This past week, we marked the anniversary of a deadly day in American history that has resulted in the loss of millions of innocent American lives: the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Since January 22, 1973, more than 60 million unborn children have been lost to the scourge of abortion.
This week, we honor and remember those lives, as well as those who have been hurt by the pains of abortion.
In a normal year, tens of thousands of Americans would be marching down Constitution Avenue this Friday to do so. This year, as with so many things, the March for Life will instead be virtual.
But nonetheless, Americans will continue to march – whether virtually, or in person where they can.
The theme of this year’s March is “Together Strong: Life Unites.”
A fitting theme following a year rife with division, violence, and loss. Now more than ever, we must unite as a nation, turning with hope towards the future.
Hope that our nation will heal.
Hope that justice will prevail.
Hope that the grievous act of abortion will be forsaken.
And, given our country’s history – in which we have stubbornly made mistakes, but thankfully, come around in the end – there is much reason for hope.
But we cannot heal and unite if we do not honor and respect all of the American people – born, and unborn.
So many of the deepest injustices in our country have stemmed from one dark, dangerous thing: when we have rejected the dignity of the human person.
When we have denied the humanity of our brothers and sisters... when we have discriminated against others based on the way they look, think, love, or worship... and when, because of that, we have looked at them not as people, but as “things.”
As abolitionist William Lord Garrison put it, the worst kind of oppression, to be regarded with indignation and abhorrence, is “that which turns a man into a thing.”
Now, we have discriminated against a whole class of people not based on the color of their skin, but on their age and development.
But it doesn’t change the truth.
The truth that a baby inside the womb can respond to human touch by the age of eight weeks, and feel pain by the age of 20 weeks; who can recognize her mother’s voice even before she is born; who has a perfect little nose, fingernails, and a beating heart; her own distinct DNA; and her own unique, unrepeatable soul.
Science and medicine are only confirming what we know deep down: that unborn human beings are, in fact, little persons. The evidence is only getting plainer by the day.
But when we deny the humanity of our brothers and sisters – as we have seen throughout our history, and over the past year – the inevitable result is violence.
Abortion does undeniable violence to the baby, and undeniable violence to the mother.
Thankfully, looking back at the past decade, we have made significant strides to build a culture that respects, values, and protects all human life, even in its simplest stages of development.
Many states have ensured that public funds are directed towards pregnancy help centers rather than abortion facilities, providing life-affirming alternatives to families in need.
And in just the last decade, states have passed more than 400 pro-life laws – more than one third of all pro-life laws that states have passed since Roe v. Wade.
This is indeed reason for hope.
Mr. President, through our laws and with our lives, we ought to affirm the truth that the lives of both the mother and the baby matter…. and that healthcare should heal, protect, and preserve both those lives.
I have introduced legislation to help our laws affirm that truth.
Through my bill, the Abortion is Not Healthcare Act, we have the chance to stop the tax deductibility of abortions, which are currently categorized as “medical care” by the IRS.
Because we must be serious: whatever else it may be, of course elective abortion is not health care. That’s why physicians literally take an oath “to do no harm.”
The government should not offer tax benefits for a procedure that kills hundreds of thousands of unborn children each year.
And we also have the chance to permanently stop the use of American foreign aid from funding or promoting abortions overseas; perpetuating violence against women and children abroad – especially, baby girls.
The Protecting Life in Foreign Assistance Act will save countless lives across the globe, and affirms the truth that the lives of all unborn children – regardless of where they are from – have dignity and worth.
As the lyrics of a children’s song in my church, a song that I sang in Sunday school, say about each one of us, “I am a child of God.”
We are one human family, all children of God… these littlest among us, too, who cannot yet sing for themselves.
But they will soon. They will soon.
I yield the floor.