A picture of Representative Keith J. Rothfus
Keith R.
Republican PA 12

About Rep. Keith
  • The Pro-Life Movement is Alive and Well

    by Representative Keith J. Rothfus

    Posted on 2016-01-07

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    ROTHFUS. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

    Mr. Speaker, this year's March for Life marks the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that invented a constitutional right to abortion on demand. Justice Byron White dissented in the case, calling what the majority had done an ``exercise in raw judicial power.'' The March for Life draws thousands of people from across the Nation every year. The marchers come by foot, by car, by train, by plane.

    Why, Mr. Speaker, does this issue refuse to go away? I suggest because it goes to the heart of who we are and whether we will live up to the principles of our Nation's founding documents.

    Mr. Speaker, this issue touches the conscience of everyone. It can be difficult to discuss and it is painful to be reminded of it.

    Everyone in this Chamber, everyone listening to this talk, was at one point in his or her life an unborn child. The March for Life speaks to this truth and speaks to the obligation of society to defend the defenseless. May this Nation rediscover the value of everyone, and may we continue to work for the day when all are protected.

    Mr. Speaker, if I might take a moment to recognize the work of my colleague, Mr. Smith, who came to this House in 1980--35 years ago--and from that day has been fighting this fight.

    I am reminded, Mr. Speaker, of another statesman two centuries ago, William Wilberforce, who served in the Parliament of Britain. He was first elected there in 1780 and came to the cause to fight for the abolition of slavery in 1787, when he took on the cause with his colleagues of conscience.

    It took them 20 years, Mr. Speaker, to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire with the Slave Trade Act in 1807, and their work did not end. He continued his work for decades.

    He had to retire from Parliament in 1826, but consider that time that he put in to fighting the slave trade. They finally abolished slavery in the British Empire in 1833, and William Wilberforce learned that Parliament had the votes to pass that just days before his death.

    This is a fight that goes on. Sometimes justice takes time.

    In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled separate, but equal, is okay. It took 58 years, Mr. Speaker, for them to correct that injustice in Brown v. Board of Education. Fifty-eight years.

    It has been 43 years since the injustice of Roe v. Wade, but this fight will continue. We will continue to work for the protection of all human life, for justice will not sleep forever.

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