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Jeff F.
Republican NE 1

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  • The Pro-Life Caucus

    by Representative Jeff Fortenberry

    Posted on 2014-01-15

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    FORTENBERRY. First of all, Mr. Speaker, let me thank my good friend from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) for his tireless leadership on this essential civil rights issue, to protect women and to protect children.

    Let me also thank my good friend Mr. Lipinski from Chicago. Each day, Members of Congress come down here and push and shove rhetorically, poke one another in the eye, and I think America is looking for a way to transcend this political bickering, this acrimony that exists down here. So it is very moving to me that the gentleman from Illinois, Dan Lipinski, would come here, join with many of us, and simply say a truth: that women deserve better than abortion. We can do better in this body. So I am very grateful for his leadership as well.

    Mr. Speaker, soon a Joint Session of Congress will gather for the State of the Union Address, celebrating our American Republic. We have much to celebrate as a country, but there are also very deep philosophical divides, and sometimes the tone of disagreement makes me wonder what happened to respect for the cherished notion of political opposition and the intellectual diversity that makes America truly great.

    Mr. Speaker, abortion is probably the toughest issue you will not hear about in the State of the Union Address. The violence of abortion has wounded our society deeply. For instance, the Gosnell case, which profiled late-term abortion atrocities in urban Philadelphia, shows what can happen when people become desensitized to death. Many wounds of abortion are invisible, but they are no less real.

    Mr. Speaker, so many persons are hurt by the act of abortion. They suffer silently when the culture that enticed them into an irreversible choice turns its back and refuses to acknowledge their pain.

    Mr. Speaker, with that said, there is also some good news. Those who have been hurt by abortion are speaking out. They are silent no more. Advancements in ultrasound technology are also providing a window on the delicate beauty of human life in the womb. Mr. Speaker, droves of young people are responding to the truth of science. They are increasingly pro-life, and many are coming here next week to celebrate that beautiful gift of life at the March for Life. These young people are recognizing that the womb is a sacred place [[Page H456]] where children should be safe. They believe that we should do everything possible to save both the mother and her child. They refuse to choose between mothers and their children. They are also not naive about the difficulties that some vulnerable women face when they find themselves pregnant, alone, or worse--threatened, coerced by an uncaring boyfriend, or worse yet, a medical doctor, into having an abortion.

    To those of you who do not stand with us, I would like to say this: I offer a hand of friendship. I am pro-life. I believe that women deserve better than abortion. Maybe there are some areas where we can work together, where possible, to let, first of all, the healing begin.

    As my good friend Dan Lipinski mentioned, maybe it is important in this area to end the taxpayer moneys that go to abortion providers because so many Americans oppose that use of their money as well. There is one other area that we should work on. Let's don't wrongfully discriminate against people, people of faith or who are of good conscience or who, through reason, lend themselves to a deeply held ethical belief. That does not allow them to be complicit in any way in health care, in their health care policy, in paying for the act of abortion.

    These are a few areas where I think we can transcend the political divide and do what is right and fair and just for women, children, and our society as a whole.

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