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Public Statements

Protecting the Most Precious Gift

Statement

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Date:
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One of the most contentious provisions in the President's unpopular health care law reignited the debate over whether the federal government should subsidize abortions with taxpayer dollars. I fought to ensure that federal funds were banned from paying for abortions. Americans should not forced to use their tax money to pay for something that so many find morally wrong.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected in Washington, D.C. this week for the 39th annual March for Life. Beginning at the White House and ending at the Supreme Court, those making the march will serve as a visible sign of support to overturn the Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. As the debate over the health care law reminds us, life issues remain unresolved, and I will continue working to protect the most defenseless among us.

A 2008 Zogby International Poll found that 59% of those surveyed believe human life begins at conception. However, the Supreme Court has declined to define when a human life starts. In an effort to protect the most vulnerable in our society, I introduced a bill that would do just that. The Life at Conception Act is a simple and straight-forward piece of legislation to establish in law what most Americans clearly believe and what science has long known -- that human life begins at the moment of conception -- and therefore is entitled to legal protection from that point forward.

In 1973, when the Supreme Court handed down its now-infamous Roe v. Wade decision, it did not tie the hands of Congress. The Supreme Court refused to resolve the question of when life begins, but instead specifically acknowledged that if "personhood is established, the appellant's case [i.e., "Roe"], of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment." The Life at Conception Act would ensure that the Constitution's fundamental right to life is applied to all Americans, particularly those who cannot speak for themselves.

Unborn children remain the most helpless in our society, and questions of life are being asked not only in the United States, but around the world. In his first month in office, President Obama rescinded the Mexico City Policy, which prevented U.S. government funding from going to overseas organizations that promote or provide abortions. This was a harmful change in policy, and I am working prevent tax dollars from being used in this way.

As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I also championed strengthening the International Violence Against Women Act to protect the unborn. Even though this bill has the potential to advance the rights and protections of women who find themselves in dangerous situations at home, in their communities, or amidst conflict, it is inconsistent to pursue these goals while not opposing violence against unborn children. I introduced an amendment to make sure that this legislation is entirely distinct from the pro-abortion agenda of this Administration and some outside groups.

The God-given gift of a single human life is truly a remarkable blessing, and we should protect, nurture, and develop that gift to its fullest ability. Abortion and life issues are among the most significant ones that Congress will ever address. Remembering the sanctity of life of all human beings is an important step toward protecting it.


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