Editor’s note. On Tuesday the Senate witnessed an extraordinary outpouring of pro-life speeches. We posted three of those remarks yesterday and are posting two more today. The following comes from Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC).
Mr. President, I rise to join my colleagues in a discussion about the right to life and what happened last week in Washington, DC, when tens of thousands of Americans of all ages, races, and religious backgrounds traveled to our Nation’s Capital to march for life.
This March for Life was particularly special since it was the first March for Life after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which made this march a special celebration recognizing the unborn lives saved as a result of that decision. I was proud to see many North Carolinians represent our State in the march by participating and fighting for the young babies who do not have a voice. But for the voices expressed in the March for Life, they would be unheard.
In January 1974, a brave group of committed pro-life leaders led the first March for Life to advocate for a solution to the Supreme Court’s judicial activism, in my opinion, in the Roe v. Wade case. This year, the March for Life was not only an event to advocate for the unborn, it was a celebration of the end of Roe and the return of pro-life policy he Congress.
The Dobbs decision is historic and affirms my belief that all life is sacred. Each State government and its duly elected representatives now make the determination about what types of laws they wish to have in place. I, for one, continue to advocate for commonsense measures that the majority of Americans support, like protecting life at crucial points of development and prohibiting horrendous procedures like partial-birth abortion.
While it is good for us to celebrate the Dobbs decision, as Senators, we must remember that the fight for life in the United States is far from finished. Our work to enact pro-life policies must continue if we are to be a voice for the voiceless. I believe Congress must vigorously pursue efforts to defend the sanctity of life.
Some have said since the Dobbs decision that this is something that only States should weigh into, and I respectfully disagree. Just 2 weeks ago, I was thrilled to see the House pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which I am committed to supporting. This legislation would protect newborns who survive failed abortions, born alive, requiring the same degree of care as a newborn baby. I urge Leader Schumer to bring this commonsense bill up to the floor for a vote as soon as possible.
Last Congress, I cosponsored dozens of pro-life bills. This Congress, I joined multiple bills to shape Federal policies toward protecting life. This includes proposals that would prohibit the use of Federal funds for abortion and prohibit Planned Parenthood from using Federal funding for abortions.
When I served as speaker of the house in North Carolina, we passed several bills to protect the unborn and to defend life, and it was widely supported by the diverse State of North Carolina, which is by no means a red State. It is a blue State, maybe a purple State. But when you talk about what we were trying to accomplish, the majority of North Carolinians supported it.
I ultimately believe that the States are best situated to set policies to support mothers and to protect life. That is why it is critical that pro-life advocates contact their State legislators and their Governors to ensure that lifesaving protections are enacted to defend the unborn in their respective States. I am committed to continuing the effort to support life.
I am a lifetime prolife Catholic. I make no apology for it because we are the voice in the absence of that baby yet to be born, and we have to continue to fight for them. I encourage my Senate colleagues to join me in doing this.
Mr. President, I just want to say that I hope that on this issue, like so many that we tackled in the last Congress, thorny issues, that everybody thought nothing could get done—I really hope that we can get people in a room and recognize that we can come together on some basic tenets, get rid of the voices at either end of the spectrum that are preventing us from making progress on this important issue, because, literally, the lives of the unborn—their lives, their opportunity is at stake.