Text of Congressman Chris Smith’s Pro-Life Remarks at Right to Life Convention
by Steven Ertelt
June 25, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The following are the remarks Rep. Chris Smith, the pro-life Congressional leader from New Jersey, delivered to the National Right to Life convention. LifeNews.com was the only news outlet present in person for the remarks, which received two standing ovations:
Congratulations to the National Right to Life Committee on your 37th Convention.
The National Right to Life Committee is the flagship, the largest and most effective action oriented voice, among an eclectic, dedicated group of pro-life NGOs. Your Washington leadership isnt just talented and committed; it is seasoned, mature and tested.
At the state level, you constitute the backbone of our movement and put troops in the field, in a selfless expression of love for the disenfranchised and powerless, absolutely based on the core principles of nonviolence and malice towards noneeven for those who actually dismember or chemically poison children to death and euphemistically call it choice.
To all here, thank you for so courageously standing in the gap and for your noble service in the greatest human rights struggle on earth.
Indeed, you are the conscience of a nation that has lost its way. You admonish our country to embrace life and hopenot the hope of a superficial presidential campaignand you teach us to reject violence against children and abandonment of their moms, not some of the time, but all of the time.
You know that abortion causes serious injury to womenphysically, including the link to breast cancer and depression, emotionally and spirituallyand you work tirelessly to end the cover-up regarding the horrific impacts on women.
Thank you for devoting your lives, your talent, your time and your money to defending generations of unborn children, their moms, their dads, the frail elderly and the disabled (like Terri Schiavo), most of whom you will never meet, at least not in this life.
Good Samaritansgreat Samaritansthats what you are, one and all. With little or no expectation of reward or thanks, at least in this world, you are full of caring, full of empathy and full of courage on behalf of the least of these.
None of the work you do is easy, or without stress or immediately rewarding. There are many far more cushy paths you could have chosen.
On the one hand, the deep burden we share for others in harms way involves real pain and Godly sorrow. On the other, theres rejoicing over every abortion avertedthe joy of a child and his or her mother rescued, and over the years, the millions of children who have escaped the killing fields and are today at school, baking a cake with mom, playing basketball or frisbee with dad (especially tomorrow on Fathers Day) and even having kids of their own.
And you and I rejoice in a very special way, giving praise to God, for those post abortive women who have found reconciliation, forgiveness, renewal and peace. The bravest of all in this movement are the post-abortive women who are silent no more. Their voice and message of hope must be heard everywhere and especially by post-abortive girls and women who suffer depression and deep emotional scaring.
Thus far, 2009 has been tough in Congress. Not surprisingly, in the last five months, the pro-life cause has suffered a string of setbacks imposed by Mr. Obama.
At a time when the countrythe worldneeds compassionate moral leadership that is inclusive of all regardless of age, sex, race, disability or condition of dependency, Mr. Obama has earned the dubious title of the Abortion President.
He talks inclusion, but practices exclusion. His deeds speak louder than his words.
With all his gifts and charisma, it is tragic beyond words that Mr. Obama has chosen to promote the culture of death and in record time has made the White House the wholly owned subsidiary of the abortion lobby. For a man who has been given so much to then deny the right to liveto existto those who have so little is, well, unfair and tragic. He has done much harmand is capable of inflicting much more. Thus through prayer, fasting and smart work we must absolutely resolve to stop his misguided abortion agenda.
This can and must be our finest hour.
At precisely the same time as President Obama continues to assiduously assure Americans, including graduates at Notre Dame last month, that he wants to reduce abortion at home and abroad, his administration is aggressively seeking to reverse virtually every modest pro-life law ever enacted or policy promulgated since Roe v. Wade, via health care restructuring, executive orders, reinterpretation of existing policy, support for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) and by repealing funding riders.
In like manner, overseas, the Abortion President has devoted huge resources and is expanding an enormous amount of political capital in the nefarious business of toppling pro-life laws in sovereign nations.
The Abortion President is the master of the art of misdirection. From his speeches we hear soothing, pretty, mesmerizing words loftily summoning us to common groundcommon burial ground that is.
Obamas talk of common ground is a trapa snarefor the gullible and for the nominally pro-life who have emerged as the newest enablers. Of course common ground rhetoric isnt new at all. In the end, it all boils down to appropriating hundreds of millions of dollars of additional taxpayer funds to groups like Planned Parenthooda group as Randy OBannon reminded us today at his workshopkilled over 305,000 children in 2007 alone, pushing a few non-controversial pro-life positions like the adoption option all the while seeking to nullify authentic abortion reducing policiesthe real common groundincluding public funding bans, womens right to know laws and parental notice statues. Both the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute and pro-life advocates actually agree that prohibitions on taxpayer funding for abortion significantly reduce the number of abortions.
