WASHINGTON, DC –Senator James Lankford (R-OK), on Thursday, objected on the Senate floor to a bill proposed by the Democrats to promote traveling across state lines to obtain an abortion – from a state that protects life to a state that neglects it and create workarounds for state laws to shield the abortion industry and abortionists from laws that protect life. Currently, no state has banned interstate travel for adult women seeking to obtain an abortion.
Lankford remains a leading pro-life and pro-parent advocate, as he has been for his entire career, ensuring that babies, mothers, and parents are supported. Lankford has fought to protect life at every stage, make adoption more affordable, expand the child tax credit and child support for the unborn, provide food assistance and healthcare to needy families, fund maternal and infant health programs, and incentivize giving so that local nonprofits can more easily assist those in need.
This week, Lankford introduced the Unborn Child Support Act, which gives moms the option to receive child support payments from the moment of their child’s conception. Lankford introduced the Prohibiting Federal Emergencies for Abortion Act to prohibit the Biden Administration and any future Administration from declaring a federal emergency to expand abortion services, following reports the Biden Administration may declare a public-health emergency to protect access to abortion services nationwide.
Lankford celebrated the biggest win for life in a generation when the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey to allow decisions about abortions to return to elected representatives. In its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Court held that the Constitution does not provide a federal right to abortion and that the authority to protect life at all stages falls to the American people.
Lankford pushed back on the Biden Administration’s rule to allow taxpayer-funded abortions. He successfully secured language to save the long-standing Hyde and Weldon Amendments, which prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions and abortion-related discrimination against health care workers, including insurers.
This is my first time to be able to stand and speak since the Court made this decision in Dobbs. I’ve been on this floor—I actually don’t know how many times—talking about the value of every single child. The conversation today is not just about the right to travel and the right to health care. It’s deeper than that. It’s the right to live.
The conversation today is not just about women. There are two people in this conversation—a child with ten fingers and ten toes and a beating heart and DNA that is uniquely different than mom’s DNA or the dad’s DNA. They have a nervous system. They feel pain. This is a child in this conversation as well. And my conversation when I’ve come to the floor over and over again has been to say at some point our nation should look at basic science and to say when you have DNA when you have a functioning nervous system, and you have cell division, in every health book everywhere in the country, they call that life. But for some reason on this floor, it’s just tissue.
I actually come to be able to thank millions of women and millions of men who for five decades have not written off children, who have walked out, who have marched, who have silently prayed, who have gathered in places and said, ‘When are we going to recognize what is self-evident—that child in the womb is a child. And that child may be inconvenient, but that’s a child.’ When are we going to recognize that basic thing? And for 50 years that conversation has gone on with the simple statement of: at what point will we be able to speak out for the value of every person? And I do mean every person, including the mom.
It’s been interesting to be able to hear all the misinformation in the past couple of weeks. I’ve read story after story and seen all these breathless news reports about women with an ectopic pregnancy will not be able to get care. They’ll be doomed to die, except, there is no state law that will prohibit someone from getting treatment that is lifesaving from an ectopic pregnancy in any state. I’ve seen all of these breathless reports that there will be miscarriages and you won’t be able to get care, except that’s not true in a single place—not one.
This over and over riling people up. What I have seen are 50 churches that have been attacked. What I have seen are 57 crisis resource centers for pregnancy that have been attacked and firebombed. I have seen that. Now, we don’t seem to discuss that here on the floor. No one is actually saying, all of this conversation, all of this misinformation, all this noise is actually leading to actual violence across the country. Everyone’s, like, ‘No, no, no, that’s not related.’ Oh, really? So, when a pregnancy resource center is firebombed and spray painted on the side of it, ‘If abortions aren’t safe in America, neither are you,’ we should probably just ignore that. Because that’s what’s actually going on across the country right now as well.
To be very clear: no state has banned interstate travel for adult women seeking to obtain an abortion. No state has done that. Now, am I confident there are some people that are out there talking? Yes, but there’s also in this Senate 5,000 bills that have been filed, and how many of them are actually going to move? As it is in every legislature across the country—and everyone in this body knows it. Everyone knows it. But this seems to be just trying to inflame, to raise the what-ifs. It’s been interesting to me that there’s another bill that’s actually being discussed that would literally, if you are a crisis resource, or pregnancy resource center, dealing with crisis pregnancies. If you don’t perform abortions, they would call that misinformation. And in the other bill that’s being discussed right now, it would fine you $100,000.
I can’t even begin to explain my emotion when I think, if you take the life of a child, there’s pressure to say we want federal funding to take the life of a child. If you protect the life of a child, we’re going to fine you $100,000. Is that really where we are? Is that really what this debate has become? This Administration has quickly become the most pro-abortion Administration in American history and has rapidly moved to accelerate abortions across the country.
While millions of other Americans just asked a simple question: Does that child in the womb have the right to travel in their future? Do they get to live? Some would say, ‘No. They’re terribly inconvenient. They need to die.’ Others would say, ‘Why don’t we actually live by our values, including the right to life.’
So, while there’s conversation about how to put a piece of legislation out that may very well protect individuals that are being trafficked to go to other states to get an abortion or all kinds of other issues that are there, I come back to the most basic thing—there is a child in this conversation, and maybe this body should pay attention to children as well, and to wonder what their future could be to travel in the days ahead as well. I look forward to the day when we are talking more about that little girl and less about misinformation. I object.