Rep. Chris Smith Addresses the 37th Annual National Right
to Life Convention
Remarks at the closing banquet
June 20, 2009
The Blake Hotel, Charlotte, NC
Congratulations to the National Right to Life Committee on your 37th
The National Right to Life Committee is the flagship, the largest
and most effective action oriented voice, among an eclectic,
dedicated group of pro-life NGOs. Your Washington leadership isn’t
just talented and committed; it is seasoned, mature and tested.
At the state level, you constitute the backbone of our movement and
put troops in the field, in a selfless expression of love for the
disenfranchised and powerless, absolutely based on the core
principles of nonviolence and malice towards none - even for those
who actually dismember or chemically poison children to death and
euphemistically call it choice.
To all here, thank you for so courageously standing in the gap and
for your noble service in the greatest human rights struggle on
Indeed, you are the conscience of a nation that has lost its way.
You admonish our country to embrace life and hope - not the “hope”
of a superficial presidential campaign - and you teach us to reject
violence against children and abandonment of their moms, not some of
the time, but all of the time.
You know that abortion causes serious injury to women - physically,
including the link to breast cancer and depression, emotionally and
spiritually - and you work tirelessly to end the cover-up regarding
the horrific impacts on women.
Thank you for devoting your lives, your talent, your time and your
money to defending generations of unborn children, their moms, their
dads, the frail elderly and the disabled (like Terri Schiavo), most
of whom you will never meet, at least not in this life.
Good Samaritans - great Samaritans - that’s what you are, one and
all. With little or no expectation of reward or thanks, at least in
this world, you are full of caring, full of empathy and full of
courage on behalf of the “least of these.”
None of the work you do is easy, or without stress or immediately
rewarding. There are many far more cushy paths you could have
On the one hand, the deep burden we share for others in harms way
involves real pain and Godly sorrow. On the other, there’s rejoicing
over every abortion averted - the joy of a child and his or her
mother rescued, and over the years, the millions of children who
have escaped the killing fields and are today at school, baking a
cake with mom, playing basketball or frisbee with dad (especially
tomorrow on Father’s Day) and even having kids of their own.
And you and I rejoice in a very special way, giving praise to God,
for those post abortive women who have found reconciliation,
forgiveness, renewal and peace. The bravest of all in this movement
are the post-abortive women who are “silent no more.” Their voice
and message of hope must be heard everywhere and especially by
post-abortive girls and women who suffer depression and deep
Thus far, 2009 has been tough in Congress. Not surprisingly, in the
last five months, the pro-life cause has suffered a string of
setbacks imposed by Mr. Obama.
At a time when the country - the world - needs compassionate moral
leadership that is inclusive of all regardless of age, sex, race,
disability or condition of dependency, Mr. Obama has earned the
dubious title of the Abortion President.
He talks inclusion, but practices exclusion. His deeds speak louder
than his words.
With all his gifts and charisma, it is tragic beyond words that Mr.
Obama has chosen to promote the culture of death and in record time
has made the White House the wholly owned subsidiary of the abortion
lobby. For a man who has been given so much to then deny the right
to live - to exist - to those who have so little is, well, unfair
and tragic. He has done much harm - and is capable of inflicting
much more. Thus through prayer, fasting and smart work we must
absolutely resolve to stop his misguided abortion agenda.
This can and must be our finest hour.
At precisely the same time as President Obama continues to
assiduously assure Americans, including graduates at Notre Dame last
month, that he wants to reduce abortion at home and abroad, his
administration is aggressively seeking to reverse virtually every
modest pro-life law ever enacted or policy promulgated since Roe v.
Wade, via health care restructuring, executive orders,
reinterpretation of existing policy, support for the Freedom of
Choice Act (FOCA) and by repealing funding riders.
In like manner, overseas, the Abortion President has devoted huge
resources and is expanding an enormous amount of political capital
in the nefarious business of toppling pro-life laws in sovereign
The Abortion President is the master of the art of misdirection.