According to the Guttmacher Institute 18-35 percent of Medicaid patients who would have had an abortion carry their babies to term when Medicaid funding is not available.
Similarly, a recent study found that when laws requiring one parents consent before a minor girl obtains an abortion were enacted, the minor abortion rate was reduced by 19 percent, and by 31 percent when parental consent from both parents was required.
Yet the Abortion President wants to obliterate these policies.
Clinton tried to sell common ground. Gore used it as well. And now our Abortion President is presenting it to the nation as if he invented it. Its a trap.
Let me note here that common ground of a different kind is emerging, but it is in the form of research from around the world showing that previous induced abortionsparticularly two or more abortionsincrease the risks of preterm births for subsequent children. Even Time Magazine and The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics have recognized studies showing the connection between preterm birth and previous induced abortions. The connection is alarming.
Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant mortality in the industrialized world after congenital anomalies. Preterm infants have a greater risk of suffering from chronic lung disease, sensory deficits, cerebral palsy, cognitive impairments and behavioral problems. Sadly, U.S. preterm births have risen a whopping 36% since 1981. In concrete terms, both the existence and the long term health of future generations depend on our struggle to end abortion.
Of course you and I know that the real Obama record is cynically pro-abortionand talk of common ground is, at best, disingenuous.
A few days after his Inauguration, Mr. Obama rescinded the Mexico City policy, a pro-life Reagan-era executive order, that ensured that the over $545 million in population control funds appropriated by Congress each year (for FY2010, $648 million) only went to foreign nongovernmental family planning organizations, that did not promote, lobby or perform abortions as a method of family planning.
As a result of Obama’s new policy, pro-abortion organizations are now flush with cash and will continue to get hundreds of millions of dollars annually to push abortion around the world, all of it decoupled from pro-life safeguards.
Like you, I was pleasantly encouraged to learn that Obama’s international abortion agenda is very unpopular with the American public. The Gallup Poll found that by a margin of 65 percent to 35 percent, Americans opposed his reversal of the Mexico City policy. (Gallup has also found that for the first time, 51 percent of Americans say they are pro-life to 42 percent who are not. At the grassroots level, Americans are clearly trending pro-life.) Your educational initiatives and ultrasound breakthroughs are having a positive impact.
Then there are Mr. Obamas hundreds of strategic appointments including members of the Cabinet and sub Cabinet and a myriad of program directors and deputies including Dawn Johnsona former NARAL lawyer who derisively refers to pregnant women as fetal containers. Personnel is policy. With little fanfare, the Abortion President has stuffed and is in the process of stuffing the federal bureaucracy from top to bottom with some of the most extreme pro-abortionists on the planet. He has embedded smart and savvy pro-abortion people into important gatekeeper positions. Now, in the secrecy of their offices, pro-abortion policies large and small are being hatched and implemented with little or no oversight and billions in grant money will be funneled to abortion activities. His next target is the courts.
Im here to tell you that the prejudice and bias against unborn children by this Administration is stunningIve been in the Right to Life movement for 37 years, and Ive never seen an Administration so biased against little kids.
For example, at a Congressional hearing in late April, I asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton how she could have said in a speech to Planned Parenthood that she was in awe of Margaret Sanger. The Secretary said that Margaret Sangers life and leadership was one of the most transformational in the entire history of the human race and that Sangers work both here and abroad was not done.
I pointed out that Sangers legacy was indeed transformational, but not for the better if one happens to be poor, disenfranchised, weak, disabled, a person of color, an unborn child, or among the many so-called undesirables, that Sanger would exclude and exterminate from the human race.
Sanger’s prolific writings drip with contempt for those she considered unfit to live. I have actually read many of Sanger’s articles and books. She was an unapologetic eugenicist and a racist who said, The most merciful thing a family does for one of its infant members is to kill it.
She also said on another occasion, Eugenics is the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.
In Sangers book, The Pivot of Civilization, chapter five is entitled, The Cruelty of Charity. In that chapter, she makes a shockingly inhumane case for the systematic denial of prenatal and maternal health care for poor pregnant women.
Sanger said, and I quote in pertinent part, Such benevolence is not merely superficial and nearsighted. It conceals a stupid cruelty and leads to deterioration in the human stock and the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents.
I told Secretary Clinton that it was extraordinarily difficult to understand how anyone could be in awe of Margaret Sanger, a person who made no secret whatsoever of views that were antithetical to protecting fundamental human rights of the weakest and the most vulnerable, and could suggest that Sangers work remains undone around the world.
