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Gaylord Opryland Conference Center
Nashville, Tennessee

12:50 P.M. CST

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you all.  And it is such a joy to be with all of you in this very special place at this life-issues luncheon.  Would you just share a little bit more of that applause for Marjorie Dannenfelser, one of the great pro-life leaders in the history of this movement.  (Applause.)

Marjorie, thank you for that overly generous introduction, but more importantly, I just thank you.  Thank you for your great leadership of the Susan B. Anthony Fund and for the exciting announcement today, which I’ll share just a — in just a few minutes about.

But it’s great to be with all of you today and to be with so many friends, so many fellow travelers, in the cause of life, and also with some great Americans who are gathered with us today.  I understand that you’ve heard from one of the great, great champions of life in the Congress of the United States, Congresswoman Diane Black, my great friend, is with us here today.  (Applause.)  I appreciate her very much.

And with the big announcement today, join me in thanking Brad Mattes and the whole team at the Life Institute for all the exciting developments that we’ll share today.  (Applause.)

And lastly, I don’t know if he’s able to slip in very quietly, but I’m actually told that, really, not only a dear friend of mine, but a great friend of the cause of life, and one of the clarion, conservative voices in the United States of America is actually with us today — traveled with me from Washington, D.C. — Dr. Ben Carson is with us today.  (Applause.)  Dr. Carson, where are you?

Ben and I are both delighted to be here, and delighted to be here at the Gaylord Opry Resort and Convention Center for an exciting event: The NRB’s National Convention.  But to be able to start our day with all of you means a great deal to me personally.

And let me say from the outset, he and I spoke this morning, I told him I was going to be with you all, allow me to bring greetings from the most pro-life President in American history.  I bring greetings from President Donald Trump.  (Applause.)

To all of you who are gathered here at the NRB’s National Convention, to religious broadcasters who’ve made a difference for life and for the cause of faith throughout this country, we thank you.  And I’ll have more to say to each one of you a little bit later this afternoon.

Now let me extol our host today, the Susan B. Anthony List.  My relationship with the SBA List has been one of the most meaningful of my life.

I’ve witnessed this — Dr. Ben Carson is now in the house.  (Applause.)  You could give him the kind of welcome that he so richly deserves.  (Applause.)  Ben, I introduced you before and you weren’t here yet.  (Laughter.)  So great job getting two ovations.  (Laughter.)  Very special man.  I think you all know and appreciate his voice and his personal story that’s inspiring the country and doing such an extraordinary job on the President’s Cabinet.

But back to the SBA Fund.  I’ve known this organization for about 25 years, and I have to tell you it’s an organization that not only stands for life but has been on the ground standing with women and men who are standing for life in the political process like no other organization in America.  (Applause.)  And I thank you all for supporting the SBA List.

The SBA List directs a constellation of organizations; in their words, “an arsenal designed not to hurt but to heal.”  And they’ve played a critical role in the progress that we’ve made and in cause of life in the decades that have followed.

Also, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, represented here today, provides science and statistics for life — the hard data that shapes the debate, the candidates, funds, supports, and elects principled pro-life leaders, including more than 110 members of Congress that have been supported by the SBA.  (Applause.)

And today, the big news is, the SBA List has welcomed their newest partner, an organization that literally is changing hearts and minds of millions of people through education since its founding in 1991.  Join me in thanking Brad and the whole team at the Life Issues Institute for all the difference that they’ve made for life.  (Applause.)

Now, this is a partnership made in heaven.  I believe it in my heart.  And I do believe that the combination of the SBA List and the extraordinary resources and reach of the Life Issues Institute are going to continue to advance this cause and to change lives.

And let me say as I stand before you today, with great humility and gratitude for the support that you’ve afforded to the President, myself, and our entire administration:  I am pleased to report to you that thanks to your support, life is winning in America once again.  (Applause.)  It’s true.