From his speeches we hear soothing, pretty, mesmerizing words
loftily summoning us to common ground - common burial ground that
Obama’s talk of common ground is a trap - a snare - for the gullible
and for the nominally pro-life who have emerged as the newest
enablers. Of course common ground rhetoric isn’t new at all. In the
end, it all boils down to appropriating hundreds of millions of
dollars of additional taxpayer funds to groups like Planned
Parenthood - a group as Randy O’Bannon reminded us today at his
workshop - killed over 305,000 children in 2007 alone, pushing a few
non-controversial pro-life positions like the adoption option all
the while seeking to nullify authentic abortion reducing policies -
the real common ground - including public funding bans, women’s
right to know laws and parental notice statues. Both the
pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute and pro-life advocates
actually agree that prohibitions on taxpayer funding for abortion
significantly reduce the number of abortions.
According to the Guttmacher Institute 18-35 percent of Medicaid
patients who would have had an abortion carry their babies to term
when Medicaid funding is not available.
Similarly, a recent study found that when laws requiring one
parent’s consent before a minor girl obtains an abortion were
enacted, the minor abortion rate was reduced by 19 percent, and by
31 percent when parental consent from both parents was required.
Yet the Abortion President wants to obliterate these policies.
Clinton tried to sell common ground. Gore used it as well. And now
our Abortion President is presenting it to the nation as if he
invented it. It’s a trap.
Let me note here that common ground of a different kind is emerging,
but it is in the form of research from around the world showing that
previous induced abortions - particularly two or more abortions -
increase the risks of preterm births for subsequent children. Even
Time Magazine and The Official Journal of the American Academy of
Pediatrics have recognized studies showing the connection between
preterm birth and previous induced abortions. The connection is
Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant mortality in the
industrialized world after congenital anomalies. Preterm infants
have a greater risk of suffering from chronic lung disease, sensory
deficits, cerebral palsy, cognitive impairments and behavioral
problems. Sadly, U.S. preterm births have risen a whopping 36% since
1981. In concrete terms, both the existence and the long term health
of future generations depend on our struggle to end abortion.
Of course you and I know that the real Obama record is cynically
pro-abortion - and talk of common ground is, at best, disingenuous.
A few days after his Inauguration, Mr. Obama rescinded the Mexico
City policy, a pro-life Reagan-era executive order, that ensured
that the over $545 million in population control funds appropriated
by Congress each year (for FY2010, $648 million) only went to
foreign nongovernmental family planning organizations, that did not
promote, lobby or perform abortions as a method of family planning.
As a result of Obama's new policy, pro-abortion organizations are
now flush with cash and will continue to get hundreds of millions of
dollars annually to push abortion around the world, all of it
decoupled from pro-life safeguards.
Like you, I was pleasantly encouraged to learn that Obama's
international abortion agenda is very unpopular with the American
public. The Gallup Poll found that by a margin of 65 percent to 35
percent, Americans opposed his reversal of the Mexico City policy.
(Gallup has also found that for the first time, 51 percent of
Americans say they are pro-life to 42 percent who are not. At the
grassroots level, Americans are clearly trending pro-life.) Your
educational initiatives and ultrasound breakthroughs are having a
Then there are Mr. Obama’s hundreds of strategic appointments
including members of the Cabinet and sub Cabinet and a myriad of
program directors and deputies including Dawn Johnson - a former
NARAL lawyer who derisively refers to pregnant women as fetal
containers. Personnel is policy. With little fanfare, the Abortion
President has stuffed and is in the process of stuffing the federal
bureaucracy from top to bottom with some of the most extreme
pro-abortionists on the planet. He has embedded smart and savvy
pro-abortion people into important gatekeeper positions. Now, in the
secrecy of their offices, pro-abortion policies large and small are
being hatched and implemented with little or no oversight and
billions in grant money will be funneled to abortion activities. His
next target is the courts.
