Roby: Reflecting on the president’s State of the Union and pro-life call to action
Every year, the State of the Union address provides an important opportunity for the sitting president to speak directly to Congress and the American people and offer an update on his priorities and plans to accomplish them. I recently attended President Trump’s second State of the Union address, and I was glad to hear what he had to say.
In this year’s State of the Union address, President Trump highlighted the economic success hardworking Americans are experiencing thanks to the implementation of pro-growth policies, including the historic tax reform overhaul. I was also pleased to hear more about his plans to work with Congress to secure our border, reinvigorate our badly aging infrastructure, strengthen our military, bolster our national security efforts, improve care for veterans and defend the unborn.
The last item on that list has received a lot of attention lately due to the heartbreaking news that has come out of New York and Virginia in recent weeks. If you’ve not heard, the legislature in the State of New York recently cheered loudly upon their passage of a bill that would significantly loosen restrictions on late-term abortions.
In Virginia, the Democratic Governor Ralph Northam is facing severe backlash over his support for a similar state measure. He said: “Third trimester abortions are done in cases where there may be severe deformities. … If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired.”
These comments are a horrific defense of born-alive abortions – infanticide. No matter your position on abortion generally, I hope we can all agree that if an abortion fails and a child is born alive, the child must be given the same care that any other living, breathing infant would otherwise be given.
I truly never dreamt I would see the day America would have government officials who openly support legal infanticide. It is stunning, appalling, and heartbreaking. During this challenging time for the pro-life movement in this country, I am very glad that President Trump utilized his platform during the State of the Union address to offer a call to action: We must put legal protections in place for babies who are born alive during botched abortions.
I remain unapologetically pro-life. I believe life begins at conception and am opposed to abortion at any stage. I understand that not everyone shares my views, but still, I am severely disturbed that this country now requires written legal provisions to protect a living baby. Sadly, in the aftermath of the news coming out of New York and Virginia, it is clear that this step is immediately necessary.
In the House, Republicans wasted no time in responding to the President’s demand for action. Two of my colleagues in particular, Congressman Steve Scalise from Louisiana, who is our House Minority Whip, and Congresswoman Ann Wagner of Missouri, are leading efforts to force a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill I cosponsor that would protect babies who are born alive during abortion procedures.
I cannot express how strongly I support this commonsense measure, and I cannot fathom how any person would oppose it. We must swiftly advance legal protections for these newborns and punish any doctor who allows an infant to die. I also support our Republican leadership’s efforts to quickly bring up a vote on this legislation. Every single member of Congress should be forced to vote either for or against infanticide. The American people deserve to know where each of us stands on this humanitarian issue.
The challenges we face with a divided Congress have been made abundantly clear. I was encouraged by President Trump’s remarks during his State of the Union address, and I was especially glad that he stood in strong defense of the unborn and rallied our pro-life community to action. I am eager to continue working with his administration and my colleagues in Congress to deliver results on this important issue and others. The American people and Alabama’s Second District deserve nothing less.
U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is a Republican from Montgomery.