Washington D.C., Feb 4, 2021 / 07:00 pm MT (CNA).- With a pro-abortion administration and a pro-abortion majority in the House, the pro-life movement will be “tenacious,” a leading pro-life member of Congress says.
“We will be tenacious. We will respect even those with whom we have profound disagreements,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said in an interview with EWTN Pro-Life Weekly that will air on Thursday evening.
Smith has co-chaired the House Pro-Life Caucus for decades. Now he will be facing a Democratic majority in the House and an effective Democratic majority in the Senate with 50 seats plus Vice President Kamala Harris available to cast a tiebreaking vote.
In the House, “tragically, every Democrat, it would appear—maybe there might be one—are pro-abortion,” Smith said. In the Senate, a clear pro-abortion majority there is less clear as pro-life groups have said that several members in both parties could vote either way on life issues.
Smith was asked by EWTN Pro-Life Weekly host Catherine Hadro on Thursday what the strategy of the pro-life movement will be under the administration of pro-abortion President Joe Biden, especially in the next two years
Smith said that, while the pro-life movement will be “tenacious” in countering pro-abortion policies, they will also seek to change hearts and minds.
“I’ve been in the pro-life movement for 48 years. We love even our opponent. We know that so many people who used to be pro-abortion came over to our side,” he said, noting that former abortionist Bernard Nathanson eventually joined the pro-life movement.
“Our hope is that our argument is persuasive,” he said, noting the cruelty of abortion.
Last week, President Biden reversed the Mexico City Policy, allowing for funding of international pro-abortion groups in U.S. family planning and global health assistance. Biden has also ordered a review of Title X regulations, the first step toward once again allowing federal funding of domestic groups that refer for abortions or are co-located with abortion clinics.
On the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, Biden also stated his commitment to codifying Roe in law.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that Biden had “long” supported revoking the Mexico City Policy, and was simply “delivering on promises he made on the campaign trail” by opposing pro-life policies and supporting Roe v. Wade.
Regarding any hope of bipartisanship in the House, Smith said he hoped pro-life Democrats would once again reappear in the House.
“I’m hoping that the Democrat Party, at the grassroots, takes back its party and says, ‘we have always been for the little guy, the little gal. We have always been for the least of our brethren,’” Smith said.
“Well the unborn child is the least of the least because they have been just completely written out of our law,” he said.
Over in the Senate, one senator introduced a bill on Wednesday to stop funding of abortion promoters, after President Biden last week allowed for such funding to once again continue.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced the Protecting Life in Foreign Assistance Act on Wednesday, to “permanently stop the use of our foreign aid money from funding or promoting abortions overseas,” he said in his remarks on the Senate Floor.
“The whole point of American foreign aid is to assist countries in times of need, and in support of a common interest between them and us,” Sen. Lee stated on Wednesday.
“And yet, for many years our foreign aid dollars have been used to impose violent cultural imperialism,” he said, “by promoting and providing for the practice of abortion.”
In response to Lee’s bill, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) countered that U.S. aid cannot directly fund abortions, and thus argued that there is no need to bar funding of pro-abortion groups.
“And let us be clear: America’s taxpayer dollars do not go to fund abortions overseas,” Shaheen stated. To defund pro-abortion groups that provide health care services in addition to abortion would decrease access to care, she said.
Lee’s bill “closes health clinics, decreases care, and needlessly puts the lives of women, children, and families at risk,” she said.
In 2019, Shaheen tried to insert pro-abortion amendments into appropriations bills to overturn the Mexico City Policy and increase abortion funding.
Smith explained to EWTN Pro-Life Weekly on Thursday that the Mexico City Policy is necessary to ensuring the U.S. is not complicit in international abortions.
Although existing policy prohibits the direct funding of abortions, pro-abortion groups are still putting pressure on developing countries to liberalize their abortion laws, while benefitting from increased U.S. aid, Smith said.