This week, millions of Americans mourn the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that forced legalized abortion on demand onto the 50 states and has led to the deaths of tens of millions of Americans.
But the hundreds of thousands marching for life in Washington, D.C., and hometowns across the nation also celebrate the great progress we have made since then, fighting to restore the God-given rights of all Americans, of every age.
Under Roe, 60 million precious lives—generations of sons and daughters—have been lost in the United States alone. For far too long, the tragic practice of abortion has not only denied the most basic rights of those in the womb, but has also left mothers suffering with tremendous loss and pain.
It has been used by governments to limit population growth, as seen in China’s infamous “one child policy.” It has been used to eliminate unwanted baby girls from societies where baby boys are prized. And now, nations like Iceland are proudly announcing the elimination of afflictions such as Down syndrome because they’ve aborted almost all the babies who were diagnosed.
Even while legal, the horrors of abortion were thrown into public view by the prolific serial killer Kermit Gosnell, whose sheer contempt for human life extended from the unborn, to infants, to their mothers themselves. A few years later, undercover videotapes revealing frank discussions of aborted body part sales shocked and outraged the nation.
But pro-life activists should be heartened by the growing list of victories achieved for unborn Americans in recent years.
From its first days in office, the Trump administration reinstated and expanded the Mexico City policy, which blocks federal funding for nongovernmental organizations that facilitate abortions. In the Senate, we’ve been able to confirm more and more of the administration’s constitutionalist judges who recognize the terrible jurisprudence behind Roe v. Wade.
We passed a law allowing states to deny Title X funding to Planned Parenthood, and saw the federal government finalize religious exemptions to prevent the Little Sisters of the Poor and private employers from being required to provide abortifacient drugs.
Last January, I introduced the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban late-term abortions that result in pain and suffering for an unborn child. After five months, an unborn child’s toes, eyelids, fingers, and eyelashes have formed. He or she has a heartbeat, and can feel pain.
While this bill was blocked by Senate Democrats, it reflects the growing body of evidence that unborn children can sense and suffer, and that the pro-life movement stands on the side of science.
There is still much work ahead of us. Thankfully, many legislators are stepping up in the 116th Congress and offering ways for our country to move beyond the horror of abortion, and I’m proud to be a co-sponsor for these vital initiatives.
A big one is the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services from providing federal family planning grants and other funds to entities that perform abortions—entities like Planned Parenthood.
I am also co-sponsoring the Protect Funding for Women’s Health Care Act, which redirects federal funding from abortion providers to better women’s health organizations that provide cervical and breast cancer screenings, diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, well-child care, prenatal and postnatal care, immunizations, and more.
The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act amends the federal criminal code to make it a crime to knowingly transport a minor to another state to obtain an abortion without satisfying a parental involvement law in the minor’s resident state. Too many girls and young women have been victimized by abusers and human traffickers under the current system, and this policy would be a vast improvement for expecting mothers, children, and parents alike.
Finally, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act would establish a government-wide statutory prohibition on taxpayer subsidies for abortion and abortion coverage. This legislation would also prohibit subsidies in the form of refundable, advanceable tax credits for abortion coverage, and would codify an annual renewed appropriations policy providing conscience protections.
I am proud to join all of these measures to protect human life from its first stages of development. I look forward to a time when every child—girl or boy, with special needs or special mind—has the opportunity to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Keep marching for them.