EthicsArticles on Morality, Social Issues and the Law of God
Speech Against Abortion by Alan Keyes
February 19, 1995
Thanks to Stephen Mashburn for sending this to us.
The following text was taken from a Focus On The Family broadcast that was aired February 22, 1995. The show received an overwhelming response. So much, that for the first time in the show’s 17 year history they repeated the broadcast the following day.
On February 19, 1995 The present Republican candidates met in New Hampshire. They were asked specifically how they felt about abortion and other moral issues. The following is a transcript of short segments of their answers. (Robert Dole was not in attendance)
“I’m a pro-choice Republican. I find that it’s interesting that the people who I supported never asked about that as an issue. I do not mean it is not important to people. I was raised and went to Parochial schools. I think I have a great understanding of why that is a moral issue. The question for me on that issue: Is should I make the decision for someone else. So I don’t think Republicans ought to run away with the issue or from the issue, but I don’t think we have to be personally devisive or attack the morality and intelligence of others in areas where they may differ whether it’s economics, whether it’s social issues, whether its domestic issues, whether it’s international issues.”
SENATOR PHIL GRAMM:
“First of all, let me say that I am pro-life. I can’t reach any other conclusion and be honest with my conscience, but I understand that we have people in the Republican Party who take both views on the issue. And we’ve got to have a Party that can bring together people who want to change America, no matter how they stand on this issue, and there’s no better role model for doing this than Ronald Reagan.”
SENATOR ARLAN SPECTOR:
“I believe we should strive for party unity by making the abortion issue an irrelevancy. There’s nothing in the “Contract with America” about abortion. I believe that the Republican Party ought to have a platform which is neutral. I’m very much personally opposed to abortion, but I do not believe it can be controlled by the government. I’m not looking for a pro-choice plank, but I don’t think it’s acceptable to have an anti-choice plank. When a leader of one Republican group said about ten days ago, that someone who is pro-choice is not qualified to be the Republican nominee for President, I was very offended for myself and for about half of the Republican Party. I don’t think it is appropriate to put about half of the Republicans as second class citizens. So what I say we do with the divisive abortion issue is: Let’s leave it alone. Let’s unite behind core Republican values, smaller government, less spending, less taxes, strong crime control, strong national defense, civil rights.”
“You cannot call “Right To Life” an irrelevancy. We’re talking about the right to life of an unborn child. Forty percent of American people believe that taking that life amounts to a bloody killing of an innocent human being, it is a moral issue of enormous moment, and a great party is got to take a stand on it. The stand we ought to take is the stand taken by Ronald Reagan. He was pro-life all the way. He had a pro-life platform. He ran on a pro-life ticket. And when he put those together, he said, ‘Listen. This is what I believe and what I’m going to stand for. However, we’ve got to put together a 60 percent coalition so if you don’t agree there on this issue, okay, do you agree with us on small government, strong defense? You’re welcome to come in.’ That’s the position I would take.”
REPRESENTATIVE BOB DORNAN:
“It is a baby, not a choice. If you leave it alone and don’t stop its heart and flatline its brainwaves, if you don’t kill it, you can call it potential all you want, it is a human being. And we cannot avoid discussing this, in depth, in this race. Roe-Wade has given us 22 years of abortion on demand for any and all reasons or no reason at all through all 9 months. I’m in this race to make sure that we do discuss this issue.
“Abortion is very important and here’s my view: It’s wrong. The states may restrict it, as I did, when I was Governor. The Federal Government should stay entirely out of it, because I believe it’s wrong and that states may restrict it. I would characterize those views as pro-life. But I think we need to move on, to other issues.”
SENATOR RICHARD LUGAR:
“Well, each one of us will try to determine which issues we believe is most important. I believe most important is the defense of our country, national security of our country. It seems to me we’ve got to begin to strongly face alliances, we have to bring about non-proliferation of nuclear weapons during these next few years or we shall have a world of terrorists, of blackmail, of life very different of which we have become accustomed.”
(It is not known if Senator Lugar heard or understood the question.)
Former UN Representative, African-American, ALAN KEYES had previously heard pro-abortion statements throughout the day of the gathering of the present Republican candidates for President in New Hampshire on February 19, 1995. A passion came over him. He stepped up to the microphone at that banquet and gave the following speech:
“I am actually from the great state of Maryland, where my ancestors have lived for the last 200 years, sometimes as free men and women and sometimes as slaves.
“And I realized as I was listening to the speakers who came before me that I come at an important juncture in this program. Because I think that the great alternatives have been laid before you tonight. And we Republicans are going to have to decide again, as we have had to decide in the past, whether we shall only speak of justice and speak of principle or whether we shall stand and fight for them! Whether we shall quote from the words of the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE with real conviction or whether we shall take that document and throw it on the ash heap of history as we adopt the message of those who say that we can stand silent in the face of injustice!
