U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today applauded the participants of the March for Life, the annual event that brings tens of thousands of Americans to Washington, D.C., to stand up for the right to life. Thune also called on the Senate to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, legislation that would protect unborn children who have reached the age of 20 weeks – five months of pregnancy – from being killed by an abortion.
Thune’s remarks (as prepared for delivery)
“Mr. President, today, as they do every year at this time, tens of thousands of Americans from across the country – including from my home state of South Dakota – will march from the National Mall to the U.S. Supreme Court to stand up for the right to life.
“The March is always inspiring.
“The huge crowds who come year after year.
“The commitment and enthusiasm of the participants.
“And most of all, the young people.
“Abortion has been an ugly scar on our nation for a while now.
“But seeing all those young people at the March for Life every year fills me with hope.
“Because I know that these young people get it.
“They know that life matters.
“And they’re ready and willing to stand up and say that.
“To stand up for the hundreds of thousands of unborn Americans who are killed every year in this country by abortion.
“Mr. President, this year, I hope to see Congress consider the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
“This legislation would protect unborn children who have reached the age of 20 weeks – that’s five months of pregnancy – from being killed by abortion.
“Right now, there are only seven countries in the world that allow elective abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
“Seven countries. In the world.
“And among those countries are China, North Korea, and the United States of America.
“I’d like to suggest that that’s not the company Americans want to be keeping when it comes to protecting human rights.
“Mr. President, 63 percent of the American people support a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
“That doesn’t surprise me.
“Take a look at a five-month old unborn baby on an ultrasound.
“It’s pretty darn obvious that that’s a human being in there.
“And I think most people instinctively know that human beings, no matter how small they are, are worthy of protection.
“Mr. President, five months into a pregnancy, babies are doing a lot.
“They’re sucking their thumbs.
“They’re yawning and stretching.
“They’re actively moving around.
“They respond to noises.
“And they feel and respond to pain.
“The scientific evidence on this point is clear: Five months into a pregnancy, unborn babies feel pain.
“And yet, Mr. President, in our country it’s legal to abort these babies.
“And the procedures used to perform these abortions are so brutal and inhuman that it’s difficult to even talk about them.
“Most Americans would rightly shrink from treating an animal the way we treat unborn human beings.
“Mr. President, every year, there are hundreds of thousands of abortions in this country.
“Planned Parenthood reports that it performed 321,384 abortions in 2016.
“That number is so large that it’s hard to fathom.
“To put it in some kind of perspective, that’s equivalent to more than one-third of the population of my home state of South Dakota.
“Unfortunately, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would not eliminate all of these abortions.
“But it would make a difference.
“And it would bring us one step closer to the day when every child, born and unborn, is protected in law.
“To all of those marching for life today, thank you for being here.
“Thank you for reminding all of us about an injustice that it’s all too easy for us to ignore.
“Thank you for standing up for all those babies.
“The fight may be long.
“But I know that at the end of the day, it is life that will win.”