I’m here to tell you that the prejudice and bias against unborn
children by this Administration is stunning - I’ve been in the Right
to Life movement for 37 years, and I’ve never seen an Administration
so biased against little kids.
For example, at a Congressional hearing in late April, I asked
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton how she could have said in a
speech to Planned Parenthood that she was “in awe of Margaret
Sanger.” The Secretary said that “Margaret Sanger’s life and
leadership was one of the most transformational in the entire
history of the human race and that Sanger’s work both here and
abroad was not done.”
I pointed out that Sanger’s legacy was indeed transformational, but
not for the better if one happens to be poor, disenfranchised, weak,
disabled, a person of color, an unborn child, or among the many
so-called undesirables, that Sanger would exclude and exterminate
from the human race.
Sanger's prolific writings drip with contempt for those she
considered unfit to live. I have actually read many of Sanger's
articles and books. She was an unapologetic eugenicist and a racist
who said, “The most merciful thing a family does for one of its
infant members is to kill it.”
She also said on another occasion, “Eugenics is…the most adequate
and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social
In Sanger’s book, “The Pivot of Civilization,” chapter five is
entitled, “The Cruelty of Charity.” In that chapter, she makes a
shockingly inhumane case for the systematic denial of prenatal and
maternal health care for poor pregnant women.
Sanger said, and I quote in pertinent part, “Such benevolence is not
merely superficial and nearsighted. It conceals a stupid cruelty…”
and leads to “deterioration in the human stock” and “the
perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents.”
I told Secretary Clinton that it was extraordinarily difficult to
understand how anyone could be in awe of Margaret Sanger, a person
who made no secret whatsoever of views that were antithetical to
protecting fundamental human rights of the weakest and the most
vulnerable, and could suggest that Sanger’s work remains undone
around the world.
I also asked our Secretary of State whether the Obama administration
was seeking in any way to weaken or overturn pro-life laws and
policies in African and Latin American countries, either directly or
through multilateral organizations, including and especially the
United Nations, the African Union, or the Organization of American
States. And I also asked her whether the United States' definition
of reproductive health includes abortion.
In a radical departure from President Bush, Secretary Clinton said
that the Obama Administration was “entitled” to advocate abortion
anywhere in the world. “Entitled”!
Secretary Clinton went on to unilaterally redefine the term
“reproductive health” to include abortion, even though that
definition isn't shared by the rest of the world especially in Latin
America and Africa. That is important, because the term
“reproductive health” is found in numerous UN consensus documents
and action plans and in the laws of countries worldwide.
Thus it is abundantly clear, a new, dark chapter in the Global push
for unfettered abortion has commenced. On March 31st, the Acting
Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Population, Refugee and Migration
Bureau, told the UN that the U.S. Government now seeks to achieve
universal access to reproductive health and the promotion of
reproductive rights. In light of the Secretary of State's statement,
that clearly means the U.S. is pushing universal access to abortion
Just two weeks ago, I offered an amendment to ensure that the new
Global Office on Women’s Issues at State promotes women’s rights,
not abortion. I lost 22 to 17 in the Foreign Affairs Committee and
was barred by the Democrat leadership from even offering it on the
Floor of the House when the measure was considered. The underlying
legislation passed the House and is now pending in the Senate.
In light of his coordinated attack overseas, we must do a better job
of warning nations in Africa and Latin America in Asia and even
Europe that the Global War on Abortion is at their doorstep.
Then there is the Obama abandonment of women in China. No only did
Secretary Clinton say America’s traditional concern for human rights
in China wouldn’t “interfere” with other issues like peddling US
bonds to Beijing, but our government is now funding organizations
that brutally oppress Chinese women.
Despite the fact that the UN Population Fund has actively supported,
co-managed, and white-washed the most pervasive crimes against women
in human history, President Obama donated $50 million to the UNFPA.
