NEW ORLEANS, La. – In every election since Ronald Reagan’s election to the presidency in 1980, the right-to-life issue has played a pivotal role and 2016 will prove no different. At this week’s 45th annual National Right to Life Convention, seven of the 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls addressed attendees from across the country and reaffirmed their commitment to the pro-life cause.
“This nation was founded by brilliant, dedicated men,” said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias said. “Let us work to elect men and women who will re-establish the unalienable right to Life as the first right, the unequaled, paramount right our founding fathers intended.”
National Right to Life Political Director Karen Cross rallied attendees reminding them, “You must make a decision right here and right now that the issue of life trumps all else.”
Appearing at this morning’s forum were Dr. Ben Carson of Maryland, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal addressed the convention during a Mardi Gras-style Festival of Life Thursdayevening. In addition, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz sent video messages to the convention.
Below are excerpts from their statements.
Gov. Jeb Bush: “When we devalue life, whether it’s at the beginning of life or at the end, we devalue our society, we devalue our culture. This is a value…that is hugely important: that we need to protect innocent life in every aspect.”
Dr. Ben Carson: “It is up to us the people, to stand up for what we believe in, and what I believe in is life, and using the talent that God has provided to give life.”
Sen. Ted Cruz: “There is no more precious, more fundamental right than the right to life. Our founders had the foreknowledge to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in that order. Without life, there is no liberty. Without life, there is no pursuit of happiness.”
Gov. Bobby Jindal: “We can’t declare victory until every life, the unborn, as well as the elderly, the disabled; every human life is welcomed and celebrated in our country, in our culture.”
Gov. Rick Perry: “As long as Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, the only way to stop abortion is one pregnancy at a time, one woman at a time, one heart at time. …We leave here as an army…of love, of compassion, of tolerance, of healing.”
Sen. Marco Rubio: “The goal of reclaiming the American dream, which is, itself, about defending the potential of every human being; this goal can never be complete if we do not succeed in defending the basic right of every human life to exist.”
Sen. Rick Santorum: “I do not believe life begins at conception. I know life begins at conception. This is not a matter of debate. This is not a matter of faith. It’s not a matter of belief.”
Thursday evening’s session with Governor Jindal, and today’s session with the other presidential candidates are available on the National Right to Life live stream feed here: http://livestream.com/
Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.