I mean, think about it.  From the very first day of this administration, President Trump has been keeping his word to stand without apology for the sanctity of human life.  The President, in our first week, reinstated the Mexico City Policy to prevent American tax dollars from funding organizations that promote or perform abortions beyond our borders, and in fact, expanded the policy to cover nearly $9 billion in foreign aid.  (Applause.)

Our administration has stopped U.S. funding of the United Nations Population Fund so American taxpayers are no longer forced to support abortion around the world.  (Applause.)

And I can’t tell you how proud I was in my role as president of the Senate to cast the tie-breaking vote on a bill the President signed to allow states like Tennessee to defund Planned Parenthood.  (Applause.)

It was just a little bit over a month ago, President Trump addressed the March For Life in Washington, D.C. from the Rose Garden at the White House.  He promised, in his words, that we would, “always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence… the right to life.”  And I can assure you, the President is keeping that word every single day.

And we’ve been keeping it, not simply to the policies of this administration, but this President has been busy appointing strict constructionists to our federal courts at every level — (applause) — including Justice Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court of the United States.

These are men and women that will uphold the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution, and there’s more to come.  So I hope you all feel encouraged today because I know I do.  Having been in this cause all of my adult life, I see more progress in the last year in the cause of life than I have seen in public policy in all of my years, and you all are the people to thank.

It’s because of the stand that each of you have taken, the prayers that you’ve prayed, that we’ve made the progress that we’ve made.  I truly do believe that life is winning in America for a variety of reasons.  Life is winning through the generosity of millions of adoptive families that are opening their homes to children in America every day.  (Applause.)

And life is winning through the compassion of caregivers and volunteers at crisis pregnancy centers and faith-based organizations that are coming alongside young women with crisis pregnancy with support and with love and encouragement.  (Applause.)

But life is winning in America ultimately because of all of you and the people that you represent all across this country.  It is — as President Trump said well, it is a movement born out of love.  In these divided times in the life of our nation, I couldn’t be more proud of the deep compassion of the pro-life movement and the continued commitment to be there to love them both.

But let me admonish you, as we go forward in this cause in 2018, to understand that while we have made great progress, we have much work yet to do.  The truth is that the opposition is always looking for ways to undo our achievements, and notably in the category of the progress that we’ve made in the cause of life.  You need look no further than a vote in the Congress that took place — right, Diane? — not too long ago.

Nearly every Democrat in the United States Senate voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.  The truth of the matter is that the other side, the other party, continues to go farther and farther to the left, even while Americans — especially younger Americans — are choosing and embracing the sanctity of life more and more every day.  And we have to be their voice.  (Applause.)

So our success going forward in 2018 and beyond depends not so much on those of us that have the privilege of serving in public life as it does on all of you.  And so I want to encourage you to continue to stand up, continue to speak out.

And those of you that are broadcasters, that are gathered here for this convention, I urge you to continue to speak about the cause of life on every platform that you have an opportunity to address.

And all of you that have supported the Susan B. Anthony Fund and the combination now with the great Life Issues Institute, to continue to be supportive in every way that you can with your time, and your talent, and your treasure, because the work is essential.  The work is timely.  And I truly do believe, if all of us do all that we can, that we will once again, in our time, restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law.  (Applause.)  But we have to do the work.

So let’s do the work.  I see some great, old friends in the room, and I see great people who are committed to this cause.  But let’s leave here energized.  Let’s not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we’ll reap a harvest.

I mean, for all the progress since 1973, the resilience of this movement proceeding out of the heart of a compassionate nation, I just know in my heart of hearts that this will be the generation that restores life in America.

And so I urge you on, but I do so with confidence — with confidence that good news is around the corner in America.  I have boundless faith in the goodness and decency of the American people.  I have boundless confidence in that President that you elected and the pro-life majorities in the Congress of the United States and in states all across this country.  And I have boundless confidence in Him who said, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”  (Applause.)

And with faith in all those leaders, faith in all of you, and faith in God, I know that, together, with you, we will once again live in an America that chooses life from our hearts.

So thank you very much.  (Applause.)  God bless you for your great support of the SBA List, and your great support of this organization.  And God bless the United States of America.


1:04 P.M. CST