By Representative Bob Latta
On Monday, hundreds of thousands of Americans came to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life rally to exercise their freedoms of speech, assembly and religion. Individuals of all ages braved the cold, rainy January weather for hours to support the rights of the unborn and remember the over 52 million lives that have been lost by abortion.
This number is staggering.
Imagine the talent that has been lost to humanity from the loss of these lives. With modern technology, it is impossible to ignore the ultrasound picture of a developing child or listen to a fetal heartbeat and believe that a child should not have the opportunity to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
A nation will be judged by the way it protects its most vulnerable, thus it's imperative that we continue to fight and support initiatives that protect the sanctity of life.
I believe the 1973 Supreme Court Case, Roe v. Wade, should be overturned. However, this isn't going to happen overnight.
Nevertheless, we have made progress since the Supreme Court ruling 40 years ago.
Just in the past year, Americans United for Life reported that over 460 abortion-related measures were considered by 47 states and 70 of them were enacted. In my home state of Ohio, seven pro-life provisions were signed into law, including a late-term abortion ban.
These pro-life gains are to be commended, and the U.S. Congress should follow suit.
That's why we must urge our Senate Leaders to take action on the House-passed No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. This bipartisan bill would end taxpayer-funded abortions and would prevent the federal government from discriminating against health professionals who choose to abstain from participating in abortions.
Numerous news stories over the past year demonstrate that conscience protection is needed for health care providers. For example, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey recently attempted to force nurses to violate their religious beliefs by participating in abortion procedures against their will.
The rights of the unborn and conscience rights of others should not be violated, that's why we must restrict abortion funding. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it saves lives.
The pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute reports that policies such as the Hyde Amendment -- a legislative provision that bans federal funding for abortions through Medicaid -- prevent abortions by 20 to 35 percent. This isn't just my belief but an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose public funding of abortion by a margin of 61 to 35 percent, according to an April 2011 poll by CNN.
Currently, the Hyde amendment and other funding bans constitute a patchwork of policies, and don't cover certain funding streams in the President's new health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For this reason, we must continue to pressure Congress to enact laws like the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.
We must remain vigilant in protecting the unborn and I will continue to be an unyielding supporter of legislation that affirms the sanctity of human life.