Watch: Sen. Lankford Schools Colleagues on Senate Floor with Impassioned Pro-Life Speech


In 2021, for the first time in nearly half a century, there won’t be a “March for Life.” Like so much in our world today, this year’s pro-life protest will be virtual — but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be less memorable.

For instance, even those who aren’t in attendance virtually will be able to see Sen. James Lankford’s impassioned pro-life speech Wednesday marking the upcoming occasion from the Senate floor on YouTube. Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican, used the occasion to ask “the only question” about the abortion debate: When we look at a fetus in the womb, “is that a baby?”

The speech wasn’t just aimed at marking the March for Life, however. Lankford also noted that Biden’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, has taken numerous actions against pro-life organizations and laws.

Lankford also took aim at the doublespeak employed when talking about abortion — particularly “reproductive care.” Forty-eight years ago, as he noted, the Roe v. Wade court decision inaugurated a new era of reproductive care, which has led to 62 million children being killed.

“Reproductive care seems like such a nice little euphemism … but what it really means is paying someone in a clinic to reach into the womb with a surgical instrument to pull the arms and legs off of a child in the womb, so that they will bleed to death in the womb and then suction out the little boy or girl’s body parts one at a time,” Lankford said.

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“That’s what reproductive care means. And I don’t understand why that’s normal, but leaving a child in the back seat of a hot car is a tragedy. Maybe it’s because as a nation, some people are afraid to answer the most obvious question: Is that a baby?

“That’s the most obvious question. That face, that nose, those two eyes, that mouth, that chin, those fingers — is that a baby?”

“That’s really the only question. Is that a child?” Lankford said, adding that “everything else flows from that.”

As an illustration, Lankford brought up 3D ultrasounds of a baby at different stages of development — and at each stage, they could be aborted.

And even if Roe v. Wade were overturned, President Joe Biden and the Democrats want to ensure it’s codified at the federal level.

“President Biden this week celebrated the passage of Roe v. Wade by declaring that he wants to pass a federal law requiring abortion to be provided in every single state in America,” Lankford said.

“Not just trust a court decision from 1973. He wants us to proactively require in statute that every state demands abortion in their state. And that the federal taxpayers with hard-earned tax dollars should actually be required to pay for those abortions all over America.

“It wasn’t long ago that Senator Biden was saying things like, ‘Taxpayers shouldn’t be required to pay for abortion. They shouldn’t be required to pay for something that they find so morally objectionable.’ It wasn’t that long ago, Senator Biden was talking about abortion being safe, legal and rare.”

Now, of course, he wants to repeal the Hyde Amendment — which prohibits federal funds being used for abortion — and make sure it’s anything but safe, legal and rare.

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He also wants to make Becerra head of the Department of Health and Human Services. As Lankford noted, Becerra “has actually no health care experience at all. It’s a little surprising to a lot of us when we saw it, because we are used to seeing the leader of Health and Human Services be a physician or scientist.”

“Which would make sense in the time of an enormous global pandemic to have a physician leading health and human services, but he actually nominated someone that his biggest qualification is he is one of the most radical advocates for abortion in the country,” he continued.

“He [advocated for it] as a House member. He did as an attorney general in California. And clearly, the promise was made he’ll do it if you put him into Health and Human Services.”

He noted that Becerra had sued Mississippi for enacting a law banning abortion if an unborn child was far enough to be pain-capable, voted against the Abortion Survivors Protection Act and “fought to require churches to pay for abortion care in their health care plans when it directly violated their religious belief.”

“It should be baseline for us to be able to say, ‘If a child is actually delivered in a botched abortion and had been fully delivered outside the womb, we should help that child get medical care.’ I don’t understand why that’s so hard,” Lankford said.

“I don’t understand why it’s so hard to say, ‘Some people are absolutely appalled by the taking of a child’s life. Don’t force them with their tax dollars to pay for it.’ I don’t understand why that’s controversial.

“I don’t understand why it’s controversial that when a child can feel pain in the womb, that we shouldn’t dismember a child in the womb. I don’t understand why that’s controversial,” he continued.

Should Roe v. Wade be overturned?

“I don’t understand why it’s controversial to some that if a health care provider who has sworn to protect life, that that person shouldn’t be compelled to take life in an abortion procedure by their employer. I don’t understand why that’s controversial. But for some reason, it is.”

Going back to the ultrasounds of babies in the womb, Lankford asked whether we could finally accept the fact that the unborn are children, not just fetuses.

“Among our most basic rights in America, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, one of the most basic things that come out of our founding documents is these things are referred to as self-evident. Facts are facts, especially when those facts have a face,” he said.

“How can you look at that picture and say, ‘That’s not a human child?’ How can we not acknowledge the simple facts? Now, I do understand for some people, this is very difficult because they fought for years for abortion, and they don’t want that to change, because if it changes, they would have to admit there have been deaths of millions of children on their watch.

“That is not a simple thing to admit. But please do not tell me you’re following the science. Because that child has ten fingers and ten toes and a beating heart and a functioning nervous system. That child has DNA that’s different than the mom or the dad.

“That’s not random tissue. That is a separate person, and science would confirm that, so please don’t tell me you follow the science wherever it goes, because some facts are obvious. And the science is clear.”

If this virtual March for Life means Lankford’s speech gets wider viewing, perhaps it can be a blessing in disguise.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture