“As we consider the claims made by both parties in June Medical Services v. Russo, we know that one of the biggest lies the abortion movement peddles is that we can only protect life in the womb at the expense of vulnerable women. The opposite is true. We cannot safeguard unborn children if we do not prioritize the health and wellbeing of their mothers.”
WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today spoke about Louisiana’s pro-life leadership ahead of oral arguments in the Supreme Court case June Medical Services v. Russo. Below are his remarks as prepared:
“My name is John Kennedy, and I believe in life.
“I am here today to celebrate with you God’s greatest gift—life. The Supreme Court is meeting this morning because Louisiana is a pro-life state that is helping to lead our country’s pro-life movement. I am so proud of that. Americans on both sides of the Mississippi River understand that every life is precious, and every life has meaning, whether it’s 82 years old or 82 seconds old.
“The undeniable truth is that we have a solemn duty to protect all lives, all souls, especially the most innocent and vulnerable among us.
“I am also here today, with you, to give the voiceless a chance to be heard. Frankly, I wish we didn’t have to be here today. It’s sad. It’s sad because in 1973 the United States Supreme Court misread the United States Constitution to allow abortions across this great land. Under that decision, more than 50 million babies have been killed before they had the chance to be born.
“Even now, more than four decades after Roe v. Wade, I still don’t understand the legal sleight of hand that purportedly supports that opinion. You can’t defend it legally. You can’t defend it logically. And you surely can’t defend it morally.
“Dr. Martin King once said, ‘We have guided missiles and misguided men.’ That was true in 1973, and it’s true today. We are two decades into the 21st century, and some people have more compassion for shellfish than for children.
“What does all this mean for us today? Two things: One, we have a lot of work to do in fighting for unborn children. Two, we have a lot of work to do in fighting for the safety of women, who have too often become the victims of an abortion agenda that cuts deals and cuts corners and puts more distance—not less—between expectant women and quality health care.
“Moments from now, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a very important case. As we consider the claims made by both parties in June Medical Services v. Russo, we know that one of the biggest lies the abortion movement peddles is that we can only protect life in the womb at the expense of vulnerable women. The opposite is true.
“We cannot safeguard unborn children if we do not prioritize the health and wellbeing of their mothers.
“The Louisiana Unsafe Abortion Protection Act—the subject of today’s Supreme Court hearing—recognizes that abortion providers routinely put the safety of women at risk. Some abortion clinics often fail to offer women even basic standards of medical care, like ready access to both emergency and follow-up services.
“Louisiana’s law requires any doctor who performs an abortion to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Why? Because abortions are surgical procedures. Immoral surgical procedures, but surgical procedures nonetheless. They are inherently risky, and we in Louisiana believe that the women exposed to medical risk should be as protected as possible. We want to make the health of children and women a priority again. The law these nine justices are considering today is compassionate, and it’s common sensical.
“I have always been proud of Louisianians’ steadfast support for protecting life—whether that life belongs to an unborn child or an expectant mother. If either compassion or common sense prevails before this court after they hear today’s arguments, I want Congress to be ready to extend the safeguards we adopted in Louisiana nationwide, so that women everywhere will have a better chance of getting adequate medical care.
“That’s why I introduced in the United States Congress the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act just a few weeks ago. The idea that a woman in any state—not just Louisiana—should suffer at the hands of a health care provider who doesn’t even have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital to get her needed medical attention is barbaric.
“I agree with the good people of Louisiana and all of my pro-life friends here today: It’s time to actually prioritize the health of women and unborn children again. Protect women, and protect life.
“So, take comfort that you’re not alone in this fight for life, and take courage that every day more people recognize the value of both women and their unborn children. I know I do. God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America.”
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