Catholic voters have been a pivotal swing vote in U.S. presidential elections for decades, with a majority backing the winner — whether Republican or Democrat — nearly every time.
In an attempt to win over Catholic voters, President Donald Trump made a promise on Wednesday to sign an executive order that would require health care providers to provide medical care to all babies born alive.
During a video to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Trump said his “born alive executive order” would ensure that babies born alive no matter the circumstances “receive the medical care that they deserve.”
The White House did not release further details about the order, but Trump’s announcement follows numerous attempts by GOP lawmakers in Washington and in state capitals around the country to pass legislation that threatens prison for doctors who don’t try to save the life of infants born alive during abortions.
The law in place now provides protections to newborns, whether born during a failed abortion or other circumstances, but when anomalies are so severe that a newborn would die soon after birth, a family may choose what’s known as palliative care or comfort care. This might involve allowing the baby to die naturally without medical intervention.
Trump’s order would require doctor’s to care for infants born alive no matter what.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is also working to win over Roman Catholic voters in the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Advocates for Trump say faithful Catholics should not vote for Biden, who is a practicing Catholic, because of his support for abortion rights.
A Pew Research Center poll over the summer found 50% of Catholics saying they support Trump in the presidential election, while 49% are backing Biden.