I also asked our Secretary of State whether the Obama administration was seeking in any way to weaken or overturn pro-life laws and policies in African and Latin American countries, either directly or through multilateral organizations, including and especially the United Nations, the African Union, or the Organization of American States. And I also asked her whether the United States’ definition of reproductive health includes abortion.
In a radical departure from President Bush, Secretary Clinton said that the Obama Administration was entitled to advocate abortion anywhere in the world. Entitled!
Secretary Clinton went on to unilaterally redefine the term reproductive health to include abortion, even though that definition isn’t shared by the rest of the world especially in Latin America and Africa. That is important, because the term reproductive health is found in numerous UN consensus documents and action plans and in the laws of countries worldwide.
Thus it is abundantly clear, a new, dark chapter in the Global push for unfettered abortion has commenced. On March 31st, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Population, Refugee and Migration Bureau, told the UN that the U.S. Government now seeks to achieve universal access to reproductive health and the promotion of reproductive rights. In light of the Secretary of State’s statement, that clearly means the U.S. is pushing universal access to abortion on demand.
Just two weeks ago, I offered an amendment to ensure that the new Global Office on Womens Issues at State promotes womens rights, not abortion. I lost 22 to 17 in the Foreign Affairs Committee and was barred by the Democrat leadership from even offering it on the Floor of the House when the measure was considered. The underlying legislation passed the House and is now pending in the Senate.
In light of his coordinated attack overseas, we must do a better job of warning nations in Africa and Latin America in Asia and even Europe that the Global War on Abortion is at their doorstep.
Then there is the Obama abandonment of women in China. No only did Secretary Clinton say Americas traditional concern for human rights in China wouldnt interfere with other issues like peddling US bonds to Beijing, but our government is now funding organizations that brutally oppress Chinese women.
Despite the fact that the UN Population Fund has actively supported, co-managed, and white-washed the most pervasive crimes against women in human history, President Obama donated $50 million to the UNFPA. In three weeks, the House will look to increase that to $62 million in 2010.
(In 2008 under President Bushthe US State Department found once again that the UNFPA violated the anti-coercion provision of Kemp-Kasten and reprogrammed all funding originally earmarked for the UNFPA to other projects including maternal health.)
Chinas one-child-per-couple policy relies on coerced abortion, involuntary sterilization, ruinous fines in amounts up to ten times the salary of both parents, imprisonment, and job loss or demotion to achieve its quotas.
With both the UNFPA and the Obama Administration enabling, Chinas barbaric government policy has made brothers and sisters illegal in much of the country.
Women are told whenand ifthey can have even the one child permitted by law.
Unwed motherseven if the baby is her firstare forcibly aborted.
Women are severely harmed emotionally, psychologically, and physically. Chinese women are violated by the state. The suicide rate for Chinese womenabout 500 a dayfar exceeds suicide anywhere on earth.
Then there are the missing girlsabout 100 millionvictims of sex selection abortions. This gendercide is a direct result of the one child policy.
According to the Times of London, several days ago, the worlds richest and most famous including Ted Turner, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, David Rockefeller Jr., George Soros and Oprah Winfrey met in London and decided population control was the worlds most urgent priority. Population control blames children for bad governance and the misuse and misallocation of resources. If you want to know where that worldview takes us, just look at China.
Here at home, with all the bells and whistles of a White House ceremony, our Abortion President reversed President Bushs ban on taxpayer-funded embryo-destroying stem cell research.
As you know, human embryo-destroying stem cell research is not only unethical, unworkable and unreliable it is now, demonstrably unnecessary.
Recent, spectacular breakthroughs in noncontroversial adult stem cell research and clinical applications to effectuate cures or the mitigation of disease or disability have been well documented. For several years, significant progress has been achieved with adult stem cells derived from non-embryonic sources including umbilical cord blood, bone marrow, brain, amniotic fluid, skin and even fat. Patients with diseases including leukemia, type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, sickle cell anemia (one out of every 500 African Americans has this condition), and dozens of other maladies have significantly benefited from adult stem cell transfers.
Back in 2005, President Bush signed legislation that I authored which provided $265 million to establish a comprehensive nationwide network to collect, type and disseminate, using best practices, umbilical cord blood.
Some four million women give birth in the United States every year. In the past, virtually every umbilical cord and the placenta was thrown away, despite the fact that the afterbirth is teeming with stem cells that could be used to effectuate cures and to mitigate disease. The new law combines cord blood and bone marrow efforts under one new, nationwide program to try to help people who are suffering from serious disease.
Adult stem cells in general are truly remarkable. They work, they have no ethical baggage, and advances are made every day at a dizzying pace.
Perhaps the greatest breakthrough of all was the discovery of a process that turns every day ordinary skin cells into pluripotent embryo-like stem cells.
