On June 3, 2019, SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser spoke about unprecedented pro-life momentum and introduced the group’s keynote speaker, the Honorable Nikki Haley at the 12th annual Campaign for Life Gala at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. A transcript follows.
Transcript of SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser’s remarks
SBA List Campaign for Life Gala, June 3, 2019
My friends, enjoy tonight but importantly, remember it. If you journal, write it down. I believe you will look back and see and report it as a gathering that marked a moment: the Pro-Life Movement’s greatest opportunity yet to restore life in America. I want to thank each of you — financial supporters, prayer warriors, activists, the SBA List board and team — for your role in our arriving at this moment. And ask you now to rededicate in all those ways to push past this tipping point into victory for unborn children, their mothers, and a restored pro-life America.
Think back with me to where we were this time last year. The President of the United States stood with us at this Gala, wholeheartedly embracing the Pro-Life Movement. Our top goals ahead of the 2018 elections were to win a pro-life Senate majority and ensure that, if another Supreme Court vacancy should arise, a second strong constitutionalist justice would be successfully confirmed. DONE.
It would be hard to imagine a more palpable sense of hope and optimism – but today, we can honestly say that the Pro-Life Movement is at our strongest position, after almost a half century of turmoil, now.
President Trump has governed as the most pro-life president in history. His leadership provided the winning edge in pivotal Senate battlegrounds and has made unprecedented gains for life possible.
With the confirmation of Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, as well as 110 federal circuit court and district court judges – victories that would have been impossible without the vision and courage of Mitch McConnell – the scales are finally tipping toward unshackling the democratic process and the states to act on the will of their voters and protect unborn children and their mothers. Enduring more than 60 million lives lost and unspeakable suffering, it’s about time.
In the last election cycle, more than 1,100 of SBA List’s canvassers reached more than 2.7 million voters in key battleground states to win our pro-life Senate majority. As you know, we set the bar higher every time, and now is time to ratchet it up.
Going into 2020, abortion extremists are giving us an unlikely gift. They know the Roe regime is rapidly unwinding and coming to an end. They are overreaching. I witnessed firsthand and we all saw their desperation during the Kavanaugh hearings, and again this year as states like New York, Virginia, Illinois, and others have pushed radical bills to expand abortion on demand through birth, even infanticide, and even overturning the partial birth abortion ban. Democrats in Congress, including every single Democrat senator running for president, have repeatedly blocked legislation to protect babies born alive in failed abortions. This is a bill so popular and obviously humane it is backed by 77 percent of Americans.
The unintended consequence? They’ve unleashed a tidal wave of pro-life momentum. Part of America that has been sitting on the sidelines is awakening to the human cost of failing to engage in this battle. State lawmakers, acting on their constituents’ will, have been emboldened to advance pro-life legislation like never before, introducing more than 375 pro-life bills this year alone. In Missouri, Alabama, Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia, Montana, North Carolina, Utah, Louisiana – across the nation we’ve seen strong bills that protect unborn children when they can feel pain, when their heartbeat can be detected, or throughout pregnancy; bills that stop discriminatory race, sex-selection and Down syndrome abortions. We have seen protections signed into law by courageous pro-life governors, many advanced by women of our Pro-Life Women’s Caucus. We will not let up on that momentum for an instant.
And let me ask you something here tonight: When Disney and Netflix and the rest of the entertainment industry seek to punish and bully Georgia and other states for exercising their rights, will we stand with the people of Georgia and the rest? Time for a huge road trip, Pro-Life Movement!
You’ve seen a preview tonight of our strategy for victory in 2020 and beyond. This election cycle, SBA List will spend 41 million dollars expanding to priority states. We will work closely with local allies on the most ambitious pro-life legislative agenda in history to aggressively challenge, erode, and finally, overturn Roe v. Wade.
We will do this on top of protecting our pro-life Senate majority, increasing our ranks in the House, and re-electing President Trump.
We are planning now for a post-Roe future – because thanks to your prayers, sacrifices, hard work and faithfulness it is closer than ever.
Speaking of all those qualities…
I have the great honor of welcoming our distinguished guest for tonight. She is someone who has played a key role in advancing the dignity of human life in her home state, and in the Trump administration’s priorities on the global stage, fighting for human rights and saving lives worldwide.
The Honorable Nikki Haley is a pro-life leader of inspiring strength, character and integrity. She is a model for what SBA List seeks in our women leaders in politics who give voice to the millions of pro-life women across America. She rejects the now outdated feminist model that somehow abortion would be the Great Liberator for women.
As governor of South Carolina she signed landmark legislation to end late-term abortions. As President Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, she championed the human rights of unborn children and their mothers, working to get pro-abortion language OUT of conversations concerning the family in negotiations at the Commission on the Status of Women. She promoted the expanded Mexico City Policy to stop taxpayer funding of the abortion industry overseas.
I have admired her leadership for years and I am encouraged and enthusiastic about her future endeavors.
I am honored to introduce our longtime friend and this evening’s keynote speaker – please join me in welcoming the Honorable Nikki Haley.