1997 March for Life

Hon. Chris Smith's Address

Rabbi Yehuda Levin to Clinton

Cardinal Bernard Law to the Pro-Life Youth

"B-1 Bob" Dornan on Politics, Teamwork, Media Bias

Rev. John Riggs, Perry Square Memorial Service, Erie, PA

Images from the 1997 March

National March for Life, January 22, 1997

Thank you very much, Nellie. And congratulations again, to you and the March for Life, for bringing us all together to witness to the sanctity, and the beauty, and the sacredness of EVERY human life -- born and unborn.

Let me just say, to my wife Marie, [and] Elyse, Michael, Christopher, Melissa, who are here with their friends in the back, it is SO encouraging to see so many young people. Not only are you taking a bold stand for life, but you are going to be the future leaders, the future senators and congressmen. And I just encourage you to keep on, bring your friends, and make that wall of strength against this culture of death that is trying to envelop our land. You know the truth, ladies and gentlemen, and the truth truly has set you free.

I'd like to direct my comments directly to President Clinton.

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: We personally wish you and your family good health and long life. And while we know that Monday's Inaugural was a big moment for you, know that millions of us MOURN the probable consequences of your reelection to a second term. A generation of kids -- a generation of kids -- both here and abroad are at risk because of you.

For four long years, you have waged a relentless war on the defenseless unborn child and millions have been butchered on your watch. Only -- ONLY-- a determined majority in Congress checked your obsession with promoting abortion. You tried, Mr. President to compel taxpayers to pay for and expand abortion-on-demand as part of your ill-fated National Health Care Reform. You tried to repeal the Hyde Amendment. Failing that, you sought to weaken it. By pushing the so-called Freedom of Choice Act, you tried to repeal even modest state laws like waiting periods and informed consent. You Mr. President, have authorized the use of human embryos as guinea pigs in scientific experiments. You made FELONS out of peaceful and sincere pro-lifers who pray outside of abortion mills and engage in non-violent civil disobedience, a staple, you might recall, of the civil rights movement. And you greased the skids, at the FDA, for the baby poison, RU486, a baby pesticide that will have horrible consequences for the unborn. And you, Mr. President, have pushed an INTERNATIONAL right to abortion, both overtly and covertly, at UN conferences and as a key component of US foreign policy. You've demanded that taxpayers provide hundreds of millions of dollars every year to groups like Planned Parenthood, who are trying to undermine the pro-life laws in other countries like in South America and Central America. Let me just say parenthetically, ladies and gentleman, in the next couple of weeks the first and one of the biggest votes of this Congress will take place. The president wants to release approximately 400 million dollars to go overseas to groups like Planned Parenthood to promote abortions overseas. Please tell your congressman to vote no on that.

Let me just conclude, ladies and gentleman with this comment to the President: Your nominations to your cabinet and to the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have ALL been litmus tested pro- abortionists. And some in your administration in very strategic gatekeeper positions work in the sleazy abortion mills as abortionists, themselves. And last year, Mr. President, you vetoed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, using JUNK science -- bogus science -- and very deceitful logic.

How can ANYONE, especially a Rhodes Scholar, defend sticking a pair of scissors into a partially born baby's head so as to puncture the child's skull, so a suction catheter can be inserted to empty out the child's brain? How can anyone support that and say he is pro-child and pro-children? Mr. President, my wife is a former elementary school teacher, my wife Marie. And she said recently that if a young student in one of her classes were to stab a doll in the back of the head, ALARM BELLS WOULD GO OFF! We would all know that that child might have something very seriously wrong, psychologically and emotionally, and pose a threat to others. Your veto, last year, continued the legal sanction for this gruesome assault on children. As things stand today, Mr. President, you are -- and your legacy will be: ABORTION PRESIDENT!

You know, Mr. President, that the Scriptures admonish us to pray for those in authority. And we will be faithful to that. As believers we will pray and fast and sincerely hope that you reject the Culture of Death. While we pray and sincerely hope that you and Mr. Gore, will have a change of heart, be ABSOLUTELY certain of this: Out of love and compassion for the disenfranchised and the weak, pro-life Americans will bear the burden of this struggle, until the day comes when we reestablish the Right to Life. We will CHEERFULLY -- we will cheerfully -- embrace whatever sacrifice is required to protect the victims of abortions, both mothers and babies. Safeguarding children and their mothers from the cruelty of abortion is the HUMAN RIGHTS CAUSE of our times! Pro-lifers, Mr. President, will never give in. We will never retreat. And pro-life Americans will never cease in our striving to protect innocent human life. -- transcribed by TB



MR. PRESIDENT: Just 48 hours ago, a few blocks from here, you spoke to the nation about, quote, "not succumbing to the dark impulses that lurk in the far regions of the soul." You then spoke about the government not being the problem nor the solution.

