Pro-Life Senator John
McCain’s Remarks to NRLC 2008
Thank you for inviting me to address the 2008 National Right to
Life Convention, I'm sorry I'm not able to be there in person to
address you. More than two-hundred years ago our nation's
founders declared, that we are endowed by our creator, with
certain and unalienable rights, and that among these are life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It was no accident, that
they cited life as the first, and most basic right. For without
recognition of the right to life, we are not guaranteed any
other rights. Sometimes all wisdom asks of us, is that we
recognize common-sense. But sometimes wisdom, as to all other
virtues requires courage.
Wisdom suggests that we should be willing to give an unborn
child the same chance that our parents gave us. But it takes
courage in this political climate, to insist on the protection
of unborn children, who can't vote, have no voice, and can't
reward you with support and donations. Wisdom suggests that when
federal judges impose their social views on the citizens of
every state, the result is going to distort our politics in
harmful ways. But it takes courage to insist, that the courts
have to return to their proper role.
I will look for accomplished men and women, with a proven record
of excellence in the law, and a proven commitment, to strictly
interpreting the Constitution of the United States. I will look
for people in the cast of John Roberts, Sam Alito, my friend the
late William Rehnquist, jurists of the highest caliber who know
their own minds, and know the law, and know the difference. I
have been pro-life, my entire public career.
I am pro-life, because I know what it is like, to live without
human rights, where human life is accorded no inherent value.
And I know that I have a personal obligation to advocate human
rights wherever they are denied, in Bosnia or Burma, in Cuba or
the Middle East, and in our own country, when we fail to respect
the inherent dignity of all human life, born or unborn. That is
a personal testament, which you need not take on faith. You need
only to examine my public record, to know that I won't change my
position. I've been proud to serve our great country in the
military and in Congress.
Throughout these years I have always believed that the most
important duty of our national leaders is to protect human life.
We protect human life from violent extremists, who would destroy
it to produce a cruel ideology. We protect the lives of the most
vulnerable, whether they are the unborn, the elderly, or the
disabled. It is a privilege to defend Americans in war and in
I'm proud to stand with you in defending the sanctity of human
life, and in supporting mothers and children, under the most
challenging of circumstances.
I'm proud of my wife Cindy, who brought our daughter Bridget
home from Mother Teresa's orphanage in Bangladesh, and blessed
our family with the gift of this blessed child of God. I am as
thankful for her, as I am for all of my children, and am glad
that we were able to give her a home, and a better life.
My friends we confront a difficult question when we address the
issue of abortion, the American people are compassionate people,
who cherish life and liberty. They love life, and they have an
instinctive compassion for those who confront difficult
circumstances. We believe that the best way to respond to such
situations is to demonstrate our love and support for the
mothers and children, who are at the center of such challenges.
The pro-life movement has done this for decades by participating
in and supporting thousands of pregnancy care centers, that help
women and their children meet these challenges.
In November, the American people will choose a new president to
lead our country during very challenging times. I will proudly
defend my record of protecting human life during key debates on
domestic and international policy. I am proud to have supported
a ban on partial-birth abortion, and legislation that would
protect children who survived an abortion procedure.
On the very first day, after the Supreme Court upheld the ban on
the hideous practice of partial-birth abortion, a bill was
introduced in congress to codify this practice in every one in
the United States of America. The same legislation would strike
down the Hyde amendment, named after our great friend and
champion of human life, the incomparable Henry Hyde, and would
also strike down every other federal and state limitation on
abortion funding. This legislation, with has been co-sponsored
by my opponent, would also strike down every parental
notification law enacted anywhere in our country.
The American people have come together, to say that
partial-birth abortion offends our national conscience, that
taxpayers should not be forced to pay for elective abortions,
and that states should be allowed to enact parental notification
laws. Those who oppose these protections of human life, unable
to prevail in legislatures, hope to appoint to the federal
courts jurists who would reject this political consensus, and
would impose on us abortion policies that offend the conscience
of very many Americans.
My friends, I want to thank you again, for your commitment to a
cause that is greater than us all, protecting human life, and
women and children, wherever they need our support.
May god bless America, and your unselfish efforts, on behalf of
all his children.
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