South Court Auditorium
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
2:17 P.M. EST
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you all very much. And today is really about — really about celebrating the progress we’ve made in the cause for life and also thanking the leaders that are gathered in this room, and all of you that’ll be looking on livestream around the country, for the way that you’ve stood. You’ve stood for life for the last four years, and I promise you we will never stop fighting for the right to life. (Applause.)
And on behalf of the President of the United States and the First Family, welcome to the White House. It’s good to have you here on a blustery day and good to be here with so many very special people. But as I begin, allow me to bring greetings, as you all have been very kind to me today. Let me bring greetings from a man who from early on in this administration, and as a candidate, made it clear that he would stand up for the sanctity of human life. And allow me to give you the opportunity to thank the most pro-life president in American history. I bring greetings from President Donald Trump. (Applause.)
Even before our inauguration four years ago, President Trump wrote to the Speaker of the House of Representatives in words that I believe are well to reflect on today. He said, “I believe it is the most basic duty of government to guard the innocent.” With that in mind, he made it clear and he said, “I will veto any legislation that weakens current pro-life federal policies or encourages the destruction of innocent human life at any stage.” And President Donald Trump has kept his word every single day. (Applause.)
But I wanted to thank all of you, on the President’s behalf and on my own behalf, for all that each one of you have done in the cause of life over the last four years. You’ll hear from this podium today the milestones that we’ve marked together. It’s all been because of all of you and because of the literally tens of millions of Americans who have labored in the cause for life since that dark day in 1973.
But there are specific heroes in the room that I want to acknowledge who are with us today. I mean, to be able to serve in the role of Vice President, you also get to be President of the Senate. You get an up-close look at members of the United States Senate. You see their values when the cameras are off. You see their principles. And there are probably no two more stalwart conservatives in the United States Senate, no two greater champions for the right to life than Senator James Lankford and Senator Steve Daines. Would you join me in thanking the both of them for their great leadership for life? (Applause.)
And there’s a woman in the room who I got to know when she was a staff director for the pro-life caucus in Congress. She is — has emerged as maybe one of the most effective pro-life leaders in the United States of America. Join me in thanking Marjorie Dannenfelser. (Applause.)
And he did some time in the House of Representatives and in the United States Senate, and now he’s emerged as one of the leading voices for life and liberty around the country. And he’s never changed. Senator Jim DeMint, thank you so much for your strong stand for this movement all these many years. (Applause.)
And let me also — let me also acknowledge someone who worked back in the Reagan administration, was — Brooke, you’ll be glad to know — was the chief domestic policy advisor. He would go on in organizations like the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and now president of American Values, and a stalwart an eloquent champion for life. Gary Bauer, we thank you for your leadership and your support. (Applause.)
We’re joined today by more than — members of more than 20 pro-life organizations who have supported President Trump and our administration and the cause for life all along the way. And so, again, our thanks to the Susan B. Anthony List, the Students for Life, to March for Life Action, to Focus on the Family, to Concerned Women for America, and Family Research Council, and all of you who have organized and mobilized around America for the sanctity of life. Give yourselves a round of applause, would you, please? (Applause.)
Well, like all of you gathered here today, I’ve long believed that a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable: the aged and the infirm, the disabled and the unborn.
President Trump said early in our administration, and I quote, “Every person is worth protecting. Every human life, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of Almighty God.” In this administration, it’s always been about life. And that’s been evident in the last year, as our nation has passed through this challenging time of a global pandemic.
When the President asked me to lead the White House Coronavirus Task Force — I’ll never forget the day — he said, “Mike, I want you to step down; I want you to work with our outstanding health leadership all across this administration, across the country, with one mission” — and that was to save lives.
We launched the greatest national mobilization since World War Two. We reinvented testing. Some 200 million tests have been performed across America — some 2 million a day. We saw to the production and the distribution of literally billions of supplies, of personal protective equipment. And all along the way, this President and this team were in a relentless drive to save lives.
We’ve created medicines in record speed. And as the world learned last week, we have come to the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic, and people are already receiving the first safe and effective coronavirus vaccine all across America. (Applause.)