Mr. President, as an Orthodox Jew, I come from a millennia long tradition of respect for authority. Surely, we have deep veneration for the office of the Presidency. But in the name of Life and Morality, I must ask you: What "dark impulse" did YOU succumb to, to thwart the overwhelming will of the people expressed by the Congress that sought to outlaw the horror of murdering a partially delivered, fully developed infant about to be born naturally, by inserting a scissor into the birth canal of the mother and piercing the baby's skull and sucking out her brains?

YES, Mr. President, the government wasn't the problem. Congress voted for life. Pro-abortionists, like Senator Moynihan and Edward Kotch, called it vile! Infanticide! Murder! [Gap in tape, during which time Rabbi Levin refers to the incident in which Rev. Paul Schenck was detained and searched by the Secret Service for...] whispering to you [Mr. President] that you would be accountable for the blood of innocent children.

I will shout it from this microphone, Mr. President! You ARE accountable! You ARE accountable!

And Nellie Gray -- Nellie Gray, God bless her -- has my address. So if the Secret Service is looking for me, they know where to find me! (laughter and cheers)

And now let's blow away some of President Clinton's bad ideas. -- Every year it's a trial and tribulation. (laughter) The speech is the easy part! [Rabbi Levin sounds a shoffar, a ceremonial trumpet made from an animal horn, then concludes...]




My brothers and sisters, last night, just before the Mass at the National Shrine (and what a beautiful occasion that was!), one of the news commentators asked a very good question. And the question was this: 'Cardinal, how do you speak to young people about Pro-Life?' And I had already seen the congregation at the National Shrine. And I said, 'you know, I don't think it's so much what we say to them. It's what they're saying to us. Look at them! This congregation is mainly young people.'

And so it is today! And so it is today. The bridge to the new millennium -- you're that bridge! Pro-Life is that bridge -- to the new millennium! -- transcribed by TB

Roman Catholic Cardinal Bernard Law, Archbishop of Boston, is the Pro-Life Chairman of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.


on Politics, Teamwork, Media Bias

If you recall, Sally and I sat in a warm car [last year], and we said it's your call, Jesus. If the thermometer hits 40, we will bring our little 10 day old Molly out on the platform. Now Molly is one year, ten days old. You saw her last year. She was my reward throughout the end of that presidential race. And now, people think I lost an election?

Sally, you hold Molly. On the 4th, just 18 days ago, (Pardon me for acting like a grandpa with 11 grandkids, but she has a bad cold and couldn't come today, at 18 days old.) But, [holding up a picture] there is Morgan Elizabeth! So, I promise you, Morgan Elizabeth will be back with Molly, and some of the other grandkids are gonna stay out of school next year -- because I may be "back on the comeback trail"!

Nellie had me up her to speak in '83 and '84, after I'd left Congress after 6 great pro-life years. And now I've been back for another 12. Just one word of advice to a movement of pure love:

Don't take council with just yourselves. Sometimes that's good. Prayer's always good. But don't think that God is speaking to you alone, that you can take down leaders.

I am in a contested race with a lot of voter fraud. And I'm 979 votes shy of victory. But a pro-lifer, an Operation Rescue gentleman, got thirty-five hundred votes and caused my defeat, because he thought he was ready to go to Congress and replace one of the 3 pro-life leaders in the House. And, I've forgiven him; we've had a nice meeting. He didn't know what would happen in the end. He ran on Ross Perot's reform line.

And this is not a political day; this is a day of love. But use this as an example of movin' on your own -- without bein' a team player. What has made this a success, this Rose March, and what has made Nellie Gray such a force for love and good in the Pro-Life Movement, is being a team player: Letting the Congressmen and the Senators come up here and speak, and making sure that you're not "out of step" with this great movement.

Remember this: We have Nazi Germany as an example -- in MY lifetime. I was 12 years of age when the doors of the concentration camps were kicked open by the Russian Army and by General Patton and the Third Army. There is no difference between slaughtering 12 million people, innocent men, women, and children, in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany or the slaughter that was even bigger -- in China and throughout the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union.

