The Declaration of Independence states that “all … are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The first unalienable right inscribed by Thomas Jefferson is “life.”

As we transition to a period of new leadership, and lawmakers attempt to navigate our country’s future and preserve the sanctity of our democracy, it has never been more important for us to protect these very inalienable rights while remaining true to our values. That includes standing up for those who cannot do so for themselves.

With each year that passes since Roe v. Wade, and as the cultural normalization of abortion on demand continues, our Founding Fathers’ vision for a more perfect nation has become harder to achieve. This is much to the consternation of not only me, but to my family.

In Scripture, God affirms the value of every human life—from children in the womb to the elderly. As a devout Christian who often turns to God in times of tribulation, those ideals have never rung truer for me than through the premature birth of my 17th grandchild, Warren.

Warren’s fight for his life turned my entire world upside down and shined a light on my faith through the scope of harsh reality. During the countless agonizing hours in the neonatal intensive care unit, holding my daughter’s hand through tears and prayer, I couldn’t help but contemplate one particular question:

“How could anyone willingly terminate a child’s life, when thousands of families like mine every day cling to the tiniest ounce of hope that our own survive?”

Due to the grace of God, loving support from family and friends, and the heroic work of doctors and nurses, Warren was released from the hospital on his original due date and is now a healthy baby boy.

Wanted or unwanted, all children deserve to feel a parent’s love, and at the very least, be treated with dignity per God’s plan. Personally, I know each moment I get to spend with Warren is a true miracle that I will never take for granted.

I wish to live in a nation where we respect the sanctity of all human life; where condemning the murder of a child is not up for debate, but a matter of course.

This month, I have called on Congress to dedicate a day in our calendar year to the sanctity of life via H.R. 60 and have also introduced legislation that would address the lapse in state data reporting on abortions.

However, despite 70% of Americans wanting significant restrictions on abortion, I’m afraid neither of these pieces of legislation will pass the House of Representatives.

Is it because bringing the alarming number of abortions to light will be too hard for Democratic colleagues to ignore? Or is it just a blatant ideological disregard for human life that prevents House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from bringing any pro-life legislation to the floor?

My grandson was 1 pound, 15 ounces when he was born. Now, he is my daily reminder that the lives of millions of premature infants, whose heartbeats are detected, can be cut short due to the legalization of abortion and current laws that insufficiently prevent infanticide.

As long as I am in Congress, I will continue to defend our values, because the last time I checked, our forefathers did not list abortion as an exception to our entitlement to life, especially not for those that need these protections the most.

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