith in all areas of society
without government punishment or intimidation is what has made America
"This step today starts the process of reversing the
devastating trend set by the last Administration to punish charities,
pastors, family-owned businesses, and honest, hard-working people simply
for living according to their faith," Perkins continued.
Senator Roy Blunt also applauded the President's action. "I hope
this executive order makes it clear today that harassment of religious
groups is going to stop. Whether you're a person of faith, or no
faith at all, you should be able to pursue those
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Judge Orders State
to Expedite Licenses
for Abortion Clinics
federal judge has ordered the Missouri Department of Health and Senior
Services (DHSS) to expedite the issuance of licenses to Planned
Parenthood organizations to open four new abortion clinics in
Missouri. In a new order released last week, U. S. District Judge
Howard Sachs said that "the Court expects current and future [abortion]
licensing applications to be processed promptly...without effective
influence from opponents of abortion."
Planned Parenthood of the
St. Louis Region has announced that they plan to begin providing
abortions at clinics in Springfield and Joplin as soon as they receive
operating licenses from DHSS. The plan is to offer chemical
abortions at the outset.
Once they receive clearance from the
state, Planned Parenthood Great Plains is gearing up to offer chemical
abortions at a clinic in Kansas City, Missouri, and to reopen their
Columbia clinic where they will offer both chemical and surgical
Chemical abortions involve the distribution of the drug regimen
RU-486. A woman first takes the drug mifepristone, which causes
the death of the unborn child by breaking down the endometrial lining of
the uterus. The woman subsequently takes the drug misoprostol,
which initiates contractions and thus expels the dead child from the
RU-486 is often referred to as the "do-it-yourself"
abortion method, because the finality of the process occurs in the
privacy of one's home. The remains of the child are usually
expelled into the toilet, and then flushed away. The woman is
supposedly then able to resume her normal activity without having had to
undergo a surgical procedure.
The fact is RU-486 is a dangerous drug which often causes excessive
blood loss. It is known to cause sepsis, many times as a result of
"incomplete" abortions where body parts of the preborn child have
remained in the mother's uterus. At least 14 women have died since
the drug's inception, and more than 2200 women have reported
Last year, the Obama Administration's
Food and Drug Administration extended the recommended upper limit for
use of the drug from 49 to 70 days of pregnancy. Expanding the
usage protocol to a later gestational age increases the occurrence of
failed chemical abortions, necessitating emergency room treatment for
women with tissue from the unborn child still present in their
Missouri currently only has one operating abortion clinic--the
Reproductive Health Services mega-clinic operated by Planned Parenthood
in St. Louis, where both surgical and chemical abortions are
provided. The green light to open new abortion clinics in Missouri
is the result of a preliminary injunction issued by Judge Sachs last
month striking down two longstanding abortion clinic regulations.
state law required that abortion clinics meet the same health and
safety standards as other ambulatory surgical centers. The other
required that physicians performing abortions must have staff privileges
at a nearby hospital in the community. Missouri was the first
state to adopt such requirements, with the original statute dating back
Now that these laws have been nullified, Planned Parenthood can
implement its business model of fly-by, drive-by abortions.
Abortionists fly into or drive into a community, conduct abortions in
assembly-line fashion, and then fly or drive out of town to their next
killing center. These doctors have never seen the women on whom
they are performing abortions, and have no medical credentials in the
community assuring continuity of care.
The ruling by Judge Sachs
was inevitable as a result of a dreadful decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer in a case known as Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt
. In that decision, the High Court struck down a Texas law with provisions very similar to those in
Missouri. However, the latest edict by Judge Sachs and the
language of his court orders make it clear that he is functioning not as
an arbiter of the law, but as an agent for Planned Parenthood's
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has said
that his office will appeal the preliminary injunction action by Judge
Sachs to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. "These portions of
Missouri law protect the health and safety of women who seek to obtain
an abortion. Missouri has an obligation to do everything possible
to ensure the health and safety of women undergoing medical procedures
in state licensed medical facilities," Hawley said.
In his latest order, Judge Sachs stated that the Department of Health
and Senior Services "is free to use all other licensing and
inspection activities in its oversight of abortion facilities."
That means that other pro-life laws mandating a 72-hour period for
abortions, and the provision of informed consent materials to
abortion-minded women remain in force.