The Truly Important Lines from the State of the Union Were Not about Iraq

All the recent hubbub concerning what President Bush said or didn’t say about British intelligence, Iraq, uranium, and Africa prompted me to reread his State of the Union address. By now everyone surely knows that the President’s speech was factually correct. But in case there is anyone out there who has not read it, here’s the quote: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

Democrats and the media are attempting to make political hay out of those 16 words: Did Bush lie? What did he know, and when did he know it? Was Bush merely using this line to support his warmongering? Blah, blah, blah.

In my rereading I found that while the vitriolic anti-Bush crowd wants his head over this, and some people on the Right are beginning to question the wisdom of the quote, this statement is getting entirely too much attention. It is overshadowing a couple of more important lines from the speech – lines onto which conservatives should latch. Here they are:

“By caring for children who need mentors, and for addicted men and women who need treatment, we are building a more welcoming society — a culture that values every life. And in this work we must not overlook the weakest among us. I ask you to protect infants at the very hour of their birth and end the practice of partial-birth abortion. And because no human life should be started or ended as the object of an experiment, I ask you to set a high standard for humanity, and pass a law against all human cloning.

So, where is the legislation banning partial-birth abortion and cloning? These bills are all about the preservation of innocent human life and should be at the forefront of the GOP agenda. The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act passed both the House and Senate overwhelmingly – it’s filibuster-proof in the Senate (unlike some pro-life judicial nominations) – but Democrats are holding it up in conference and Republicans are not forcing the issue.

The Cloning Ban is extremely popular among the GOP’s conservative base, and the House passed it handily. Where are the Senate Republicans? Well, currently, there are two competing cloning bans in the Senate. One bill, sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), claims to place a ban on human cloning but preserves embryonic stem-cell research. The second bill, sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback (R.-Kan.), would place a complete ban on human cloning.

The congressional GOP needs to do its duty to protect the unborn and send the President the bans on partial-birth abortion and cloning ASAP. Lives are being lost.



  • President Bush’s State of the Union Address from January 28, 2003
  • U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee Legislative Notice: S. 3, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003
  • Text of S. 3, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, as passed by the Senate
  • Roll Calls: Senate Votes on Abortion, Estrada
  • Text of H.R. 760/S. 3, as agreed to by the House
  • Roll Calls: House Votes Against Partial-Birth and Military Abortions
  • Text of H.R. 534, the Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003, as passed by the House
  • Roll Calls: House Rejects Clone-to-Kill, Approves Cloning Ban
  • Text of S. 303, the Human Cloning Ban and Stem Cell Research Protection Act of 2003, as introduced by Senators Hatch, Feinstein, Specter, Kennedy, Harkin, and Miller
  • Text of S. 245, the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003, as introduced by Sen. Brownback