In three weeks, the House will look to increase that to $62 million
(In 2008 under President Bush—the US State Department found once
again that the UNFPA violated the anti-coercion provision of Kemp-Kasten
and reprogrammed all funding originally earmarked for the UNFPA to
other projects including maternal health.)
China’s one-child-per-couple policy relies on coerced abortion,
involuntary sterilization, ruinous fines in amounts up to ten times
the salary of both parents, imprisonment, and job loss or demotion
to achieve its quotas.
With both the UNFPA and the Obama Administration enabling, China’s
barbaric government policy has made brothers and sisters illegal in
much of the country.
Women are told when - and if - they can have even the one child
permitted by law.
Unwed mothers - even if the baby is her first - are forcibly
Women are severely harmed emotionally, psychologically, and
physically. Chinese women are violated by the state. The suicide
rate for Chinese women - about 500 a day - far exceeds suicide
anywhere on earth.
Then there are the missing girls - about 100 million - victims of
sex selection abortions. This gendercide is a direct result of the
one child policy.
According to the Times of London, several days ago, the world’s
richest and most famous including Ted Turner, Bill Gates, Warren
Buffet, David Rockefeller Jr., George Soros and Oprah Winfrey met in
London and decided population control was the world’s most urgent
priority. Population control blames children for bad governance and
the misuse and misallocation of resources. If you want to know where
that worldview takes us, just look at China.
Here at home, with all the bells and whistles of a White House
ceremony, our Abortion President reversed President Bush’s ban on
taxpayer-funded embryo-destroying stem cell research.
As you know, human embryo-destroying stem cell research is not only
unethical, unworkable and unreliable - it is now, demonstrably
Recent, spectacular breakthroughs in noncontroversial adult stem
cell research and clinical applications to effectuate cures or the
mitigation of disease or disability have been well documented. For
several years, significant progress has been achieved with adult
stem cells derived from non-embryonic sources including umbilical
cord blood, bone marrow, brain, amniotic fluid, skin and even fat.
Patients with diseases including leukemia, type I diabetes, multiple
sclerosis, lupus, sickle cell anemia (one out of every 500 African
Americans has this condition), and dozens of other maladies have
significantly benefited from adult stem cell transfers.
Back in 2005, President Bush signed legislation that I authored
which provided $265 million to establish a comprehensive nationwide
network to collect, type and disseminate, using best practices,
umbilical cord blood.
Some four million women give birth in the United States every year.
In the past, virtually every umbilical cord and the placenta was
thrown away, despite the fact that the “afterbirth” is teeming with
stem cells that could be used to effectuate cures and to mitigate
disease. The new law combines cord blood and bone marrow efforts
under one new, nationwide program to try to help people who are
suffering from serious disease.
Adult stem cells in general are truly remarkable. They work, they
have no ethical baggage, and advances are made every day at a
Perhaps the greatest breakthrough of all was the discovery of a
process that turns every day ordinary skin cells into pluripotent
embryo-like stem cells.
On November 20, 2007, Japanese scientists Shinya Yamanaka and
Wisconsin researcher James Thomson shocked the scientific community
by independently announcing their ability to derive pluripotent stem
cells by reprogramming regular skin cells into pluripotent skin
In other words, scientists have found a way of transforming your
cells and mine, into stem cells called induced pluripotent stem
cells or iPS. Pluripotent stem cells are those miraculous building
block cells that can be coaxed into becoming any type of tissue
found in the human body.
Unlike embryonic stem cells that kill the donor, are highly
unstable, have a propensity to morph into tumors and are likely to
be rejected by the patient unless strong anti-rejection medicines
are administered, induced pluripotent cells have none of those
deficiencies and are emerging as the future, the greatest hope of
Finally, earlier this week Senate Democrats and yesterday, House
Democrats, unveiled their health care reform bill. The “Obama bill,”
health care restructuring bill, is reportedly on a fast track. If
this so called reform bill isn’t “reformed” to explicitly exclude
abortion, we absolutely need to put it on the fast track to the dust
bin of history. Apart from the estimated $1.6 trillion price tag and
a virtual cornucopia of untested policy proposals cobbled together
in secret absent any meaningful scrutiny, the legislation poses huge
catastrophic risks for unborn children.
