For 43 years, Americans from across the country have traveled to the nation’s capital to unite in support of the simple yet powerful belief that all human beings have the right to life. The March for Life is a movement that serves as a voice for the voiceless and helps defend the defenseless, and I will never apologize for standing up for this fundamental human right.
Even as we mourn the morally tragic and abhorrent legacy of Roe v. Wade, this year’s March for Life is an opportunity to recommit ourselves to advancing pro-life policies after a decade of playing defense against the Democrats’ pro-abortion agenda. Thankfully, the annual number of abortions in the United States has dropped to the lowest level in decades, but our work is far from done. We must win the policy battles to come, continue to peacefully persuade hearts and minds, and cultivate a culture of life that makes abortion even more rare.
Roe v. Wade was a fundamentally flawed decision, one that manufactured a constitutional right to end innocent lives – a right that does not exist in our Constitution and directly contradicts our Declaration of Independence’s commitment to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This decision is a constant reminder of the important role presidents play in nominating judges to the federal bench, and the responsibility senators have to vet them. As President Trump prepares to nominate Antonin Scalia’s successor to the U.S. Supreme Court, we have the first significant opportunity in a long time to restore our judiciary’s proper role as arbiters of the law, not creators of it. It is imperative that we rally behind nominees who understand their job does not entail legislating from the bench.
Outside the courtroom, we must continue winning over public opinion – with science firmly on our side. On certain issues, liberals insist that science is irrefutable and should lead us to adopt policies that destroy our economy and cost workers their paychecks. However, one notable exception to their appeal to science is abortion. Advancements in science have only bolstered the argument for life, and proven that unborn children are capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks in the womb. Despite this scientific conclusion, most Democrats choose to ignore the evidence and support abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy, even 5 months. According to a November 2014 Quinnipiac survey, 60 percent of adults – including 59 percent of women – support restrictions on abortion after 20 weeks.
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The more the science of embryology and neurological developments is researched and better understood, the more clear it has become that every unborn child is a person. This scientific fact is why abortion advocates resort to justifying millions of abortions by pointing to the most infrequently reported reasons. In the last two years in Florida, less than one-third of one percent of all abortions were performed due to rape or incest, according to Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration. Out of 135,687 abortions, only .047 percent were performed because the mother’s life was endangered. The vast majority of abortions (92 percent) were simply elective.
The 2016 election was a clarion call for the restoration of the sanctity of life. Americans returned a pro-life majority to Congress and elected a president who has decried late-term abortions. President Trump already acted to defend life by restoring a Reagan Administration directive ensuring U.S. taxpayer dollars are not used to perform or promote abortions overseas. I hope Congress will act in the coming months to make the Hyde Amendment permanent law.
In the U.S. Senate, I have worked to pass legislation protecting human life. In 2013, I voted for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. In advance of today’s march, I reintroduced the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which would prohibit the transportation of a minor child across a state line to obtain an abortion and make it harder for criminals to cover up rape. More than 80 percent of Americans believe parents have a right to know if their child undergoes an abortion, and I believe we should close the loophole that allows people to get around states’ parental notification laws.
Today, as the March for Life commences, I am proud to stand with the people who make up this movement. I also recognize how difficult reality can be for those young women who find themselves grappling with an unplanned pregnancy. Two rights are in conflict: the right of women to control their bodies, and the right of every unborn child to live. For me, I will always err on the side of life. We must do everything we can to give every human life a chance, and the March for Life is a big reason we are making progress and have hope for a better future.
LifeNews Note: This exclusive column is written by Senator Marco Rubio, a pro-life Florida Republican and former presidential candidate.