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Public Statements

Right to Life

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. FORTENBERRY. I thank the gentleman, my good friend from New Jersey, for the time and for his courageous leadership on this, a central American issue of justice.

Mr. Speaker, let me say this first. What a day this has been. I spent the morning with a group of young Nebraskans who had traveled all this way to participate in the March for Life. And they came here to express one similar purpose, one truth: that all life is worthy of protection. All life should be loved and nurtured.

These young people are saying that we should be big enough, caring enough, loving enough as a Nation to see to it that all mothers and their unborn children are provided for. And these young people are saying that we should make the great woundedness of the Roe vs. Wade decision a thing of the past.

Now, Mr. Speaker, it's important to note that in the same year when Roe vs. Wade was errantly decided by the Supreme Court, stripping unborn children of their dignity and right to life, that Congress came together and enacted a very important law called the Endangered Species Act. This was a very significant piece of legislation to ensure that the majesty and wonder of nature's creations were rightly protected.

I believe the responsible stewardship of our environment is an essential cause, but there is a certain irony here. The life of a child should be of no less value than any other creature on earth. And in 2010, with my support, we passed a bill prohibiting the interstate commerce of videos that were depicting the torture of vulnerable animals. Yet, in that same year, we could not move a bill forward that prohibited interstate abortions of vulnerable children and minors without parental protection. There is a grave inconsistency in these walls.

But, Mr. Speaker, I don't know if you had a chance to look out on the National Mall today. But the hundreds of thousands of young people out there braving both the bite of cold and wind, who understand the principle for which they marched, were saying this. These young people know that abortion hurts women. These young people are saying women deserve better. And they know that abortion is so often the result of a tragic circumstance of abandonment, an unsupportive family or, worse yet, a coercive boyfriend or unscrupulous doctor, and they are saying that we can do better as a country.

Mr. Speaker, I recently received a newsletter in my mailbox at home, and it described some people who were standing in front of an abortion clinic legally, peacefully providing witness to alternatives to abortion.

A car pulled up in the driveway. The car hesitated. The man driving was very anxious and nervous. And these people who were witnessing there walked up and asked if they could be of assistance. The woman who was with him who was going in for an abortion had three children. She was unsure that she could care for a fourth child. In fact, she didn't know where her next meal was coming from.

They talked a bit. The couple decided to seek these nice people's help, who had provided a little bit of assistance, comfort, and care for them. And now 9 months later because of that act of compassion, there is a baby named David.

We should be big enough and loving enough as a country to help people get through no matter how tough the circumstances.

It is that courageous woman who made the decision to keep her child that gives me strength to stand on this floor to defend our shared convictions and fight to see the day when the scales are lifted from our Nation's eyes and we declare the unborn worthy of protection under the 14th Amendment.

Before I conclude and yield back to my good friend from New Jersey, I'd also like to say a word of thanks, Mr. Speaker, to all of the women who are saying they will be silent no more, providing the most powerful example of women who have been wounded by abortion but now who are speaking out against the abortion industry in saying we can do better as a Nation.


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