“When it comes to deciding whether we shall stand by the great principle that declares that all human beings are created equal and endowed by their Creator with the right to life, there is no choice for silence! THERE IS NO CHOICE FOR SILENCE!
“And I can tell you right now, that those who are recommending that we pull the “Pro-Life” plank out of the Republican Party platform are recommending as some people decided in the Whig Party in the years before the Civil War that they would be silent on the great issue of principle that faced this nation, we shall be silent. The Republican Party grew up as a Party aimed at dealing with that moral irresponsibility. At standing on the principle that Lincoln articulated, that ‘You can not have the right to do what is wrong.’
“And I’ll tell you, we have heard a lot of people tonight. They talk about the money and they talk about the budget. But you and I both know, if we are willing to look ourselves in the eye what the truth is. Why is it that we spend so much money on welfare and illegitimacy? Why is it that we spend so much money on crime and violence in our streets? Why is it even that we spend so much money dealing with the problem of irresponsible behavior that contributes to the decline of the health of this nation? I think you all know in your hearts what the real answer is. We don’t have MONEY problems. We have MORAL problems. And it’s time we stood up and faced that truth!
“And I don’t know how, I don’t know how we’re going to face that truth. If as what’s suggested here today we can look our daughters in the eye and tell them that it is somehow consistent with freedom for them to trample on the human rights of their unborn offspring.
“We’re going to have find the courage one of these days to tell people that freedom is not an easy discipline. Freedom is not a choice for those who are lazy in their heart and in their respect for their own moral capacities. Freedom requires that at the end of the day, you accept the constraint that is required, the respect for the laws of nature and nature’s God that say unequivocally that your daughters do not have the right to do what is wrong, that our sons do not have the right to do what is wrong. They do not have the right to steal bread from the mouths of the innocent, they do not have the right to steal life from the womb of the unborn.
“And I’ll tell you, some people may say, that if we stand up and we speak out and we fight for that principle we’ll be dividing the Republican Party. But I don’t think so. This Party was born on a clear commitment to principle. This Party was born of those who had the courage to stand before the American people and in the face of the threat of a greater division than we’ll ever face, insist that we had to respect the principle that make us great, the principles that make us strong, the principles that make us free.
“Look at what’s happening in the streets of our cities, look at what’s happening to our families today. Do you think that the decline of marriage and the moral disillusion of the family is a money problem? Or do you think it’s a problem that comes from putting the self first from deciding that there are no obligations that have to be respected and that at the end of the day, freedom is just another kind of empty licentiousness? We know better and our Founders knew better and it’s time that we get back to the truth. They did not tell us that freedom would be an easy road. They offered us a true vision of the future of America. It was NOT a vision of licentious freedom and stupid self-indulgence. It was a vision of freedom based upon the fear of God and the respect for law.
“And why is it, that out of the mouths of all our statesmen and we hear all these great emotional words but they won’t speak the simple truths that our Founders from Washington through Jefferson to Lincoln and every President spoke until we got to our own cowardly times? We are not going to remain a free people if we insist on being a corrupt and licentious people. We are not going to remain a free people if we arrogate to ourselves the right to destroy the rights of others. And that’s exactly what we are doing when we embrace the so-called “pro-choice”, the truly pro-abortion agenda.
“My friends, I think it’s empty to praise the courage of the men and women who have died in the service of this country’s freedom and its principles and yet decide that we shall lack the courage to stand up for those principles, many or few, or even alone if we must. Because that is in fact the courage that built America.
“This nation was not as some would have us believe a dream of material progress and prosperity and great cities and mountains of money. I’m glad that we have achieved that prosperity, even though it came at much expense to some of my forebearers. Those who toiled in the depths of slavery, they had an understanding of the real dream of American freedom. It’s the dream of moral dignity that comes from respecting our true moral capacity. It’s the dream of self-government that comes from respecting the fact that in the end, freedom is not just a choice, it is not just an opportunity. It can be a burden and a sacrifice and an obligation. And above all, it is the obligation to respect the truth of our moral identity. That moral identity can unite us across every line of race and color and creed so long as we have the courage to stand for it.
“Now I think you know by now, looking at the Clinton Administration, that if we as Republicans abandon that line of principle, it will surely be abandoned in America. But I can also tell you this in warning, that if you abandon that line of principle, there are Americans who will fight few or many, alone if we must, to make sure that it prevails. And in every point in our history, when we had the choice between right and wrong, in the end, this country chose what was right. And we can be grateful for it. And I think we shall do so again, because we know that the real heroes in America are those in their families and in their daily lives respect the truth that we must meet the obligations and sacrifices of freedom before we claim its privileges and benefits.
“And if that means as well that ‘come what may.’ Even if it means that we must sacrifice in our personal lives we have to stand where our Founders stood on the belief that you cannot have the right to do what is wrong, but that if we build self-government on a true adherence to the principles of justice, then we shall hold up a beacon of right and hope for all of human kind to understand the true destiny of mankind. Thank-you”