September 25, 2007
LifeNews.com Note: The following is the text of a speech Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, a Republican presidential candidate, is giving at an Americans United for Life gala in Chicago. The Brownback campaign provided the text to LifeNews.com.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak here today. I am always encouraged at gatherings like these. I thank you for your commitment to the cause of life. We are indeed making progress in building a culture that values life – in large part because of your good work. I thank you and I ask you – never stop working to protect life, every life, everywhere.
Today is an opportunity to reflect upon where we go from here. We carry forward committed to our principle – that is, every life is a beautiful, precious, unique child of loving God. Every life should be protected by our laws. Indeed, we must continue – as you have so tirelessly done – to fight for every life, everywhere.
The effects of a culture that no longer values life have been tragic for both individuals and for our society as a whole. Today, between 80% and 90% of the children in America diagnosed with Down Syndrome are killed in the womb…simply because they have a positive genetic test for Down Syndrome.
America is poorer for this. We are at our best when we help the weakest. The weak make us strong. To kill them makes us all the poorer, insensitive, callous, and jaded. Roe has made it to only possible but constitutional to kill a whole class of people simply because of their genetic makeup. This is the effect of Roe vs. Wade and a culture that has turned its back on this fundamental moral principle.
Abortion in America is the great moral crisis of our day. We cannot continue to kill the weak simply to protect the strong. Our society will be judged on how we protect the weakest among us. We must talk about this issue and we must lead on this issue.
At the same time, I am happy to report that I believe we are making progress. The country wants to protect innocent life and we know in our hearts that this is right. The Supreme Court recently ruled that there is not a constitutional right to partially deliver a child and then destroy it. I am grateful that the Court has taken this step. But it isn’t enough.
We must continue to work to overturn Roe v. Wade. Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided and must be overturned. We must reign in the out-of-control judiciary in order to once again be a people of life. Roe is an abomination and must be overturned. We are, I believe, one vote away from overturning Roe vs. Wade. I want to be the President who appoints the justice who votes to overturn this decision. It will indeed by a glorious day of human liberty when once again we embrace a culture of life and protect every child, everywhere.
I was proud to lead the fight for strict constructionists like John Roberts and Samuel Alito now on the Court. We cannot afford any more stealth nominees to the Court, with unclear positions and histories on the great constitutional issues of our day. We must have the courage to lead on this issue.
Moving forward, we must continue to oppose the commodification of human life in the form of embryonic stem cell research. I am pushing a total ban on all forms of human cloning. I have led the fight against destructive embryonic stem cell research. We cannot treat some as the property of others. We have gone this route before. Whenever we have done so, we have regretted it.
As we move forward, we must never lose our sense of true justice — which always includes a measure of mercy — particularly when dealing with the downtrodden of our society, and around the world.
Thank you for your witness to a culture of life! A culture that celebrates and affirms each and every human life and fights for it — from conception to natural death. Life is too precious to do otherwise. Thank you for your fight and please continue to fight, for every life everywhere.
We must be advocates for the dignity of every life and not fail to live up to our calling to give witness to life’s beauty in all it’s variety.
The unborn person is unique, sacred and beautiful. Worthy of the protection of our laws. Worthy of life. And this protection must include those special unborn children with developmental disabilities.
For the same reasons, the elderly and ill and suffering are sacred and beautiful…worthy of our embrace and protection. Worthy of life. Worthy of dignity.
The downtrodden and poor, here and around the world, are most beautiful and worthy of our utmost effort. Will we prove ourselves worthy of them?
Mothers who have had an abortion or encouraged one are in need of our support and prayers. Will we reach out to them in their difficulties?
Those who disagree with us about abortion are in need of our love and prayers. All of them, especially public officials, need to hear the truth about the sacredness of every human life and we always need to speak the truth gently, not in bitterness.
In closing, part of the reason I am so pro life is a little girl I know named Jen Lee Dan. Nine years ago she was born in Shantou, China. Her mother, a woman I will probably never meet, fought for her. She fought through a forced-abortion policy in that country to give her the gift of life.
I’m really glad she did. That little girl’s name is now Jenna Joy Brownback and she is my daughter. Life is a beautiful and precious thing and it is worth fighting for.
My friends, I encourage you to continue to fight to life. Our nation is at a crossroads…Will we embrace a culture in love with life in all its variety, or will we judge some lives as being more valuable than others? It is a central question of our times. Our presence here today carries one simple but profound message: we choose life! This is how our nation will maintain its greatness: by defending the dignity of the person always and everywhere, without exception.
God Bless you, God Bless this nation, and God Bless this good work.