Thank you Eduardo [Verastegui]
Muchas Gracias for that introduction and, more importantly, for the millions of lives you have touched as you have affirmed the value of life.
Buenos dias, Los Angeles!
It is good to be here in California with so many friends -men and women of faith who value human life as a sacred gift from God.
I may be a thousand miles from Austin, Texas, but I feel right at home with you celebrating the gift of life and strengthening one another to fight another day in the defense of the unborn.
Nearly 40 years have passed since the tragedy of Roe v. Wade was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Since then, more than 50 million children have lost their chance at life, the tragic legacy of judicial activism
and the starkest reminder that our culture and our country remain at peril.
Faced with this scar on our national conscience, in Texas we have pursued policies to protect unborn children whenever possible.
Over the past 10 years we've passed laws requiring both parental notification and parental consent to their daughter's abortion ensuring parents will be involved and ready to provide much-needed guidance and advice at the most critical of moments.
We've funded and promoted alternatives to abortion, providing counseling for women on the other options - options that won't stop their child's beating heart.
I'm especially proud to say that just weeks ago, I signed into law a bill that will not allow any child to be aborted in Texas without the mother first having a sonogram because we believe that unborn children deserve the respect of recognition before their lives are tragically cut short.
I also firmly believe that an informed decision must include knowledge of a better option: adoption.
In the course of my travels and conversations with folks in Texas and beyond, I can't tell you how many people I meet who are dealing with the heartbreak of infertility and the frustration of the unfulfilled desire to be parents.
That is why we must work harder to connect those couples who so deeply desire children with those mothers for whom the prospect of parenthood is too much to bear.
Yes, many children are born into difficult circumstances, but there is no such thing as an unwanted child because no life is trivial in God's eyes.
Who are we to say that children born into the worst of circumstances can't grow to live the most meaningful of lives?
I think of Moses. He was placed in a basket when he was three months old, hidden in the reeds by a river, because of Pharoah's edict to murder newborn Israelite boys.
There he was, weeping for his mother, too young to know his very life was at risk only to be discovered by Pharaoh's daughter.
Now, if you were left by the side of a river at three months old, you might say you weren't born into ideal circumstances.
But that's when the story gets good.
Pharaoh's daughter seeks out a Hebrew nurse, who happens to be Moses' mother, and Pharaoh's daughter even paid Moses' mother to nurse him.
And after he had grown a couple years, Moses went to live with the Royal household, all on Pharaoh's credit card.
Amazing. And as we all know, one day Moses would lead his people out of bondage after being raised in the household of his people's oppressor.
There is a lesson in the life of Moses, and it is this: great men and women sometimes rise up from the worst of circumstances.
Every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential because every life is precious
As we consider the other threats to healthy pregnancies, we must acknowledge the increasing acceptance and looming risks of embryonic stem cell experimentation.
In Texas, we have provided funding for adult stem-cell research and treatments, proving top-flight medical research and respect for life are not mutually exclusive.
The research being conducted in Texas holds the promise of healing the body without causing further damage to our society's soul and without compromising the values that make our nation great.
Too bad we can't say the same thing about Washington.
Since President Obama took office, the FDA has broken with longstanding policy and granted permission for embryonic stem cell experiments.
The implications of that decision undercut the protections we have all fought so hard to preserve.
I am deeply disturbed at the prospect of experimentation that uses such tissue turning the remains of unborn children into nothing more than raw material.
Clearing the way for embryonic stem cell research was only part of President Obama's agenda, however.
Indeed, within his first week in office, he chose to overturn the "Mexico City policy", which basically means that your federal tax dollars can now be used to fund abortions all over the world.
With a stroke of his pen, abortion essentially became a U.S. foreign export.
Somehow, the folks in Washington have forgotten, or chosen to ignore, the overriding responsibility of every government: to protect citizens at every stage in life, especially those who cannot protect themselves.
Our founding fathers affirmed this right to life in the Declaration of Independence, along with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but the gift of life is not granted by any government or any court of law.
As our forefathers correctly understood, life is nothing less than a gift from God and defending that right is a calling worthy of our best.
That's why, as long as I am Texas governor, I will oppose any law that compromises these essential protections.
There is no higher calling, or more basic standard than that.
Reflecting on all the hard work put in by individuals and organizations all across the great land, I wish I could say we were nearing the end of our struggle, but I think you all know better.
Everyone here knows the challenges ahead are significant, even in Texas, where the unborn are more protected than most places.
It breaks my heart to know that in Texas, more than 80,000unborn children are lost to abortion each year.
That's a staggering statistic: 80,000 lives lost before taking their first breath.
So, shoulder-to-shoulder with you, my brothers and sisters of United for Life and your peers across the country, I will stand up for life. Yo defendere el valor de La Vida!
I am proud of each one of you for taking a stand for life.
In doing so, you reap the scorn of the abortion lobby, and the disdain of the forces of secularism.
But it is a just cause, an important calling.
And it's the least we could do in memory of the 50 million lost to the tragedy of abortion.
In the days to come, let's remain united in our respect for life and the Giver of all life.
So keep on voicing your opinions.
Keep on standing up for those who can't stand up for themselves.
Keep on pressing your elected officials for life-honoring decisions.
In fact, one small step you can take right now is to take out you phones and text the word "VIDA" to 95613, enabling us to stay connected on the issue of life.
Together, we can continue causing effective change here in California, back in Texas or wherever we're from.
Until the day Roe v. Wade is nothing but a shameful footnote in our nation's history books, we can't afford to give up the good fight.
May God bless you, Que Dios los Vendiga, and through you, may He continue to bless this nation we love so much.