A Contract with the Unborn
Patrick J. Buchanan
January 21, 1995
The Washington Post and New York Times and CBS did not much note one of the
greatest things that happened on November 8th: Our cause won a tremendous
victory by election 5 new pro-life Senators and 44 new pro-life members of the
House of Representatives. What does that mean? It means that the Republican
Party was pro-life, is pro-life and shall be pro-life in 1996.
The Clinton administration is now acting like a routed, retreating army. And
what does a retreating army do? They are stealing souvenirs. They are looting.
During the Normandy celebration, after the aircraft carrier Eisenhower brought
some White House aides across from England to France, the admiral had to
report that $506 worth of monogrammed bathrobes and towels had been stolen.
George Stephanopoulos was overheard to say, "These towels are so thick I can
barely get my suitcase shut."
What else is Bill Clinton's retreating army doing? It is leaving behind its
wounded. They have thrown momma from the train. Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders
is on her way back to Arkansas.
But, seriously, folks, let me speak now about the great and good cause that
brought you to march today and that we have been involved in now for most of
Two years ago, when I was going back to Crossfire after the presidential
campaign, I was scheduled to tape ads one day, from 11:00 in the morning to
3:00 in the afternoon. But I arrived at CNN at 10:30 and they said, "Why don't
we tape right away." By 11:15 they said, "Pat, you're done for the day." So, I
said to an aide of mine, Terry Jeffrey, "This is the day of the March for
Life. Why don't we go over and join it?"
So, we went over there and, I must say, there as a touch of despair and a
touch of gloom in that crowd of 70,000 people. Because that very day, January
23, 1993, our new president had issued five executive orders that in the
battle between the abortionists and the innocent unborn, put our government
and our country on the side of the abortion industry.
There was gloom out there in those days, but there is not gloom here now.
As I told them then, this movement was going to rise again. And rise again it
has. Now, we are going to keep rising and we are going to come back and we are
going to carry our cause all the way through the months and years and all the
way through to victory.
I do see desperation and despair today. But it is in the voices and the faces
of the people at Planned Parenthood. A manifestation of that desperation is
the alacrity with which they seized upon that atrocity three weeks ago down in
Let me talk directly to that issue: What was done to those two women at that
Brookline clinic was a despicable, contemptible and cowardly act. The
individual responsible should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
That should be done, period.
However, those who are attempting to lay these crimes of murder at the feet of
those of us who are pro-life are telling what is a lie and what they know to
be a lie. We are about saving lives, not destroying lives. Because we are
consistent in our belief in life and our belief in peaceful protest, we not
only condemn violence when it goes on outside those clinics, we condemn the
violence that is taking place inside those clinics every single day.
Let me associate myself with a comment made by Cardinal John O'Connor of New
York. He said, "We will declare a moratorium on our prayerful and peaceful
protests outside those clinics when they declare a moratorium on what is going
on inside those clinics."
What is going on in those clinics? As Senator Bob Smith has said, Mother
Teresa spoke in February down in Washington at a National Prayer Breakfast
attended by the President and the First Lady. She told us what is going on in
there. "What is taking place in America," she said, "is a war against the
child. And if we accept that the mother can kill her own child, how can we
tell other people not to kill one another?"
"Any country that accepts abortion," said Mother Teresa, "is not teaching its
people to live, but to use any violence to get what it wants."
I believe our society has become a violent place. Many of you grew up, as I
did, in the '40s and '50s. Many of you may not remember those days. But
America was a peaceful country then. We didn't have the kind of violence that
we have today.
I believe the correlation between the violence in our society and what has
happened to 30 million unborn children is absolute.
They tell us that we should remain silent. But I say in the words of the
immortal Dante, "There is a special place in Hell for those who remain
silent." And we shall not remain silent.
I have been as partisan a Republican as anyone. But let me speak now to the
other party, the Democratic Party. I speak to the Democratic Party because in
the past it has been a great champion of little people, a great champion of
the outcast, a great champion of human rights. We cannot write off that party,
because that party contains in its ranks today the greatest pro-life statesman
in America. I refer to Governor Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.