For years, the pro-abortion mantra has been access, access, access.
New York Congresswoman, Nita Lowey has said “the greatest threat to
abortion rights may no longer be anti-choice judges and politicians,
but diminished access to abortion services….”
The former director of the National Abortion Federation has said,
“Unless drastic changes are made, American women will lose the right
to abortion and the [US] Supreme Court won’t be the cause of it…the
reason will be that physicians either can’t or won’t perform this
The American Medical News reported, “Abortion is a matter of choice
in this country not only for women but for physicians as well. All
over the country, most physicians are choosing not to do it.”
And the San Francisco Chronicle has said, “Those who run abortion
clinics, even in large cities, say that recruiting doctors is now
their most serious problem.”
An abortion mandate in health care restructuring is how our
opposition hopes to fix this “serious problem.” The other side has
long sought to compel every taxpayer and insurance premium payer to
subsidize every abortion in America while simultaneously ensuring
proximity and an ample supply of abortionists everywhere. That’s why
Obama is looking to trash or at least seriously undermine conscience
clause protections and has revoked the conscience regulations
promulgated by President Bush.
When Hillarycare was introduced 16 years ago, the Clinton
Administration at first denied that an abortion mandate was
included. Notwithstanding the Clinton Administration’s unparalleled
penchant for obfuscation, their attempt to deceive was soon exposed
and, with the help of some pro-life democrats, a Hyde type amendment
was drafted. (At a mark-up in the Veterans Affairs Committee on
Hillarycare, I offered an amendment to Hillarycare to nullify the
abortion mandate which they claimed wasn’t there. After a long,
divisive debate, we smoked them out and we won by one vote.) In the
end, health care “reform” got bogged down by the abortion on demand
mandate and the legislation never came to the floor.
Now there’re back and with a vengeance and they are trying once
again to force taxpayer funded abortion overtly or, if preferably,
In the upcoming debate they will again use benign words and phrases
to mask abortion. Even Planned Parenthood, is on script and recently
said they merely want “a full range of health care options.”
In 2007, Mr. Obama told Planned Parenthood in a speech “in my mind,
reproductive care is essential care, basic care, so it is at the
center, the heart of the plan that I propose.” “…insurers are going
to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing
comprehensive care, including reproductive care…that’s going to be
absolutely vital.” And as reported in the Chicago Tribune when
“Asked about his proposal for expanded access to health insurance,
Obama said it would cover ‘reproductive health services.’” And we
all know what that means—remember, Secretary Clinton says that means
The Obama/Kennedy/Waxman legislation creates a benefits “advisory”
council, picked by Obama, that will mandate services after the bill
becomes law. Absent explicit language in the bill precluding
abortion, the killings of unborn children on demand, it will be
Because the fawning press corps is likely to either miss
deliberately or gloss over the health care abortion mandate, we have
to immediately mobilize like never before to both expose it and then
stop it. We might only have days - weeks. It is likely to be on the
Floor in July.
This is the big one!
Let me end with this. We are here in Charlotte today - these past
three days for some of you - because we know that if the children
and at risk persons in America and the world are to survive the
newest aggression against their lives, you and I have no other
option but to fight. We must be disciplined and alert and wise. And
we need to redouble our efforts and recruit new activists here and
around the world especially among the young.
This is no time for quitters or the faint of heart.
I truly believe that this will someday be regarded as our finest
hour, when against overwhelming odds, we stood firm and overcame
evil with good.
So be assured that even at this most difficult of times when the
clouds seemingly are at their darkest, you and I can stop Obama’s
abortion agenda. And you know, through it all, we can actually
smile, and be joyful, with a peace that surpasses all understanding
not only because we are doing our duty, but because our trust is
vested unequivocally in the mercy, justice and awesome power of God.