U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to return the question of abortion to the states and the people and their elected representatives. Thune applauded the pro-life movement for its decades-long commitment to defending the unborn and criticized Democrats for using scare tactics and misinformation to create a false narrative that pro-life laws will prevent women from getting essential medical care for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.
Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, on June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, returning the question of abortion to the states and to the people and their elected representatives.
“The Supreme Court’s decision was an affirmation of democracy, which had been set aside by Roe in favor of a national abortion regime imposed upon the entire country by a handful of activist judges.
“Roe took legislative power out of the hands of the people and put it in the hands of unelected judges – on nonexistent constitutional grounds.
“The Supreme Court’s decision puts the question of abortion back in the hands of the states and the people and their elected representatives – where it should always have been.
“And I am profoundly grateful for this decision – most especially because of what is at stake here.
“Because the Roe decision was not a failure of constitutional jurisprudence on some arcane point.
“It was a failure that infringed on our most fundamental rights as human beings – in fact, on the fundamental right, the right to life.
“Roe not only allowed for but imposed a regime that forced states to legalize the killing of unborn human beings.
“And so the decision to overturn Roe not only affirms democracy and repairs a constitutional wrong, it allows for the righting of a profound moral wrong – the legal killing of unborn Americans.
“The Supreme Court’s decision does not of course make abortion illegal.
“But it will – finally – allow those states that choose to to put in place protections for unborn children.
“Mr. President, since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, more than 63 million children have been killed in this country by abortion.
“That is an unfathomable – and heartbreaking – number.
“To put it in some kind of perspective, that’s more than twice the population of the state of Texas, and more than 70 times the population of my home state of South Dakota.
“63 million unique, unrepeatable human beings.
“Future doctors and nurses and farmers and teachers and bus drivers and plumbers and scientists.
“That is a lot of innocent lives lost, Mr. President.
“And yes, Mr. President, when we talk about unborn babies we are talking about human lives.
“Members of the pro-abortion left would like to obscure this fact.
“But science and medical technology and plain old common sense all clearly demonstrate the humanity of the unborn child.
“Every mom who has ever felt her unborn baby kick is well aware that she isn’t just carrying around a clump of cells.
“And ultrasound technology and medical advancements have made the humanity of the unborn child even more undeniable.
“It is impossible to hear the heartbeat of an unborn child at six weeks and say that he or she is not alive.
“It is impossible to look at an unborn baby on an ultrasound, kicking her feet and moving her hands and sucking her thumb, and pretend that she is anything but a human being.
“And human beings, Mr. President, deserve to be protected.
“Mr. President, Democrats’ response to the Dobbs decision has been predictably hysterical.
“We’ve heard cries to pack the Supreme Court – because apparently the only legitimate Supreme Court is a Supreme Court that rules in line with Democrats’ policy preferences.
“We’ve heard cries to abolish the filibuster and eliminate protections for the minority party in the Senate – and the Americans it represents.
“We’ve heard a proposal to establish abortion facilities in national parks.
“I’m struggling to think of any family who wants an abortion facility to be part of the itinerary offered on their trip to Yellowstone or the Badlands.
“But apparently some Democrats think our national parks should become abortion factories.
“Then, of course, there’s the flood of misinformation out there falsely suggesting that pro-life laws will prevent women from getting essential medical care for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.
“And on top of all this, multiple Democrats have started a crusade against pregnancy resource centers.
“Pregnancy resource centers – which were established to provide moms in need with things like diapers and baby clothes, prenatal and parenting classes, help connecting with state and local resources, emotional support, and agency referrals for moms who want to choose adoption – are now under attack by members of the Democrat Party.
“Apparently the ‘pro-choice’ party can’t stand the idea that women might be offered a choice other than abortion.
“Mr. President, when the Dobbs decision was handed down, the president called it a sad day for our country.
“A sad day.
“To the president and his party, apparently it is a sad day when the door is opened to greater protection for human life and human rights.
“I would say that it is a sad day when the right to kill unborn human beings has become the signature issue of the Democrat Party.
“When the party that portrays itself as the defender of the little guy has become the party that wants to deny even the smallest protections to the littlest guys and girls among us.
“Mr. President, Democrats’ vision of America is not my vision of America.
“I believe that America is big enough to take care of both moms and their babies.
“We don’t have to pit moms and babies against each other.
“We can take care of them both.
“It’s something the pro-life movement has been focused on for years – and something that a number of states have worked to do with their Alternatives to Abortion programs.
“And I know that commitment will only grow in the wake of the Dobbs decision.
“Mr. President, those who seek to deny human rights to some human beings are never found to be on the right side of history – as our nation knows, to its sorrow.
“Our country was founded to protect human rights – the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
“But for almost 50 years now, our country has failed to protect the human rights of unborn human beings.
“Today, thanks to the Dobbs decision, we have a chance to change that.
“We have a chance to build a society where the life of every American is valued, and where being small and vulnerable does not mean that your human rights are any less respected.
“At our best, we are a country that defends human rights, not denies them.
“We stand up for the innocent. We protect them. We fight for them.
“It’s time to live up to that.
“Mr. President, the Dobbs decision gives us a chance to protect the human rights of the smallest and most innocent humans among us.
“But the Dobbs decision would never have happened without the tireless work of so many since the day Roe v. Wade was decided.
“It would never have happened without those who prayed, who offered help to moms in need, who fought for the rights of unborn Americans in elections and courts and state legislatures.
“‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,’ it says in the book of Proverbs.
“And for 50 years, that’s what members of the pro-life movement have done.
“And it is their work that has brought us to this day, when we finally once again have a chance to protect innocent unborn Americans in law.
“‘May the Lord reward their work, and their wages be full from the Lord.’
“Mr. President, I know that sometimes it seemed like the day when Roe v. Wade would be overturned would never come.
“But it is here.
“And while there is still much work to be done to ensure that the human rights of unborn Americans are respected and that moms and their babies have the support they need, it is nevertheless a moment for joy and for gratitude.
“And I am profoundly grateful for this decision. Profoundly grateful that we now have the opportunity to move closer to the day when we fully live up to our founding principles and ensure that every American, born or unborn, has the opportunity for life, for liberty, and for the pursuit of happiness.
“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”