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Public Statements

Right to Life

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. SCHMIDT. I thank my good friend from New Jersey (Mr. Smith). Your courage on this issue will not go unnoticed.

I really, Mr. Speaker, wanted to talk to you tonight about a little girl, a little girl with a 2-inch foot and the lasting impression that that little 2-inch foot has made.

I come from southern Ohio, and my parish is St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, led by Father Michael Cordier. Father Cordier has a brother, Andy, and his sister-in-law, Ann. And just recently they buried their 5-month-old daughter.

Sophia Grace Cordier was born with a chromosomal condition, one that was diagnosed long before she was born. The doctors made the suggestion that perhaps they should abort the child because the risks were so great that she wouldn't even be born alive. Given the statistics, even if she was born alive, it was likely she would not make her first birthday, so why bother. But Ann and Andy understand the meaning of life at all levels. They know that life is precious, and they knew that her life was worthy of respect.

The amazing thing is not just the hundreds of people who came to the funeral, but what happened on December 23. See, the Cincinnati Enquirer had a front-page story on the miracle baby. They showed the risks, but they also talked about life and pro-life positions, our Cincinnati Enquirer.

At the funeral, there were many pictures of Sophia Grace. But the one that left the imprint on my mind were her little 2-inch footprints. And her mother had, and I wished I could remember the exact words, but typed up something that said to the point that no matter how small the footprint, every footprint can make a lasting impression. Had Sophia not been born, the Enquirer wouldn't have run the story and it wouldn't have provoked the discussion for life, and who knows what other child wouldn't have been saved.

Ann told me at the funeral that the value of life each person has, no matter their shortcomings or faults, should be loved and cherished and protected. Ann has it right. I believe many people in this Congress have it right. And I know that Americans at heart have it right.

So today, while hundreds of thousands marched on the lawn of the Capitol in the rain to protest a really bad decision that was made 39 years ago, I saw Sophia's little footprints in my mind. As I saw those footprints on the lawn, I thought those big footprints are making as lasting an impression as little Sophia because no matter how great or how small, we all have life's value because we are children of God.


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