WASHINGTON — President Trump used an appearance at a high-profile religious gathering Thursday to stress anti-abortion policies and appeal to conservative, Christian voters as the 2020 election campaign gets underway.

“As part of our commitment to building a just and loving society, we must build a culture that cherishes the dignity and sanctity of innocent human life,” Trump said at the annual National Prayer Breakfast. “All children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God.”

That pledge, two days after Trump in his State of the Union address denounced late-term abortion, is part of his effort to re-energize evangelical voters, who have been among his most loyal supporters and will be vital to his re-election prospects. In that speech, Trump incorrectly claimed that Gov. Ralph Northam, D-Va., when discussing late-term abortions in which the infant is severely deformed or unable to survive after birth, had said “he would execute a baby after birth.”

Trump also urged Congress to prohibit what he described as “the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.” The prospects of legislation restricting abortion rights passing a Democratic-controlled House appear remote.

“I will never let you down,” Trump told an audience that included members of his Cabinet and Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., whom he did not acknowledge. “As president I will always cherish, honor and protect the believers who uplift our communities and sustain our nation,” he said.

Trump also praised Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, as an “incredible second lady” and noted that she recently began teaching art classes at a Christian school in Northern Virginia.

The Immanuel Christian School has been criticized for its policy barring gay students, parents and employees. A document posted on its website says the school can refuse admission or discontinue the enrollment of any student “if the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home, the activities of a parent or guardian, or the activities of the student are counter to … the biblical lifestyle the school teaches.”

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.