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Public Statements

The Pro-Life Movement is Alive and Well

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ROSKAM. Thank you, Mr. Smith, for your leadership.

I just want to paint a picture for you and take you to a scene about a year ago now. It was a Sunday in Chicago. I was invited to be a speaker at the March for Life in downtown Chicago. I got to the speech a little bit early and nobody was there. I was looking around, and all I saw was a small gaggle of pro-abortion protesters. They looked quite pathetic, actually. There were not very many of them. They looked angry. They had signs that were quite ugly. I won't repeat the phrases that were on the signs. It was quite a pathetic sight. I was observing them, and I was kind of waiting for the event to happen.

Then I heard something. I started to hear music, and it was a really good sound. I heard the music, and the music grew, and it became more dynamic and louder and louder and louder and more exciting. Then thousands of pro-lifers came around the corner. It was a sight to behold. These were young people. They had balloons. They had yellow and white balloons. They had beautiful posters of little babies. There was a joy to them.

I looked at the contrast between these two images. You have got young, dynamic, vibrant, and joyful--and pathetic on the other side. I thought to myself that if I needed any convincing--I don't--I am convinced by the witness of these people. I choose to be with the joyful people.

So now where are we in history? We are 43 years into this. We are 43 years into the scandal of Roe v. Wade, and yet we were told, the country was told, in 1973 when this decision came down, that this was all settled, that this was all done, and that there is nothing more to be done about it. It is Supreme Court doctrine, and those of you who are opponents, you need to get over your opposition and just move along, thank you.

But there was something that was unsettling, not just about the juris prudence, but about the underlying moral claim upon which Roe v. Wade was built, and that was that it was built on a lie. The lie was that there is nothing significant in a mother's womb when she is pregnant. That, of course, is not just a lie, it is an absurdity.

So what has happened over the past 43 years? Science is our friend. More people are coming to understand--even nonscientific people. They see the ultrasounds. You have heard testimony from people who say: That is a life; that is a baby; that is a person; that is a boy; that is a girl; and that is worthy of my defending that little child.

So the scandal of the Planned Parenthood videos are actually a seminal moment, I think, in this great debate that is underway, because what you have noticed is there are not very many people that were defending the Planned Parenthood videos. Even people that purport to be pro-choice basically said: I didn't sign up for that.

But yet that is exactly what abortion is. The Planned Parenthood videos took the mask off of the scandal of abortion and said that when you dehumanize, when you say something doesn't matter, then you can do anything you want to it. That is the scandal of the Planned Parenthood videos.

So what is happening now is that there is a growing recognition among Americans--many of whom probably haven't thought much about this question for a long, long time--but now the provocative nature of those videos forces them to have to deal with this and reconciling their own understanding of science, their own deep feelings, and their humanity with the recognition of what is the nature of this thing that is going on? They say: Do you know what? I think I am leaning toward the pro- life side.

We clearly see this in the data. Younger voters are much more pro- life. Why is that? They recognize the truth of the science, and they understand the nature of the humanity, and they understand spiritually, actually, what is going on.

I was sent to Congress by a lot of pro-life people. I was sent to Congress by pro-life people that placed their confidence in me. I am here to thank them, to bear witness, and to encourage them as they go out for the March for Life in Chicago or the March for Life in Washington or the March for Life anywhere. I say thanks be to God for these people who have been faithful and true regardless of what the world has said about them. History will exonerate the pro-life movement.

Mr. Smith, I thank you for your time and your faithfulness.


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