Sen. Marco A. Rubio (R-Fla.)
The freshman senator from Florida exhorted a packed grand ballroom at the Washington’s Mandarin Oriental hotel on Wednesday evening to stand up for the unborn, as he delivered the keynote address at the fifth annual Susan B. Anthony List Campaign for Life Gala.
“Yes, a woman should have the right to control what happens to her body, but that right ends when it interferes with another person’s right to live,” said Sen. Marco A. Rubio (R-Fla.), a man on the short list of potential Republican vice presidential candidates.
Rubio, who was raised in a Cuban-Catholic exile family, said in the battle between the right-to-choose and the right-to-life, the only one with a vote is the one with the right-to-choose and the only ones, who can participate in the political process and the ones with right-to-choose.
“An unborn child can’t vote and an unborn child cannot speak,” he said.
“But, actually, they can: you speak for them,” he said.
“In this competition between two competing sets of rights, you are the voice of children, who cannot speak for themselves,” he said.
“For the lives that will never make a difference, in the unknown names of millions of children, whose contributions to our world will never happen because the right-to-life was not respected: You vote for them when you vote. You participate in the political process when you participate,” he said.
“This is who you work for: real people no longer with us, who will never have the chance to do what you or I did – and just as importantly, you are a voice and the vote of countless other children, who have yet to be created, whose life will soon be challenged as well.”
In her introduction of Rubio, Sen. Kelly A. Ayotte (R-N.H.) said, “He is smart and serious about turning this country around and preserving the American dream.”
Ayotte, who visited our troops in Afghanistan with the former Speaker of the Florida House, said Rubio can be counted on to protect life and protect traditional marriage. “Here’s my point, Marco Rubio is the real deal.”
Rubio’s address at the dinner, which also marked the organization’s 20th anniversary, was just part of a program that included the presentation of the Distinguished Leader Award to freshman Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.) in recognition of her pro-life record.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said, “Ann Marie Buerkle is a tireless advocate for unborn children, women and pro-life taxpayers.”
Dannenfelser said Buerkle’s leadership on Capitol Hill has been critical.
“Congresswoman Buerkle has co-sponsored and advocated for nearly every pro-life bill in Congress including the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, the Protect Life Act, the Abortion Nondiscrimination Act, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act and the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act,” she said.
“She is the embodiment of the authentic pro-life feminism championed by the early suffragists and her leadership is an invaluable example to the next generation of women,” she said.
Four representatives of the next generation of pro-life women were also recognized at the gala, where they received the annual Susan B. Anthony Young Leader Award.
Kortney Blythe Gordon, a field director for Students for Life of America, a job that took her all over the country. In October 2011, Kortney, her unborn daughter Sophy and fellow SFLA staff member Jon Scharfenberger were killed in an Oct. 8 car accident as the three were returning from SFLA conference, Kortney’s husband accepted the award.
Ashley McGuire, who is a Robert Novak Journalism Fellow, a program funded by the Phillips Foundation, and the Richard John Neuhaus Fellow at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and founder and editor-in-chief of Altcatholicah, a webzine devoted to the exploration of faith and gender. She is writing a book on post-feminism.
Laura Wegmann, a senior at Hillsdale College, Wegmann worked as an intern during the summer of 2011 for the SBA List, where she promoted pro-life women seeking public office. She is now actively involved with the National Right to Life Committee board of directors on and Indiana Right to Life.
Elizabeth McClung is known as the face and the voice of the pro-life movement in Austin, Texas, because she founded the Austin Coalition for Life, which works to end abortion peacefully and prayerfully. McClung, who is the coalition’s director, was one of those who prayed for Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood clinic manager, who converted to the pro-life movement.
Lindsey Craig, a staffer for Rep. Michael R. Pence (R-Ind.), who co-authored and spearheaded the congressman’s effort to pass the “Pence Amendment,” which would prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds.
All of the awardees received generous applause and had their pictures taken with Rep. Michele M. Bachmann (R-Minn.), but Craig’s boss Pence had special praise for his staffer. “She has been a centerpiece of our effectiveness and our ability to consistently communicate the conservative agenda.”