Let me tell you of another Democrat, a man I knew when I was very young and
working for Richard Nixon. We ran against him. He was a good man who had a
good heart. His name was Hubert Horatio Humphrey. And he said, "Divine
Providence will judge a country by three thing. How it treats those in the
dawn of life; how it treats those in the shadows of life; and how it treats
those in the twilight of life." It was a wonderful statement.
We have to look at ourselves today. What are we doing in the dawn of life?
Thirty million abortions in 22 years. In the shadows of life? We are offering
euthanasia to people who are retarded or to people who we say have a quality
of life that isn't up to standard. In the twilight of life? Out in the state
of Oregon they are now offering legal assisted suicide. But the face of Dr.
Kevorkian is not the face of the real America.
But that is what has happened in our country and that is why we must bring
back not only our own party, but the Democratic Party was well.
De Tocqueville, one of the greatest observers who ever visited this country,
looked at the young Republic and said, "America is a great country. But she is
a great country because she is a good country. If America ceases to be good,
she will cease to be great."
When we look out at what is going on in America today, we have to say, with
Jefferson, that, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."
So let me talk now about what we can do.
We are here to march, to speak out, to protest. But we are also here to act in
legal and peaceful ways to change attitudes, to change laws, to change
government. We are here to make America again a pro-life country. So let me
talk about a pro-life agenda.
Our first objective: We must keep the Republican Party a pro-life party. We
were pro-life in 1980 and 1984, under the great Ronald Reagan. We were
pro-life in 1988 and 1992. We must and shall be pro-life in 1996. I know there
are people who say the life plank must be pulled from the Republican platform.
But when people ask me, "Pat, will the Republican Party remain a pro-life
party?" I say to them what Joe Willie Namath said when asked if the New York
Jets would win Super Bowl III: "I guarantee it."
In 1997, with a pro-life president in the Oval Office, we can overturn Bill
Clinton's executive orders. But right now we must use our Republican majority
in Congress. When Newt's contract is done, we're going to ask our Republican
Party for a new contract with America's unborn.
Congress should begin the immediate defunding of the abortion industry. Not
one dime for Planned Parenthood. Not one dime for UNFPA. Not one thin dime for
This isn't Weimar Germany. It's America. What are they doing out at NIH
conducting fetal-tissue research and research on human embryos? We will put a
stop to that.
Then, we want congressional hearings on when life begins. In the 23 years
since Roe v. Wade, technology has developed enormously. We have imaging
machines and sonograms that can show developing life. We have biologists,
ethicists and doctors who can explain that life begins at conception and that
the unborn child is viable earlier and earlier. All this must be explained to
the American people. To reach hearts, we must first teach. Some hearts that
are closed and cold will open. We will reach them. It has worked before.
When I was in Ronald Reagan's White House, the president gave us permission to
show the film "Silent Scream" in room 450. By that film alone someone
estimated that 6 percent of Americans converted from the pro-choice to
pro-life position. Technology has grown and developed. We must use it to teach
How effective are these techniques? Let me quote one of our adversaries. Her
is Mr. Harrison Hickman, pollster and adviser to NARAL, "Probably nothing has
been as damaging to our cause (abortion) than the advancements of technologies
that have allowed pictures of the developing fetus in much different terms
than they did 15 years ago," Mr. Hickman said. "People talk about the fetus
now as human being, which is not something I have an easy answer to cure."
I bet you don't, Mr. Hickman.
When they are done with these hearings, we want Congress, by a simple vote of
50 percent in both houses, to confer "personhood" on the unborn of the United
States of America so their rights will be protected.
Then one final thing: In the 19th Century, we Americans had a proud boast. If
foreigners visiting here would ask, "What do you have going for you?"
Americans would say, "Here, sir, the people rule." But one of our problems
these last 20 or 30 years has been the usurpation of power by those
black-robed politicians called federal judges and justices.
I think it is time we put these arrogant, all powerful judges and justices
back into the tiny corner set aside for them by the Founding Fathers.
Go back and read the Constitution. The Constitution sets up the Supreme Court
as a separate branch of government. But the Constitution also says Congress
shall set up all inferior courts - and they sure are inferior. That means
Congress can, with simple legislation, impose 8-year term limits on every
single federal judge in the United States. And they ought to do it.
