Battle Against Abortion is the “Greatest Human Rights Struggle on Earth”

Opinion   |   Congressman Chris Smith   |   Nov 18, 2022   |   9:59AM   |   Washington, DC

The following are excerpts of remarks by Rep. Chris Smith at the Ibero-American Congress for Life and Family Gala:

Thank you for the privilege of keynoting tonight’s Ibero-American Congress for Life and Family Gala, and I especially want to thank Aaron Lara, for his extraordinary vision, courage, and leadership.

Special welcome and thanks to pro-life lawmakers and leaders for defending the weakest and most vulnerable and for recognizing that unborn children have inherent worth, dignity, and infinite value.

As we all know too well, the purveyors of the culture of death are well- organized and excessively well-funded and have far too many powerful allies in high places including the White House, the United Nations, and the OAS.

That, however, only makes us work harder and pray and fast more earnestly for an end to abortion.

As a people of hope and indomitable faith in God, we remain absolutely committed to defending human life despite any setback and no matter the personal sacrifice.

We are all in.

We are part of the greatest human rights struggle on earth.

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And as believers, we respect even those with whom we fundamentally disagree—even when it’s not reciprocated—because we are admonished by our Lord to love even those who persecute.

The culture of death is also a culture of denial, a kind of modern-day flat earth society—aggressively denying science and truth while clinging to bold euphemism that can’t stand up to any serious scrutiny.

People who know better—including President Biden who once said that a law against taxpayer funding for abortion known as the Hyde Amendment was necessary to “protect both the woman and her unborn child”—now unequivocally sanctions and aggressively promotes violence against unborn babies.

Thirty-eight years ago—in July of 1984—I authored the first of several successful annual amendments on the floor of the House of Representatives to preserve Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City Policy.

Announced by President Reagan at the United Nations Conference on Population Control in Mexico City in 1984—hence its name—the policy was designed to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money is not funneled to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that perform or promote abortion in your country. Both Presidents Bush and Donald Trump  embraced the policy while Presidents Clinton, Obama and Biden overturned the policy by executive order.

By reversing the Mexico City Policy, President Biden is again forcing U.S. taxpayers to fund foreign organizations that promote, lobby for, or perform abortion on demand in countries like yours.

President Biden is doing this even though Americans overwhelmingly oppose using U.S. foreign aid to subsidize abortion.

Earlier this year, the Marist Poll found that “Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Americans either “oppose” or “strongly oppose” using tax dollars to support abortion abroad, including 59% who self-identify as pro-choice.”

President Biden has weaponized the entire U.S. government to promote abortion on demand in my country, in your country, everywhere.

He is the “Abortion President”.

My wife Marie and I met in the pro-life movement almost 50 years ago—she serves a director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues (PNCI) —which focuses on mostly international pro-life issues and is tonight babysitting 3 of our 8 grandchildren in New Jersey pursuant to a long-standing commitment and sends her best to you.

Marie pointed out in her Parliamentary Network E-News:

President Biden Says “Every Person is Sacred” While Abortion is Top Priority

President Biden said in one of his final preelection speeches, “We believe we should leave no one behind, because each one of us is a child of God, and every person — every person is sacred. If that’s true, then every person’s rights must be sacred as well.”

“Individual dignity, individual worth, individual determination — that’s America. That’s democracy. And that’s what we have to defend.”

Tragically, Biden selectively dehumanizes an entire vulnerable group—children alive in the womb but not yet born. Biden does not consider unborn children to be children of God whose lives are sacred and innately worthy of dignity and sacred rights.

Instead, in a speech to his Democrat base President Biden pledged that if Democrats retain control of Congress, the first bill he will send to Congress will be one to establish the killing of unborn children in national law by codifying Roe v. Wade.

Biden said, “Folks, if we do that, here’s the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill that I will send to the Congress will be to codify Roe vs. Wade. And I’ll sign it in January, 50 years after Roe was first decided, the law of the land.”

Employing the art of misdirection and deception that exceeds anything George Orwell could have ever imagined, the President cleverly markets the sophistry of choice while going to extraordinary lengths to ignore, trivialize and cover-up the battered baby-victim.

