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Right to Life

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Location: Washington, DC


RIGHT TO LIFE -- (House of Representatives - January 22, 2008)

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Mrs. BACHMANN. Mr. Speaker, it truly is a momentous evening this evening and the entire day here on the March for Life that occurred here on our Nation's capital, and it is a privilege for me to be here as a freshman Member of Congress, hailing from the very cold State of Minnesota, to be able to be here on this floor on this momentous occasion.

We heard so many eloquent speakers, led by TRENT FRANKS, a man who has a great love for people, not just a love for babies, not just a love for women. He has a love for people, and I am so grateful for the wonderful hour that he just led. We have other Members of Congress, Mr. Speaker, who have come down to this Chamber because they are moved by this issue, not just for their love for babies or their love for women or love for men, but they are moved by many factors that go to increase our Nation and the natural resources that are in our Nation.

One of those is Mr. Bishop who is from Utah's First District, and he would like to speak for a few moments on the floor of Congress.

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Ms. BACHMANN. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Mr. Hensarling from Texas' Fifth District. He has confirmed once again to me, Mr. Speaker, that not only is he a giant among men here in this body, but he is a gentle giant, and those are the greatest of all.

I think I have seen a tenderness here this evening, a softness and an eloquence that he speaks, the foundational nature of the issue that we are grappling tonight. There is a sweet sorrow, if you will, regarding this subject because we are talking about something that is dealing with the foundational nature of this country and yet of all humanity, and that is life and what we will do with life.

And I jotted down just a few words before I came up to manage this hour. And I wrote down that every generation, Mr. Speaker, seems to grapple with an issue that transcends all others. That issue for 31 years has been whether government will protect from destruction life, innocent human life.

Our American landscape has changed so dramatically over these last 31 years. I was in high school when the Roe v. Wade decision came down. I hate to admit I was so ignorant when I was a junior in high school, I didn't even know what abortion meant. I didn't even know what it was. What innocence that time was in the early seventies here in the United States.

In that time, Mr. Speaker, we have lost 50 million fellow Americans, and now we've lost the children, some of whom those 50 million would have borne. There are 50 million women whose bodies were violated by the horrific violence that we call here in this chamber abortion. There are 50 million men who have lost out on the tremendous privilege and joy of fatherhood, and our Nation today is poorer because we're missing, Mr. Speaker, 50 million fellow Americans, so sadly.

An inordinate number of these 50 million Americans are children of color. We needed those children of color in our Nation. We needed those African American babies, those Latino babies, those Asian babies. We need them, Mr. Speaker, in our Nation.

And we mourn together the loss of these priceless treasures that would have woven a beautiful tapestry of humanity even here in our midst. Yes, we mourn with a great sadness, but we also rejoice, and we also take great joy in the fact that today, even now, we're making a down payment because today is a new day.

It's a new day for a future of change, and it's my hope and my prayer that it is today, Mr. Speaker, that the words that are spoken on this floor would captivate the attention of young women and young men across our Nation, young people who may have had the chance to turn this show this evening on television, who would choose to respect their bodies and would choose to respect their sexuality and choose to respect their fertility because fertility is a gift. It's not a given. It's a gift.

Ask those people who can't have children. Ask women with love who would love to bear a child but can't, young people who will choose to be givers in this Nation, givers to one another in love, givers to themselves, givers to our Nation and givers to the next generation of Americans.

Today, earlier, I had the great privilege of being in my home State of Minnesota. I went up to the steps of our State capitol. Thousands of Minnesotans had gathered. You think it's cold in Washington, DC? There is nothing like a March For Life rally in the State of Minnesota. It was sub-zero. I wasn't wearing boots. I had a wool overcoat on, and in a moment, my feet were tingling, freezing cold. There were thousands that were there that had braved sub-zero freezing temperatures, holding signs, from cities across the State of Minnesota because they wanted to be there to choose life, Mr. Speaker, and march for the greatest gift that any of us have ever had, the gift of life.