Congress can authorize the American people to do what they already do in
California when they don't like judges. They put their names on the ballot and
they fire them. We should be able to do that with federal judges and Supreme
In 1913, when Teddy Roosevelt got tired of federal judges and justices
usurping power and giving orders to a free, democratic republic, he came up
with an idea that we should revive today. Every time they hand down one of
these ridiculous rulings, which change the basic law in America, we should put
that ruling on the ballot in a national presidential election and let the
people vote it up or down.
In questions of power, Mr. Jefferson said, "Let us hear no more of trust in
men, but rather bind them down from mischief by the chains of the
Constitution." And these judges have been up to a lot of mischief.
But we are making headway, folks. We are making gains and that is why we have
to retain our confidence and retain our hope. We're going to turn this country
Early one recent morning, I saw this report on TV. They interviewed a couple
who had just had a little baby who was still in a hospital in an incubator.
The mother had been about six months pregnant, when all of a sudden she went
into labor while flying across the country.
Nobody knew what to do. But a couple of people volunteered to midwive. They
moved the woman between the seats. Everyone got out of the way. And when the
baby came it wasn't breathing. But, then, somebody got out one of those little
cocktail straws. They tapped it down the baby's throat and, finally, the cries
and screams came and the baby had survived. When that baby started crying,
everybody on the airplane started cheering.
It was one of the most wonderful stories I have ever heard. And I have to
think that when people hear a story like that it makes them stop and say to
themselves, "Wait a minute. What is going on? Here we have a magnificent
little child, maybe 5 or 6 months developed, saved by a little miracle and
can't you still get an abortion at that stage in this country?"
We have to reach through and open hearts with stories like this. I was talking
to my old friend, Joe McQuaid, yesterday. He said, "Pat, people have got to
realize that there are two victims in that abortion clinic. The unborn child
and the woman." And he's right. We've got to start hearing their stories too
and we can do it with congressional hearings.
Let's hear the women who were treated coldly and cruelly in these clinics.
Let's hear the abortion victims who have suffered the depths of depression
afterwards, who have had suicidal tendencies, who have taken to alcohol. Let
us hear from the women who have been abandoned by their boyfriends, their
husbands, left alone, pressured into abortions, and who have come out victims
as well. We must hear their stories.
We must look at the illnesses, the infections, the possibility of breast
cancer that can result from abortion. We have to hear about the botched
abortions. We have to hold to account the men who perform these abortions.
Let's get on record the testimony of the women who have been victimized by
abortion. Again, how did Mother Teresa say it? How do we persuade a woman not
to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love.
You know, I've been on radio 3 hours a day and Crossfire at night. I have
probably argued and debated the Right to Life issue with more advocates of
abortion than almost any other American. And I'll tell you, you don't reach
their hearts by getting into their faces. But you can reach them, I think, a
lot of them, if you can penetrate that coldness with a little warmth.
When I got into the conservative movement under Barry Goldwater, we lost about
everything we could possible lose in 1964. But I got into the movement because
it looked to me - seeing Berlin, Cuba, Vietnam - that my country was in danger
of losing the Cold War. By 1979, we had hostages in Iran and the Soviets
rolling into Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Angola, Grenada, and even Nicaragua, right
here in the Western Hemisphere.
I said to myself, my whole life has been spent fighting the Cold War and I
think my country's going to lose it.
Then we elected Ronald Reagan. And we started doing one right thing after
another after another. So, one day I got out Boris Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago. In
that story, he describes how at the end of World War I, the Russian army just
got up one day and walked away from Europe and the Balkan republics. And it
happened again in 1989 when the whole evil empire of the Soviet Union
peacefully collapsed before our eyes.
I truly believe that one day that is what is going to happen to the abortion
industry. Because it is hollow at the core. Because it is built upon a lie.
And one day, it will all collapse and whither away.
My friends, let me say to you today, on the 22nd anniversary of that dreaded
Blackmun decision: Time is on our side, truth is on our side, and truth
crushed to the ground, shall rise again.
God bless you all.