Abortion violence must be exposed, and it falls to us to bear witness to an extremely ugly reality.

There is nothing benign, sane, or compassionate about beheading and dismembering or poisoning innocent children. The exponential increase in abortion pill usage complicates our efforts to protect life.

Abortion violence must be replaced with compassion and empathy for women and for defenseless unborn babies.

The U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs decision brilliantly authored by Justice Samuel Alito reversed the infamous 1973 decisions starting with Roe v Wade.

Since 1973 more than 63 million unborn children in the United States have been killed by abortion—a death toll that exceeds the combined populations of Colombia and Honduras.

Dobbs legally empowers state and federal lawmakers to act so the struggle to defend life has now entered a brand-new phase.

According to the Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America abortion law tracker:

  • 13 states now have total or near total limits on abortion,
  • with one more state soon to be in effect;
  • one 15-week pain-capable unborn child limitation is in effect,
  • 9 total/near total limits on abortion are dependent on legal action.

Tragically, 27 states have few or no limits on abortion. My own state of New Jersey enacted legislation to authorize and facilitate abortion-on-demand until birth.

Control of the House of Representatives by Republicans, albeit by a small margin and only called by election officials last night, will prevent a barbaric federal abortion-on-demand until birth act from becoming law over the next two years.

Again, strongly supported by President Biden and every Democrat in the House except one and passed by the House twice—most recently in July—only the filibuster has prevented its enactment into law.

As you know, the Democrats added to their majority in the Senate last week—meaning that the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold to pass controversial legislation would likely have been abolished early next year. So,  had the Democrats retained control of the House,  every pro-abortion initiative then would have passed Congress and been signed into law by Biden.

All of this underscores the sobering fact that in your country and mine, we are often only one election away from victory or catastrophic loss.

Ensuring that the public is well informed and highly motivated to vote for the right candidates every single time can’t be overemphasized.

It is the low information voter who is more easily deceived by the misleading public relations campaigns of our adversaries.

We don’t have the luxury of weariness—so we must reenergize and expand our education outreach.

Finding and robustly supporting good candidates for elective office or appointed positions requires due diligence and hard work. I applaud Aaron Lara for his efforts to train a new generation of politicians.

In the 1970’s I served as executive director of the NJ Right to Life Committee.

Working with AUL, we passed comprehensive legislation to protect life to the maximum extent possible under Roe.  Governor Brendon Byrne vetoed it—and we had the votes to override his veto.  The override vote never occurred because some lawmakers told me they didn’t want to embarrass the governor.

What? Embarrassment versus protecting the precious lives of innocent children?

How long does the embarrassment of overriding a veto last—a day, a week?

Standing with my wife Marie in the state legislature and trying to manage our extreme disappointment and sorrow—because we had the votes to override—well, that’s when I seriously began thinking of running for office someday myself.

Perhaps you—or someone who works with you—might consider being a candidate for office.

Meanwhile, joined by over 100 House cosponsors, I’ve introduced the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortion Act a bill also Introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham to protect babies at 15 weeks who suffer excruciating pain during commission of an abortion.

Each year, an estimated 55,000 babies are killed at 15 weeks or after in the United States.

Our bill preempts and nullifies extreme laws like those in New Jersey, New York, Colorado, and California while making absolutely clear that any state with a more restrictive law—like Texas’s or Ohio’s heartbeat law—is protected.

These are challenging times.

We meet tonight fully aware that the worldwide existential threat to women and children from abortion—a weapon of mass destruction—is escalating.

This despite the fact that our knowledge is unparalleled concerning the breathtaking miracle of life before birth and when science and ultrasound imaging had made it absolutely clear that birth is an important event in the life of a child—but only an event—not its beginning.

Doctors as you know, today routinely diagnose, and treat a myriad of conditions, illnesses, and diseases suffered by society’s littlest patients— babies in the womb—significantly enhancing their health and chances to survive and thrive.

