Protecting Heartbeats

Floor Speech

Date: June 22, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KELLY of Pennsylvania. Madam Speaker, as the Nation awaits the Supreme Court's official ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson, which many of us pray will overturn Roe v. Wade, we have witnessed a despicable wave of leftwing threats and violence against our judges, our churches, pro- life groups, and crisis pregnancy centers.

Let's be very clear on this. Pregnancy centers are 100 percent noble and heroic organizations that proudly serve vulnerable mothers at their most critical time of need. They are an invaluable resource across America. Because these centers save lives and not end them, they find themselves under attack.

Since May 2, the day Justice Alito's draft decision was leaked, there have been nearly 30 documented attacks on these centers, including, but not limited to:

A pregnancy center in Madison, Wisconsin, torched by a Molotov cocktail on May 8.

Capitol Hill Crisis Pregnancy Center right here in Washington, D.C., vandalized with blood red paint on June 2.

Pregnancy Resource Center in Buffalo, New York, firebombed on June 7.

Pregnancy Resource Center in Gersham, Oregon, firebombed on June 10.

And, of course, the attempted assassination of Justice Kavanaugh outside his home.

Since May 2020, more than 130 acts of vandalism, or worse, have been committed across 29 States and the District of Columbia against pro- life Catholic properties alone. The proponents of these attacks are radical leftwing groups that are openly vowing to terrify pro-life leaders and institutions into backing down from defending the unborn.

They have made threats like, ``If abortions aren't safe, neither are you.'' They have promised ``to take increasingly drastic measures'' and that ``those measures may not come in the form of something so easily cleaned up as a fire or graffiti.'' They are currently calling for a ``night of rage'' after the Supreme Court announces its decision.

When fear, intimidation, and violence are deployed to compel legitimate government institutions to act a certain way, it must be called what it is: terrorism.

These recent threats and attacks must be totally condemned, investigated, and prosecuted. This violence must end.

Our Nation needs to hear from the leaders of our Democratic Party that these extremists call home: Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, and President Biden have so far refused to utter even a single word of disapproval or discouragement. To them, Americans of goodwill plead: Your silence is deafening. Speak up.

To the Supreme Court Justices, to their families, and to the millions and millions of pro-life Americans from coast to coast, I say this: Be not afraid. We are most likely on the cusp of an epic victory. It will be the culmination of 50 years of work. We must not back down or tire, for the end of Roe v. Wade will mean the beginning of a new era in which our voices and our passion are needed more than ever.

For those of us in elected office who sincerely believe that human life is a sacred gift from God and in need of society's protection, our position is no longer theoretical. We now have a pressing responsibility to examine how public policy can best be crafted to adequately accomplish that goal. I believe we already have an answer.

When an expectant mother visits a doctor for an ultrasound, the image of a beating heart is the first confirmation that a child has been conceived.

When someone is involved in a severe accident, a medic will check for a pulse to make sure the victim is alive. In short, a heartbeat means life.

To legislate consistently to this truth, I introduced the Heartbeat Protection Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill will legally prohibit future abortions from being performed if a pre-born child's heartbeat can be detected, with the exception of when a mother's life is in danger. It is a science-based, humanity-respecting solution suited to the new landscape in which we now find ourselves. The post-Roe world is here.

As legislators in each State determine the extent in which they wish to defend life, pro-life Members of Congress can simultaneously take action to make our beloved country a place where children waiting to be born and their mothers are acknowledged and safeguarded. As we all move forward, may clarity, compassion, and our consciences, guide us.

Madam Speaker, we have watched 50 years of the pro-life movement. I have attended many of the pro-life marches here in D.C. There is nothing more peaceful, there is nothing more prayerful than the assembly of hundreds of thousands of Americans from around the country coming together to march in support of the pro-life measures.

I would hope at this point in our history, as we watch the rest of the world unravel and as we watch these horrible things happen around our country, we say to ourselves: It is time to stop the violence. It is time to look forward. It is time to save the lives of the unborn.

After millions and millions of children have been aborted, it is time to start saving them. They are as important as any other life on Earth.