Secretary Azar and I were in Indiana yesterday at a distribution facility and manufacturing plant that will — with the approval of FDA, we hope this week — literally be distributing millions more of a new vaccine that could well be approved for the American people.
I mention all of that today because it is just emblematic of an administration that has counted the lives of every one of our citizens precious and important. And that’s animated our response to this pandemic, but it’s animated the progress that we’ve made in this administration every step of the way in the cause for life.
As Brooke just mentioned, when the President took office, one of the very first things he did was reinstate the Mexico City Policy, ending government funding for promoting abortions around the world. And before long, we expanded it to more countries and more policies on the planet.
And he gave me the great privilege, in our very first month in office, to be the first Vice President in history to ever address the March for Life on the National Mall. And this last January, he did it himself: President Trump spoke to the March for Life. (Applause.)
And before we took office, you all know that the largest abortion provider in America was also the largest recipient of federal funding under Title 10. The year before we took office, we actually witnessed, along with the American people, the undercover videos that showed horrific conversations about the sale and transfer of parts of aborted babies. It’s just unconscionable. But thanks to President Trump’s leadership, in March of 2017, I had the honor of casting the tiebreaking vote in the United States Senate to allow every state in America to defund Planned Parenthood, and President Trump signed it into law. (Applause.)
And putting that priority on the unborn, just last summer, with the strong support of leaders in this room, and the full support of our Secretary of Health and Human Services, President Trump ended fetal tissue research at the National Institutes for Health. We will always stand for the right to life and the dignity of the unborn. (Applause.)
So we’ve made great progress all along the way, but perhaps it’s — it’s altogether fitting, with two — these two great senators in the room and one former senator in the room to talk about the really extraordinary progress that we’ve made in the courts across this land.
As a candidate, President Trump promised the American people: He said, quote, “I will protect life. And the biggest way you can protect it is through the Supreme Court and putting people in the Court.” He said, and he promised, “I will appoint judges that will be pro-life.” And that’s just what he’s done. (Applause.)
As Brooke said, with yesterday’s confirmation of the judge who will fill the seat of the newest justice on the Supreme Court, President Trump has appointed more than 220 conservatives to our federal courts at every level, including Justice Neil Gorsuch, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett. (Applause.)
And I promise you, having had the opportunity to meet so many of these — not just the justices, but the judges, every one of these men and women are principled conservatives who will uphold all the God-given liberties enshrined in our founding documents and in our Bill of Rights. It’s truly a legacy that will reach generations, and it’s a testament to what each one of you have done.
Your support for this administration, your counsel along the way as those decisions were made by our President — whether it be in policies in health, whether it be in — whether it be in decisions that were made about appointments to the court — I hope you all know, and I believe with all my heart, that everyone in this room, right along with our President, has made a difference for life.
So today, we really gather to reflect on the great progress we’ve made for life under President Donald Trump and with all of your collective support, but also to thank all of you and to urge you, as we promise, to never stop fighting for the cause for life.
I believe what we have demonstrated over these past four years is that when men and women who cherish the sanctity of life come together, let their voices be heard; when we rally behind great leaders at every level who will stand without apology for life, we can make extraordinary progress.
And I truly do believe if all of us continue to do all that we can in the months and the years ahead, we will see the sanctity of life restored to the center of American law in our time. (Applause.) I truly believe it.
So to all the champions for life: Thank you for all you’ve done. On behalf of the President, on behalf of our entire administration, we’re grateful to each and every one of you. And it’s been our great honor to serve alongside you, and we’ll continue to fight alongside with you. For all the time that we have and all of my days that remain on this Earth, I will always stand for life, and I’ll always stand with each and every one of you. That’s my solemn promise.
And it’s not just about — not just about each one of you. I know what all of you know as well: that he who said “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” is about life. And we do well in this movement to always remind ourselves that when we make the cause for life our cause, we make His work on this Earth our very own.
So do not grow weary in doing well, because in the last four years, we’ve shown when men and women of faith and conviction come together to stand up for the unborn, to speak out for the voiceless, life can win in America. And with your help and God’s help, life will keep on winning in the United States of America.
Thank you all very much. God bless you. And honor to be with you today. (Applause.)