In the abortion debates in our countries, we need to strongly assert the fact that ill, sick, or disabled unborn children must be seen as patients in need of health care that includes diagnosis and treatment.

We know that ensuring good nutrition and essential vitamins during the first 1000 days of life—from conception to a child’s second birthday—not only strengthens the mom but significantly boosts a child’s health and ability to stave off disease for his or her entire lifetime and mitigates and even eliminates stunting and nutrition-deprived cognitive impairment.

In 2012, wife Marie and I were in Guatemala City for a pro-life conference on the very day Guatemala joined the ranks of countries committed to the first thousand days.

Speaking of Guatemala, I applaud the courage, compassion, and strength of Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei for his incredible defense of human life.

Like each of you, we know that pregnancy care centers help women with unintended pregnancies through their most difficult times—and stay with them like guardian angels long after the baby is born.

The people who staff these centers—and there are approximately 3,000 pregnancy care centers in the U.S.—are among the most compassionate people on earth.

All life-affirming options are available including adoption.

Now, after Dobbs, more than 75 Pregnancy Care Centers and pro-life offices have been firebombed and vandalized.  I’ve introduced legislation demanding that the Biden Administration investigate and prosecute and that the Inspector General report to Congress on why he hasn’t.  Another 230 churches have also been attacked.  Thus far, only indifference from the White House.

We also know many women who have benefitted from post-abortion outreach.

These women have been wounded by abortion and their agony often goes undetected and untreated, part of the myth that presents abortion as reproductive health care or as a so-called reproductive right.

Thankfully, more women are courageously speaking out about the tragic loss of their own child through abortion and the emotional, psychological, and spiritual harm they suffered.

These women’s experiences are an emerging witness for truth—and they are silent no more—and a tremendous help to policy makers to restrict access to abortion.

Encourage women to tell their stories to lawmakers and in amicus curiae briefs in your courts.

Abortion imposes serious harm on women—the co-victims of abortion and they need our help.

As co-chairman for 40 years of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, I encourage lawmakers everywhere to organize a similar pro-life caucus if one is not yet active.

A highly motivated and highly disciplined pro-life legislative caucus or working group can not only be proactive in the defense of life but can anticipate and study what the pro-abortionists are planning and counter their actions.

Working in a symbiotic way with pro-life non-governmental organizations clergy and faith-based groups, caucus Members will enhance their effectiveness in enacting laws and promulgating policies at all levels of government that affirm life.

Tonight, I encourage you to continue to pay close attention to the health ministry and other bureaucrats who write the rules regulating access to abortion. Regulations on the legal access to abortion are critically important in a country and make all the difference in limiting the number of children whose lives are ended through abortion.

Activists in favor of abortion most often target health regulations on abortion seeking to impose anti-life policies on a country with the stroke of a pen.

Be alert and proactive in countering pro-abortion campaigns directed at you by the United Nations and U.N. treaty monitoring bodies. No UN treaty includes a so-called right to abortion and there is no international right to abortion.

Moreover, Article 4 of the American Convention on Human Rights clearly states that: “Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception…”

So, push back hard when lectured to expand abortion—women and children in your country and mine deserve better than abortion.

And continue—as you have—to pay special attention to the Judiciary.

As you know, abortion activists aggressively exploit the courts for their cause—as happened in the United States in Roe v. Wade in 1973 and other countries like Columbia in 2006 by Monica Roa.

Pro-abortionists everywhere oppose protecting the conscience rights of pro-life doctors, nurses, and others.  In the United States we have comprehensive laws to ensure that no one is coerced into performing, assisting, or subsidizing an abortion.

For eight years under President Obama however, our conscience protection laws were not enforced, a concern we have with the Biden administration.

Someday future generations will look back and wonder how and why societies that prided themselves on being inclusive and enlightened and so blessed with medical science including ultrasound technology could have enabled our present-day culture of child violence.

But they will also remember the selfless defenders of life—and honor your persistence, hard work and personal sacrifices. Note: Congressman Chris Smith is a Republican from New Jersey and the head of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. The following remarks were delivered during today’s hearing on the Obama administration denying the grant.