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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today spoke on the Senate floor about the upcoming March for Life and thanked the thousands of Americans – including South Dakotans – who travel to Washington, D.C., to stand up for the rights of the unborn.
Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, as they have for 50 years now – in rain, in cold, in sunshine, in snow – pro-life Americans will take to the streets of Washington, D.C., tomorrow to march for life.
“They come by the tens of thousands, from all across the country, in buses, in cars, and on planes.
“Young people – so many young people – and Americans of every age, from every walk of life.
“They come to Washington, D.C., for a simple reason – to testify to the truth enshrined in our Declaration, that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
“And that that right to life applies to every person.
“Not just those the pro-abortion movement thinks should be allowed to be born.
“Born and unborn.
“Mr. President, at some level everyone knows the truth of what abortion is – the killing of an innocent human being.
“The pro-abortion movement and the Democrat Party – unfortunately one and the same these days – have tried to obscure this truth.
“They do everything they can to avoid talking about the reality of the issue.
“But I think even they are well-aware that when we’re talking about abortion, we’re talking about the killing of a human being.
“I think they are well-aware that a seven-pound unborn baby is just as human and just as worthy of life as a seven-pound baby who has already been born.
“But although I think everyone knows the reality of the issue, it can be easy to ignore or forget the fact that every year in this country, hundreds of thousands of babies are being killed by abortion.
“And when I say hundreds of thousands, I mean hundreds of thousands.
“The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute reports that ‘In the first 10 months of 2023, there were an estimated 878,000 abortions in the formal U.S. health care system.’
“To put that number in perspective, 878,000 is more than the entire population of some U.S. states.
“That is a lot of lives lost, Mr. President.
“A lot of love lost.
“And we cannot afford to forget that this is happening.
“And every year, the March for Life provides us with a powerful reminder.
“Mr. President, the March for Life is a vast assembly of pro-lifers and, as I said, a powerful witness.
“But it’s just one facet of the pro-life movement.
“An even bigger work, an even bigger focus, of the pro-life movement is offering hope and help to moms in need.
“And that goes on every day in every state around the country.
“At pregnancy resource centers.
“At maternity homes, where moms have access to the resources they need to care for their babies and get on their feet.
“On college campuses.
“And in many other places.
“Supporting moms and babies is what the pro-life movement does.
“And it’s what it will continue to do, no matter how many obstacles are placed in its way.
“Mr. President, I’m committed to doing everything I can in Washington to protect babies and support the work of the pro-life movement – whether that’s opposing pro-abortion rules from the administration or working to advance legislation like my Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require that babies born alive during a botched abortion be granted the same medical care as any other baby would be.
“And I am grateful to all of my colleagues who stand up for life here in Congress – and to the countless Americans who spend each day standing up for moms and their babies.
“And today I want to especially thank all of those who will march through the streets of Washington tomorrow to remind us all of the reality of abortion and the importance of defending the right to life.
“Mr. President, given the grim reality of abortion, it would be no surprise if the mood at the March for Life each year were somber.
“But I am always struck by the hope and enthusiasm that emanates from so many of the marchers – especially the young people.
“And I think, Mr. President, it’s because the marchers know that no matter how long and hard the battle, at the end of the day, life will win.
“I firmly believe that, Mr. President.
“And I look forward to the day when we fully live up to our founding principles and ensure that the right to life of every American, born and unborn, is respected.
“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”