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Mrs. HARTZLER. Thank you. I applaud my colleague from New Jersey, and I thank him for his leadership on this very important issue.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, two rulings which impose legalized abortion in this country. I was in junior high at the time this ruling came down, and I really didn't understand the implications. It was only later when I took a child development class and they showed pictures of the different stages of the baby's development that I came to realize this wasn't just talk about a blot of tissue. This procedure ended a beating heart and denied life into this world. I became pro-life then and continue to be pro-life now.
This Friday, hundreds of thousands of Americans will come to Washington to recognize this anniversary. And it's not an anniversary observed with celebration, but one marked by somber reflection. We mourn the loss of 55 million aborted boys and girls, innocent children who were never given the right to live, attend school, go to birthday parties, participate on little league teams, or become siblings and peers. We mourn for families who do not know their lost children but wish they did. We mourn the devastating impact abortion has on our culture and our consciences.
This anniversary also represents an occasion to renew our commitment to defending the most fundamental human right: the right to life. We know that more Americans now describe themselves as pro-life--50 percent--than those that consider themselves pro-choice--41 percent--and we know that younger Americans have begun to understand that the protection of their rights cannot be built upon the destruction of an innocent human being's right to life.
Still, we have work to do. The Federal Government continues to subsidize family planning clinics that provide abortions. In 2011, the Nation's largest provider, Planned Parenthood, performed a record number of abortions, over 330,000 abortions. Most of us in Congress represent approximately 750,000 people. If you think about it, that's almost half of a congressional district that was wiped out in 2011 at the hands of Planned Parenthood clinics alone. Planned Parenthood ended the beating hearts of these innocent victims while deluding vulnerable women that their choice wouldn't have any harmful consequences, and they did so with taxpayer funding, over $500 million in 2011.
This must stop.
Abortion does have consequences. It destroys babies. It harms women physically and emotionally, and it harms men, too.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to hear a man speak, who shared the heartbreak and the shame that he has suffered for over 20 years at the loss of four children that he was responsible for their abortions. It impacted his marriage, his mental and physical health, his parenting, and how he was able to do his job.
Abortion has consequences. It deadens our consciences and it perpetrates the lie that killing the unborn is morally acceptable.
This week, I stand with hundreds of thousands here in Washington who know better, who understand the truth, that abortion harms us and is killing off future generations. We observe the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade with the renewed hope that more Americans will see this truth and honor life.
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