Today, U.S. Congressman Diane Black (R-TN) spoke at the annual March for Life rally in Washington, DC in protest of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade -- the Supreme Court's decision that legalized abortion and has resulted in the loss of more than 55 million babies. She also discussed her legislation, H.R. 217, that would effectively defund Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America. Each year the March draws tens of thousands of pro-life activists and supporters from around the country to rally at the National Mall and march to the steps of the Supreme Court. Click here to watch the video of the rally (Rep. Black's remarks start at approximately the 24 minute mark).
Diane Black Remarks As Prepared For Delivery
National March for Life
January 25, 2013
Thank you for that kind introduction. It is an honor to be with you all today. The Supreme Court did not do us any favors by making their decision in January. But the snow and ice has not kept us away! On January 22, 1973, the day the Supreme Court handed down its ruling on Roe v. Wade, I was working as a nurse in an emergency room in Baltimore. This was at a time when it was still not widely accepted for women to pursue a career outside the home, own a business or run for elected office.
Despite the inroads we have made towards gender equality, abortion on demand continues to undermine the freedom and justice that generations of women have fought for. The reality is, forty years after Roe v. Wade, one third of my daughters and granddaughters' peers are not here to benefit from the progress we have made and share in our hopes and dreams for the future. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
For decades, pro-abortion activists have perpetuated many lies about abortion -- particularly to women.
We have been told the lie that abortion is a means of female liberation, justice and empowerment. But pitting mothers against their unborn children is not liberating; it is a horrible injustice that in the last 40 years has resulted in more than 55 million aborted babies -- whose mothers have gone on to live in many cases with severe physical, emotional, mental and spiritually scars. Women who have an abortion are 30 percent more likely to face emotional and mental problems; they are 40 percent more likely to have a premature birth; and three times more likely to experience drug or alcohol problems during their lifetime.
We have been told the lie that abortion is about choice. But in reality -- abortion is a false choice. Abortion leads to the death of a child, robbing society of its future mothers and fathers, nurses, doctors, scientists, and teachers. A choice to take what is not ours to take: the life of another person - is not a choice at all; it is a mistake.
We have been told the lie that a fetus is not a life. But medical advances have reaffirmed what many of us knew in our hearts to be true long before Roe v. Wade. That a fetus living inside a women's body is not a blob of tissue, but a human being -- a living, breathing baby who has a right to life -- just like you and me.
Today, forty years after Roe v. Wade, while I am still a registered nurse, my fight for life has shifted from emergency rooms to the Tennessee State Capitol to the Halls of Congress. I am committed to using whatever opportunities, power and influence that my current post affords me to protect and defend the sanctity of life.
One way I have done that is in my efforts to defund the largest abortion provider in America, also known as Planned Parenthood. According to its most recent annual report, Planned Parenthood provided over 300,000 abortions last year, in other words, one abortion every 94 seconds -- and taxpayers unwittingly helped foot the bill.
Planned Parenthood receives more than half a billion taxpayer dollars annually intended for women's health, but it badly misuses these dollars to subsidize its big abortion business. That is why at the start of the new year, with the blessing of my good friend former Congressman Mike Pence, I reintroduced his legislation, H.R. 217, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. If signed into law, my bill would ensure that Title X federal grants are used for their intended purpose of strengthening families and providing critical women's health services and would bar these dollars from going to organizations that provide abortions, such as Planned Parenthood.
On this 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we remember the tens of millions of babies who never were able to celebrate a birthday or go to college or contribute their God given talents to the world. And our thoughts and prayers are with the countless women and men whose lives have been forever changed by the violence of abortion. Today, we press on in our fight for life with the hope that one day we will live in a country where each and every life -- both born and unborn -- is respected, valued and given the opportunity to pursue his or her dreams.