The stalwart pro-life governor of Texas, Rick Perry, minced no words on Friday when he addressed supporters of Texas Right to Life about abortion. At an annual fundraising event for the organization, the governor received an award for his dedication to the pro-life cause, especially this year with the passage of Texas’s pro-life omnibus bill (HB2) in the face of ugly and ferocious opposition from abortion advocates at the capitol in Austin.
At his address, Governor Perry said:
There’s no more noble cause than protecting those who can’t protect themselves, and through your efforts, and the efforts of so many in this room tonight, we’ve made great progress toward our worthy goal.
40 years is a milestone by any measure, although it’s bittersweet that the Texas Right to Life has been necessary that long.
When we marked four decades of life under Roe v. Wade earlier this year, it was a sobering event. Too many people in our country can’t remember a time when the state didn’t sanction abortion; when the state didn’t authorize the killing of a child.
Over the past four decades, we’ve seen more than 54 million innocent lives ended, with more than a million more dying with each passing year.
Governor Perry praised the strength of Texas Right to Life, which, like many other dedicated organizations this year worked tirelessly to ensure the passage of HB2. He acknowledged the faith required to remain committed to the pro-life cause despite opposition and hardship, saying:
It’s far too easy to lose faith during dark times, and if we ever did lose faith, we’d lose this fight. It’s as simple as that.
On nights like tonight, though, seeing all of us together in fellowship, I’m comforted to know that we will never lose our faith in the righteousness of our cause.
Indeed, while we have a long way still to go, it would be wrong not to reflect on the victories we’ve achieved over the years.
Those victories in Texas have been plentiful under (and largely because of) the leadership of Governor Perry. He enumerated the successes of the pro-life movement in Texas since Roe v. Wade:
We successfully passed laws banning the use of tax dollars for abortion procedures in the state of Texas.
We successfully passed laws requiring both parental notification and parental consent to their daughter’s abortion, ensuring parents will be involved, ready to provide much-needed guidance and advice at the most critical of moments.
We successfully passed a law that prohibits abortion without the mother first having a sonogram, because we believe that unborn children deserve the respect of recognition before their lives are tragically cut short.
We took those steps to help ensure that those making the decision between life and death make the most informed, and the most responsible, decision possible.
This recent legislative session was among the most combative we’ve seen recently, as we saw pro-abortion forces resort to any means necessary to thwart our efforts to save lives.
Of course, the challenges pro-lifers and pro-life politicians in Texas faced this year were especially significant and discouraging. But in the face of victory, the governor recalled what pro-lifers successfully overcame:
Through legislative tricks and downright pandemonium, they attempted to silence our voices, just as they silence the voices of the unborn.
Then something amazing happened: the pro-life community spoke up.
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With great power and with great dignity, pro-life individuals wearing blue filled the hallways of the Capitol.
When they spoke, they spoke civilly.
When they gathered, they gathered peacefully.
In the face of crude slogans and chants meant to do nothing but agitate us, the pro-life community kept their cool and steadfastly refused to stoop to the level of our opponents.
I can’t remember a time I’ve been prouder to be a part of this community.
And, like the governor, Texas pro-lifers have never been prouder of being residents of a state whose governor has withstood great opposition in order to see the pro-life cause through to the best of his ability. You can read the full transcript of Governor Perry’s remarks at his own website here.