Pro-lifers:  Could you use a little good news right about now?

Donald_Trump_by_Gage_SkidmoreIf you’re discouraged at the prospect of choosing between two undesirable candidates for the highest office of the land, you’re not alone. The Internet is aflurry with moanings and hand-wringing because our worst fears are being realized: There is an increasing likelihood that our choice for the presidency will be narrowed to either a self-absorbed circus barker with questionable pro-life credentials, or an abortion-friendly consummate liar.

Donald Trump, who seems to be en route to capturing the Republican nomination, is a self-professed abortion opponent–except when he isn’t.

In 1999, the candidate was on record as opposing any limits on abortion, even on partial-birth abortions. But he claims to have changed in the ensuing years.

Yet in April 2016, the Washington Post reported that Trump had taken five different positions on abortion in only three days.

During the current campaign, he has called for punishment for women who abort their children, then reversed that position and said that only the doctor should be punished, and not the pregnant woman.

He has advocated for states’ rights, then changed again and called abortion “settled law.”

And on April 1, the Trump campaign reframed what the candidate had said, explaining:

“Mr. Trump gave an accurate account of the law as it is today and made clear it must stay that way now — until he is president. Then he will change the law through his judicial appointments and allow the states to protect the unborn. There is nothing new or different here.”

Today, though, there was some very encouraging news from the Trump campaign: The Donald, who has pledged to surround himself with well-qualified advisors, has hired John Mashburn, a longstanding pro-lifer, as his Policy Director.

Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life organization dedicated to electing leaders and advancing legislation to reduce and ultimately end abortion. Dannenfelser reported on the selection of Mashburn in a column on She wrote:

“…This is an excellent hire, especially for the pro-life movement and our legislative priorities.

I have known and respected John Mashburn for many years. He is a smart strategist with deep pro-life roots. John is well-respected across every issue set. For him, the life issue is foundational and one which helped draw him into politics.”

And indeed, Mashburn brings to the top advisor post some impressive credentials. He once served Jesse Helms, a pro-life activist and leader of the conservative movement. Senator Helms fought to stop abortion on demand in our nation, and worked tirelessly for the protection of unborn children, mothers, and taxpayers.

Mashburn has worked in the leadership offices of the Senate Majority Leader, Senate Republican Conference Secretary, and House Majority Whip. He has held leadership positions, Dannenfelser reports, under the chairman and ranking senator of several congressional committees, and has worked for non-profit public policy groups.Most recently, he served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

If there is a glimmer of hope for pro-life Americans this week, it is this: that Mashburn will be the guy at Trump’s right hand, helping to shape social policy during the campaign and into a possible Trump presidency. Marjorie Dannenfelser delineates her hopes:

“Congratulations on your new hire, Mr. Trump. If elected, no doubt John Mashburn will serve you well as you fulfill your campaign promises to defund Planned Parenthood, advance and sign into law the popular Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and appoint Justices to the bench who will protect and defend the Constitution.”

From her lips to God’s ears.

Image: Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore

[CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons