Thirty-five years ago today, seven of nine Supreme Court justices voted to make abortion a legal right in this country. In the landmark case of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court dramatically changed our nation, ushering in an era that disrespects human life and fails to acknowledge our responsibility to value and protect life from the moment of conception.
Every year since the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict in Roe v. Wade, a courageous and dedicated group of individuals have traveled to Washington to remind us of this unfortunate decision. The March for Life brings together pro-life activists from across the country to commemorate the Court’s infamous ruling and to raise a voice on behalf of the unborn children who remain vulnerable and unprotected by our laws. This year’s 35th March for Life provides an opportunity for us to once again reflect on the harm caused by Roe v. Wade and the destructive policies it promotes.
The numbers alone are shocking: over 1.3 million abortions are performed in the United States each year and over 50 million abortions have been performed in this country since 1973. The death of an entire generation of Americans is nothing short of a national tragedy. Together, with the March for Life and the many other groups that work to bring attention to this injustice, we must continue our efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Over the last decade, I have introduced legislation in Congress that would do exactly what the Supreme Court failed to do in the case of Roe v. Wade: recognize the personhood of the unborn. My bill, the Right to Life Act, makes clear that life begins at conception, that the unborn child is indeed a human being, and that he is therefore entitled to all the rights and protections afforded an American citizen. In the 110th Congress, the Right to Life Act has once again attracted strong support, with 100 Members of Congress signing on as co-sponsors.
In addition to the growing support the Right to Life Act continues to receive, I am also encouraged by recent reports indicating that the number of abortions being performed in this country has dropped to the lowest level since 1976. This news means that more women are abstaining from risky behavior and even foregoing abortion in favor of motherhood or adoption. Thanks to the efforts of the pro-life advocates here in Washington today, more Americans are surely opening their hearts to the truth that human life has intrinsic value and dignity.
Despite this welcoming news, Roe v. Wade continues to undermine our national commitment to protecting the life and liberty of the most vulnerable among us. For this reason, we must continue supporting legislation like the Right to Life Act and appoint judges who understand that respect for human life lies at the heart of our Constitution.
Our next President will likely have an opportunity to make at least one nomination to our nation’s highest court. I hope that when he does, he will remember the millions of Americans that have participated in the March for Life since its inception, and the Constitutional rights afforded to every American, including the unborn.