I want to take these few minutes right now to thank the Americans and the people across the globe who have chosen to adopt children. There is no such thing in this country as an unwanted child. There is no such thing. There is a line a mile long of men and women who would give anything tonight to adopt a child. Yes, even the less than a perfect child there's a mile long group of people who would say me, let me, just like Mother Theresa

of India who said give them to me and I will take these children.

Thank you to those who have chosen to give life, and whether you kept that child or blessed another family with a child, thank you for choosing life tonight.

I want to thank parents who have chosen to be foster parents, who have taken children in less than ideal situations, or parents that couldn't cope

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with a child who was difficult. I thank the foster parents who have opened your hearts, opened your arms, opened your homes, who've inconvenienced yourselves, but yet, you have chosen a better way, to give life in a different sort of way to children in foster homes.

I also want to thank the women who have chosen life and the parents who have encouraged their young daughters or their sons to be supportive of women in a situation where they didn't know if they would choose life or if they would choose to take life. I thank the parents.

It's easy when your child is suffering with an unplanned pregnancy to say it's okay, I'll support you, I'll take you to that abortion clinic, I will pay for that abortion. But they don't always recognize that there is a price that that young woman will pay for the rest of her life in her emotion because her arms will be forever empty, and she'll know that there is a baby that could have been hers and yet was not, or a young man who knows he could have been a father to that baby.

Parents, think again. Taking the easy way isn't always the easy way, Mr. Speaker, and for boyfriends who just heard the news that their girlfriend is pregnant, oh, my gosh, of course I will pay for the abortion you say, let's do that. You don't need this; I don't need this. We've got a whole life in front of us. Who needs this? We can do this. I will borrow the money from my parents, the boyfriend might say, Mr. Speaker, or yet he might say I'll drop you if you don't have this abortion. I'll leave you. I'll walk out on you.

There's another way. There's another choice. There's a choice called life, and it may be inconvenient and it may be embarrassing and it may be expensive, and yes, it will change your life and there may be pain, but there will be joy when you hear that first cry, when you hold that hand that literally covers your finger. And when you look in those eyes and you stroke that silky hair, there is nothing like that baby that you will see, and it will change your life as a young man. It will change your life as a young woman.

That baby has the power to change America. Every baby has the power to change this country. They are America's greatest natural resource.

I thank my parents, David and Jean, who gave me life. I thank my husband who stood by me with our five babies and who stood by me when we lost a baby. I thank you for standing by me when we didn't know if we could go on anymore, and I thank you for stepping up to the plate, for being willing to bring 23 foster children into our home so we could offer an alternative for those children and hopefully give them a down payment on a future and on a hope.

These remarks that we gave here tonight are not about condemning anyone. Who could? Who could? I couldn't condemn anyone. Who could? But it's about lifting up people. We're here to lift up people. These remarks tonight weren't given to judge anyone. Who could? We're here to heal and offer a healing alternative.

That's why recently I introduced a bill, and it's a bipartisan bill. Democrats are on this bill. Republicans are on this bill. This is not partisan. This is about life, and this is about humanity and choosing the best that are among us, and in the Positive Alternatives Act, we just say something very simply. It says that today there are tax dollars that go to Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortion in the United States. Tax dollars go to Planned Parenthood.

There are not tax dollars that go to life care centers in this country, and we want to change that. We want to level the playing field.

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And we want to give a positive alternative all across this great country so that there is a chance for men and women to say, let me think about this. Maybe I don't want to choose death. Maybe I want to choose something else. Maybe there's someone out there who can help me through a difficult time, who could help me with my medical needs, who could help me to get a job, who could help me get some education, who could help me get clothes on my back, who could help me if I want to keep this baby, who could help me if I want to give this baby to a family who maybe doesn't have a baby. It's just common decency to allow for an alternative that leads to life and not lead to guilt and to death, and perhaps remorse that even a lifetime could never erase.

We are such a great country, Mr. Speaker. I know you feel that way, I know you do. And we're a blessed country. Let's choose life. Let's choose the better way. It's the American way.

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