On November 20, 2007, Japanese scientists Shinya Yamanaka and Wisconsin researcher James Thomson shocked the scientific community by independently announcing their ability to derive pluripotent stem cells by reprogramming regular skin cells into pluripotent skin cells.
In other words, scientists have found a way of transforming your cells and mine, into stem cells called induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS. Pluripotent stem cells are those miraculous building block cells that can be coaxed into becoming any type of tissue found in the human body.
Unlike embryonic stem cells that kill the donor, are highly unstable, have a propensity to morph into tumors and are likely to be rejected by the patient unless strong anti-rejection medicines are administered, induced pluripotent cells have none of those deficiencies and are emerging as the future, the greatest hope of regenerative medicine.
Finally, earlier this week Senate Democrats and yesterday, House Democrats, unveiled their health care reform bill. The Obama bill, health care restructuring bill, is reportedly on a fast track. If this so called reform bill isnt reformed to explicitly exclude abortion, we absolutely need to put it on the fast track to the dust bin of history. Apart from the estimated $1.6 trillion price tag and a virtual cornucopia of untested policy proposals cobbled together in secret absent any meaningful scrutiny, the legislation poses huge catastrophic risks for unborn children.
For years, the pro-abortion mantra has been access, access, access. New York Congresswoman, Nita Lowey has said the greatest threat to abortion rights may no longer be anti-choice judges and politicians, but diminished access to abortion services .
The former director of the National Abortion Federation has said, Unless drastic changes are made, American women will lose the right to abortion and the [US] Supreme Court wont be the cause of it the reason will be that physicians either cant or wont perform this essential service.
The American Medical News reported, Abortion is a matter of choice in this country not only for women but for physicians as well. All over the country, most physicians are choosing not to do it.
And the San Francisco Chronicle has said, Those who run abortion clinics, even in large cities, say that recruiting doctors is now their most serious problem.
An abortion mandate in health care restructuring is how our opposition hopes to fix this serious problem. The other side has long sought to compel every taxpayer and insurance premium payer to subsidize every abortion in America while simultaneously ensuring proximity and an ample supply of abortionists everywhere. Thats why Obama is looking to trash or at least seriously undermine conscience clause protections and has revoked the conscience regulations promulgated by President Bush.
When Hillarycare was introduced 16 years ago, the Clinton Administration at first denied that an abortion mandate was included. Notwithstanding the Clinton Administrations unparalleled penchant for obfuscation, their attempt to deceive was soon exposed and, with the help of some pro-life democrats, a Hyde type amendment was drafted. (At a mark-up in the Veterans Affairs Committee on Hillarycare, I offered an amendment to Hillarycare to nullify the abortion mandate which they claimed wasnt there. After a long, divisive debate, we smoked them out and we won by one vote.) In the end, health care reform got bogged down by the abortion on demand mandate and the legislation never came to the floor.
Now therere back and with a vengeance and they are trying once again to force taxpayer funded abortion overtly or, if preferably, by stealth.
In the upcoming debate they will again use benign words and phrases to mask abortion. Even Planned Parenthood, is on script and recently said they merely want a full range of health care options.
In 2007, Mr. Obama told Planned Parenthood in a speech in my mind, reproductive care is essential care, basic care, so it is at the center, the heart of the plan that I propose. insurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care, including reproductive care thats going to be absolutely vital. And as reported in the Chicago Tribune when Asked about his proposal for expanded access to health insurance, Obama said it would cover reproductive health services. And we all know what that meansremember, Secretary Clinton says that means abortion.
The Obama/Kennedy/Waxman legislation creates a benefits advisory council, picked by Obama, that will mandate services after the bill becomes law. Absent explicit language in the bill precluding abortion, the killings of unborn children on demand, it will be mandated.
Because the fawning press corps is likely to either miss deliberately or gloss over the health care abortion mandate, we have to immediately mobilize like never before to both expose it and then stop it. We might only have daysweeks. It is likely to be on the Floor in July.
This is the big one!
Let me end with this. We are here in Charlotte todaythese past three days for some of youbecause we know that if the children and at risk persons in America and the world are to survive the newest aggression against their lives, you and I have no other option but to fight. We must be disciplined and alert and wise. And we need to redouble our efforts and recruit new activists here and around the world especially among the young.
This is no time for quitters or the faint of heart.
I truly believe that this will someday be regarded as our finest hour, when against overwhelming odds, we stood firm and overcame evil with good.
So be assured that even at this most difficult of times when the clouds seemingly are at their darkest, you and I can stop Obamas abortion agenda. And you know, through it all, we can actually smile, and be joyful, with a peace that surpasses all understanding not only because we are doing our duty, but because our trust is vested unequivocally in the mercy, justice and awesome power of God.
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