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ADRIAN SMITH: The sanctity of life

ADRIAN SMITH: The sanctity of life

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On the 10th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, in 1983, President Ronald Reagan reflected on the ruling and the effect it had on our country. President Reagan lamented, “our nationwide policy of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy was neither voted for by our people nor enacted by our legislators.” Overnight this decision led to federal abortion policies on par with countries whose human rights records are among the worst in the world and has been one of the most contentious issues in America ever since.

Since Roe v. Wade, countless questions have arisen about the extent of the ruling, federal overreach of state laws, medical issues, and moral concerns. We remain one of only seven countries who permit abortions on demand after 20 weeks of pregnancy - an age at which studies have proven babies can feel pain. States like Nebraska, which adopted the 20-week standard in 2010, have lead the charge in establishing a culture of life. However, since Roe v. Wade set a precedent, commonsense laws such as Nebraska’s have had their fair share of fights in our court systems.

One such case is June Medical Services v. Gee. Because of the risks of serious side-effects or complications which come with an abortion, the state of Louisiana passed a law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. This law was challenged and has now made it to the Supreme Court setting the stage for the most important pro-life case in recent history. Due to the importance of this case, I joined 206 of my colleagues in signing an amicus brief supporting the state of Louisiana and will be following the case closely.

Fortunately, despite the obstacles, the spirit to defend life has never diminished in our country. Every year people travel to Washington, D.C. from all over the United States to demonstrate peacefully on behalf of the unborn. President Trump has implemented important gains in pro-life policies during his administration. He has been dedicated to appointing pro-life judges, with one out of every four sitting circuit court judges now appointed by him. He has also stopped taxpayer funding of abortion overseas and created a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the Health and Human Services Department. In addition to these pro-life wins, I joined a number of my colleagues in writing to the administration to overturn President Obama’s rule forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood and was more than pleased when the administration did.

President Reagan concluded his address on the 10th anniversary of Roe v. Wade by saying no cause is more important than preserving freedom by affirming “the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.” I thank everyone who has devoted their time and effort to the cause of life, and I will continue to stand with you.

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