Forty-seven years ago, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion across the United States. Overnight, our solemn responsibility to secure and protect the right to life was abandoned.
The tragedy of this decision cannot be overstated. In forsaking this, our most sacred God-given right, we have cheapened the importance of every other right our Founding Fathers secured. For without life, we cannot enjoy all the other rights that millions of American heroes have fought and died to protect.
This week, President Trump declared the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision as National Sanctity of Human Life Day, reaffirming our country’s commitment to protect the gift of life from conception to natural death. As thousands gather this week in Washington, DC to call for an end to the taking of innocent life, I stand with them as they make their voices heard for those who never had or will have a voice.
Though great strides have been taken towards securing the right to life, we must continue fighting for it. In Louisiana, all physicians wishing to perform an abortion are required to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their facility. This is a common-sense requirement, and Missouri has had a similar law on the books since 1986. This requirement ensures emergency medical services are immediately available if a complication occurs. The Louisiana law was recently upheld by an Appeals Court and will now go before the Supreme Court. Recently, I joined with 206 of my colleagues in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court lending support to this common-sense state law.
In Congress, I am proud to co-sponsor the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would simply require that care be provided for newborn children who survive an abortion. We have called for an immediate vote on this critical bill, but our efforts have been blocked by the majority over 80 times. This is simply unacceptable.
Almost a half century later after Roe v. Wade, with millions of innocent lives lost, it is more important than ever to continue working to secure and defend every American’s right to life—born and unborn. Life is a precious gift, and I will continue fighting to protect it.
Sam Graves is the Mo. Sixth District U.S. Representative.