Senator Lankford Speaks on the Value of Life
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WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today spoke on the Senate floor about the issue of life and his support for us to come together as a nation and determine how to protect children, regardless of their size or viability. Lankford has supported numerous proposals to protect life and prevent the federal government from encouraging or funding abortions. This week, Lankford signed on as an original cosponsor to the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would prohibit taxpayer dollars from funding abortions. Lankford also plans to attend the March for Life rally in Washington, DC, later this week.
(Starts at 4:54): January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled on a ruling, which is now the infamous Roe vs. Wade decision. It was supposed to have settled the issue about life. It was supposed to have settled the issue that every single state has to allow abortion and that life, according to the Supreme Court in 1973, was about viability. When can this child live on their own outside the womb? Viability. Well, viability in 1973 is very different than viability now, thankfully. When we think about viability now, there are children born at 21, 22 weeks, extremely early, that would have never survived in 1973, that regularly survive now because of great medical care. Viability really doesn't determine life, though. Life is something that begins much earlier, and for some reason in our culture, we're still having a conversation about what to do with that tissue. We as Americans spend a lot of time trying to be able to work on very difficult issues, but for some reason this has become a partisan issue that's exceptionally divisive in our culture. This life and this child shouldn't be a partisan issue. It shouldn't be a Republican child or a Democrat child. This should just be a child, and we should be able to pause for a moment and be able to determine: what are we going to do about her and is she valuable?
(Starts at 8:00): It is my guess that anyone who disagrees with this has already tuned me out because as a culture we don't want to think about this life. Because if for a moment we pause and consider that maybe she's really alive and has purpose and value, we would have to swallow hard and acknowledge the millions of little girls just like her that have died in abortions in America—millions. And so to fight against having to deal with that, we just don't want to think about it, and we just tune it out.
(Starts at 9:26): It's something that we acknowledge in the animal world because this Congress has passed laws to deal with endangered species, including a $100,000 fine if you damage a golden eagle egg, a bald eagle egg, if you go to marine turtles, to their nesting spot, and destroy or even disturb the nest of a marine turtle, or in Oklahoma when we deal with barn swallows that will build their nests in the springtime in a construction area. All construction has to stop if a barn swallow builds a nest in your construction area because those eggs are important, not so much because of the barn swallow, but because there is common understanding in this Congress: that those eagle eggs, turtle eggs, barn swallow eggs is a future barn swallow, turtle, and eagle.
(Starts at 14:10): I have folks that have recently said to me, ‘I understand this is a legislative issue, but it is really a faith issue. This is really about your faith, and your faith shouldn't legislate who I am.’ Well, I would only tell you that cultures all make decisions, including our culture, not just about their faith but their values as a culture. Stealing is also a religious issue. It's in the 10 Commandments, so maybe as a culture we shouldn't ban stealing because the 10 Commandments says you shouldn't steal. But no one would really say that because as a culture we all look at it and say, ‘Theft is a problem. You shouldn’t be able to do that.’ Cultures makes decisions based on their own personal values. So it is not just a religious issue, but our faith does impact our personal lives and decisions. And it does affect who we are.
(Starts at 14:55): In China, where most faith is banned, they allow abortion at any stage. In fact, in China, the state is the most important thing. Everything is about building up the state. The individual has no value. The state has the greatest value. And so in China, they determine, ‘We have too many people,’ so they force women to have abortions and compel them. Some can only have one child, some can have two children, but every child after that has to be aborted because the state chooses that because their greatest value is the state. Our greatest value is the individual. That's why our documents begin with things like, ‘We the people.’ Because the individual has value.
(Starts at 19:05): I pray there is a day that we're not proud that we looked away from little girls and little boys and said, ‘You're not human enough yet. Your life can be ended because I don't want to look at you.’ The beginning for us really is to stop and look at what's obvious. That's a child. What are you going to do about that child?
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