Forty-four years have passed since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, and as a result more than 59 million innocent lives have tragically been lost. To put that into perspective, that would be like aborting every baby born in the United States since 2002. Every representative, every physician and every American must be reminded that at the center of our Pro-Life struggle is the protection of innocent lives.

Life is precious. Just this week, we were reminded of the fragility of life yet again, when a crazed individual murdered 59 people and injured hundreds more in Las Vegas.

I believe that life for everyone begins at conception, and we must do everything we can to protect those unborn. This week, the U.S. House of Representatives, with my support, advanced the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This bill was inspired by a little boy named Micah. Micah was born prematurely at just 20 weeks. He is now a thriving, healthy five-year-old. Micah is living proof that children born as young as 20 weeks have the potential to grow up and live completely normal lives. "Micah's Law" will close the loophole in current law which allows these children to be aborted.

At 20 weeks, babies can feel pain, respond to voices and even hear music. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act ensures that any healthcare provider who breaks this law and preforms an abortion after 20 weeks will be punished, and allows them to be fined and imprisoned.

This bill is a step in the right direction to save innocent lives. In addition to supporting the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, I have voted repeatedly and consistently to defund planned parenthood and make sure that no taxpayer funds are used for abortions.

Instead, I have supported pregnancy resource centers like Birthright in Cape Girardeau who protect innocent lives and provide critical resources to mothers and families. I have spent time with them, and I can tell you first hand that they are putting taxpayer dollars to good use and using them to protect unborn babies’ right to life.

I have never wavered from my firm belief that life is precious and must be protected. I share this belief with President Trump and am proud to work along-side him to advance some of the pro-life goals he has outlined. Our President is committed to lead in the fight for life and advancing policies that make America a place where unborn children and their mothers are treated with compassion and justice. He has proved this commitment when he nominated Justice in Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and by signaling his support for "Micah’s Law." I am proud to stand with the millions across the country who want to protect the unborn’s right to life and will continue to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to recognize the value of life at all stages.

This report was filed Oct. 6, 2017

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