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Defending the Defenseless

By Sen. John Thune

January 21, 2022

Click here to watch the video


Each year, I’m encouraged by the tens of thousands of Americans who travel to Washington, D.C., around the Roe v. Wade anniversary to participate in the annual March for Life, and I’m particularly proud of all the South Dakotans who, over the years, have made the trek to our nation’s capital to let their voices be heard.


The March for Life, of course, is just one small facet of the pro-life movement, which works every day in this country to offer help and hope to moms in need. But events like this are fundamentally important because they provide a public witness to the truth about abortion. They remind all of us that in this country we are denying our most vulnerable citizens their most basic right – something that can be all too easy to minimize or ignore. Perhaps most importantly, these marchers, and other people in the movement like them, lead by example to underscore our responsibility to speak up and stand up for unborn babies in this country.


The CDC reports that almost 630,000 babies were killed by abortion in 2019 alone. That number is so big it’s almost unfathomable. Sadly, it could be an underestimate as state reporting to CDC on abortions is not required or consistent. To put 630,000 in perspective, that’s equivalent to roughly 70 percent of the population of South Dakota – killed in one year.


Abortion advocates would like to obscure the fact that unborn babies are human beings, but they face an uphill battle. Because every person knows, on some level, that when we’re talking about abortion, we are talking about killing a human being. 


It is reprehensible that a country like ours, dedicated to the defense of human rights, has some of the most extreme abortion laws in the world. The United States is part of a handful of countries that allow elective abortion past 20 weeks of pregnancy. Among those other countries are China and North Korea – not exactly the kind of company we want to be keeping when it comes to protecting human rights.


I will continue to work in Washington to protect the right to life of unborn human beings. As we anticipate the Supreme Court’s ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, I am working with my pro-life colleagues to advance legislation like the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. It is unthinkable that the law allows unborn babies who are capable of feeling pain to be killed by abortion. I’ve co-sponsored this legislation in previous Congresses, and I will continue to be a fierce advocate for it until the day we can get it signed into law.


I am proud to stand beside all those who work so hard to secure the right to life of unborn Americans. I know that it is not always easy. But I am confident that in the end, right and justice will prevail. Because we have the truth on our side – the truth that every human being, born and unborn, old or young, of every race and religion and political persuasion, is created in the image and likeness of God and has infinite dignity and value.


I will be keeping all birth mothers and children in my prayers, and I hope you’ll join me.