President Donald Trump reportedly called abortion a form of "execution" during an invitational pro-life conference call held by the president and senior White House officials. The call, which took place at Thursday, Feb. 14, at noon, featured several evangelical and charismatic leaders, including Paula White-Cain, Jim Garlow and Mike Evans.
Evans told Charisma the call focused on the pro-life movement and Trump reminding evangelicals he has fulfilled his campaign promises in that department. Evans says he was included in the call—alongside leaders like James Dobson and Tony Perkins—because he has supported the president since the early primaries. The call was off-the-record for most news outlets, but Evans provided Charisma News permission to print a recap of the conversation based upon his notes.
According to Evans, Trump began by talking about Democratic lawmakers and his efforts to limit their "agenda against pro-life." He discussed New York's recent abortion legislation and then commented on Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's support for late-term abortion. Northam supported state legislation in late January that would loosen restrictions on third-trimester abortions.
During a radio interview with WTOP, Northam said, "[Third trimester abortions are] done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that's nonviable. So in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that's what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother."
During the call, Evans said, "[Trump] talked about what the governor of Virginia talked about, having to do with a baby, describes these services that's outside the womb to a baby that is wrapped, and he said it's an execution. That's what he called it: 'an execution of a child.'"
Trump also reportedly brought up during the call that he reinstated the Mexico City policy, which prevents federal funding from going to non-governmental organizations that decriminalize, expand or recommend abortion. Evans said the president also supported faith-based adoption agencies and promised he would "issue vetoes on any legislation that supports the abortion agendas."
"[Trump] had several people in his office when he called us," Evans said. "One of the individuals was Ika, a young boy who was 6 years old who was born at 22 weeks. Another was Katie, who had Down Syndrome. She said she was making the world a better place.
"He also said every child that is born is created in the image of God and that they all have dreams, and all deserve the right to reach their full potential. He also talked about that he had seen progress in the last two weeks on all this, and that he was hopeful that there could be significant legislation that he would be able to pass that proposes this agenda and that he looked forward to a time when there'd be a signing celebration at the White House."
Evans says Trump's comments made up the vast majority of the call, which is reportedly the third such conference call the president has hosted for Christian leaders in the last four weeks.
Evans said he was impressed by Trump taking time for the call, because, "Ronald Reagan didn't. I was on the inside with Bill Bright and with a lot of evangelical leaders like Tim LaHaye, but Ronald Reagan never took the time. I believe we've been on the phone with this president three times in the last four weeks. He's given us the most unprecedented access of any president in American history."
Evans also spoke glowingly of last year's White House dinner to celebrate evangelical leaders and suggested there'd been more meetings since then at the White House.
"[For] our group, the last time we were in the White House for dinner, the dinner was a state dinner hosted by Melania, and the purpose of the state dinner to celebrate evangelical leadership. It's the first dinner in American history ever to celebrate evangelical leadership, and many of us spoke briefly at it. I spoke briefly ... and others did. But know we've been with him in the Oval Office many times."
Evans believes God has blessed this president's tenure because he supports Israel and the rights of the unborn.
"Israel and the right to life are the No. 1 reason why evangelicals have supported the president overwhelmingly, and I believe Israel and the right to life are the No. 1 reason why evangelicals will continue to support the president overwhelmingly, because on those two issues, he has exceeded our expectations," Evans said.