Editor’s note. Pro-Life Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La) delivered these stirring remarks last Friday at the March for Life. You can watch Speaker Johnson as he gives his remarks here.
Speaker Johnson: Thank you so much. Good afternoon and welcome to the Nation’s Capital. We are delighted that you’re here and really sorry about the weather especially from our friends from Louisiana. They’re freezing. That’s my own state.
It’s my great privilege to stand alongside Jeanne and all of my great colleagues who are joining us here today, and so many extraordinary leaders who are braving the weather to join us for this important tradition. And it is an important one. We’re so encouraged to see all of you, everybody from across the land. The beauty of this event is that it’s a beautiful picture of America. We have people from all walks of life, all ages, all experiences, all backgrounds, and we’re all joining to celebrate life and what it means to be an American. Thank you for being a part of that.
It was the great British statesman, G.K. Chesterton, who famously observed that America is the only nation in the world that was founded upon a creed. And he said it was listed with theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence. What is that creed? What is it from our nation’s birth certificate, the declaration, that makes us who we are? We know the language so well. “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” In other words, obvious that all men are created equal, not born equal, created equal. That’s what the founders said.
And that they’re endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, including the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. Those are inalienable rights. They cannot be taken away. And so it’s from the very beginning that our founders boldly proclaim those self-evident truths that our rights do not come from government. Our rights come from God, our creator.
And it also means that every single person has inestimable dignity and value, and your value’s not related in any way to the color of your skin or what zip code you live in, how good you are in sports, where you went to high school. It’s irrelevant. Your value is inherent because it is given to you by your creator. Our national creed is the essence of who we are in this country. It is the foundational principle that made us the freest, most successful, most powerful, most benevolent nation in the history of the world. And we can never forget that.
I am myself a product of an unplanned pregnancy in January of 1972, exactly one year before Roe v. Wade, my parents, who were just teenagers at the time, chose life. And I am very profoundly grateful that they did.
See what we have to do right now, and I believe the reason all of you’re here, is you understand that we have to build a culture that encourages and assists more and more people to make that same decision. This is a critical time to help all moms who are facing unplanned pregnancies to work with foster children and to help families who are adopting, to volunteer and assist our vital pregnancy resource centers in our maternity homes. And to reach out a renewed hand of compassion and to speak the truth in love. That’s what we do. All of us can play a role in that really important work.
This is also a pivotal time to promote quality healthcare for both women and their unborn children. This week in Congress, you’ll be encouraged to know the House passed the Pregnant Student’s Rights Act because being pregnant while finishing your degree can be really difficult. But women should not be presented with a false choice of being a mom or being a student. We also passed the Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act. That’s a big one too right now.
Right now you should know the Biden Administration is proposing a regulation to restrict funds to pregnancy resource centers. We know those are the centers that states rely on to assist expecting moms and dads. And that action would undercut that important work, the important material support that expecting and first time mothers get from these centers. Our bill would prevent that regulation from coming into effect and ensure that the states can utilize these centers to help people in need. Who could be opposed to that?
We’re passing these bills, and we’re marching today because it takes a lot of work to convince people that every single human child, every unborn child, has a value that is too profound and precious to ignore. And we have every reason to be optimistic, my friends, that we can change public opinion. We find encouragement from the leaders of previous generations. We can learn from the great Americans who change public opinion throughout our history. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony, they challenged the prevailing narratives of their day and they succeeded.
And you know how they did that? We have to remember this. This is the key. Their success was grounded in our nation’s creed that we just spoke about. And they reminded their fellow Americans about our founding principles. And as Lincoln said in his famous first inaugural, the Better Angels of Our Nature, we should do the same thing today. My friends.
Let’s be encouraged. Let’s press on in hope and that we can join together and make this great difference. I believe that we can, we can stand with every woman for every child, and we can truly build a culture that cherishes and protects life. God bless you. Thanks for braving the weather. We’ll see you soon.