All the newspapers are using an innocent little adjective, "only," in saying that the death toll, in America, has dropped from 1.5 million to "ONLY" one million two hundred thousand. I think that it is you folks here today, down to the youngest child who has the age of reason, that has helped to bring that horrible death toll down. But a MILLION two hundred thousand is still mocking God! It's still a terrible STAIN upon the honor of this bountiful land called America.

We must not stop our energy, and our prayer, and our commitment, and our devotion, our rejection of violence, our acceptance of communication -- right in their face, but communicating with love, that God will NOT continue to bless a land that kills a million two hundred thousand people.

Let me say -- let me say one tragic observation in closing: I remember when I took an assignment to fight pornography across this country for 6 months in 1973, and it turned into 3 and a half years. And I met an editor from Hawaii that said the greatest disappointment in America (This is in 1973.) are the 2 great pillars, the watchdogs of truth and justice, are collapsing into darkness: The law profession and the communications profession that we call "the media."

Now, when God closes one door, He opens another. I've had some dazzling offers to do a national radio show, but I'm not through with the business of finding out if my seat was taken from me through illegalities. But if I end up on radio, and become a part in this Latin word, this plural word, the media, I'll tell you something: They are gonna have to answer to me from within, for the almost UNIVERSAL acceptance by the networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN, and ALL the major newspapers across this country, at least the top 3 -- not the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, but the reporters.

The media, in general, what we call the dominant media culture, has EMBRACED abortion, on-demand, right up to and including partial-birth infanticide. They've embraced it! It's their cause. They demean -- what the kids would call "dis," disrespect -- ALL the Senators and Congressmen, former or sitting, that have been right up here on the platform today.

They generally IGNORE this March, and go to 5 or 6 radical people and give them equal time in the evening news broadcasts. We've now seen it since Roe - Wade, 1973, that same year I was out there crossing the 50 states, fighting pornography. The MEDIA and a large segment of the law profession, -- not great lawyers like Nellie Gray --they are letting this nation down! They are NOT the pillars of truth and justice. They will show any horror, blood and gore, in our motion pictures, our mall theaters, or the evening news, but they will NOT show the fruits of murdering over a MILLION two hundred thousand little babies in their mother's wombs. (loud applause)

Partial -- partial-birth infanticide: (And please don't call it abortion any longer. It's INFANTICIDE! Call it infanticide-abortion.) But, a baby that's 80% delivered, with its little arms and legs out in the air, a little baby that's only a year and eleven days -- remember I mentioned this last year: That eleven days, before I brought little Molly here at 10 days of age, she could be KILLED according to Clinton, the nation's first abortion president, and his wife. She could be killed on the day of her birth! With eighty percent of her body out of the mother's birth canal. WE -- HAVE -- ONE -- MAJOR FIGHT BEFORE US NOW!

And the fact that I was replaced by a woman who is 100 percent in favor of abortion up to and including -- out of her own mouth -- partial-birth infanticide, is only a small tragedy, if I end up as part of YOU PEOPLE in the media! (loud cheers and applause) Again! Again: I won local Emmies in my 30's and I'm comin' back to the media if this doesn't work out with my seat! As I said last year, God bless all of you. The fight is ours to win! We are in the MAJORITY! God bless you! (loud cheers and applause) -- transcribed by T.B.


Local Memorial Service -- Message Delivered by Rev. John Riggs
Geater Erie March & Motorcade for Life
Perry Square, January 25, 1997

I was told that this is a memorial service. We are here to remember. When I have a funeral service, I help the bereaved remember the deceased. It's good for the healing process. We are here bereaved, but we have NO memories to cherish. We have no good times shared; no hard times survived.

We have no past to remember, but could we remember the future and grieve? Could we remember the potential that has been snuffed out? How many Godly men and women have we lost? How many pastors and teachers? How many evangelists? How many would have received the gift of wisdom or knowledge? The gifts of healing, the gift of helps or administration? How many would have been doctors or nurses, scientists, teachers or engineers? How many Godly moms and dads that would have raised a new generation of Godly children that together might have turned this world upside down for Jesus and hastened His return? How many have we lost?

Scripture tells us that Pharaoh tried to kill all the Hebrew baby boys in Egypt. Likewise, King Herod tried to kill all the baby boys around Bethlehem. I wonder whom Satan is trying to kill in this generation.

As we leave here this day, let me challenge you so that these thousands of little ones will not have died in vain. Let me challenge you that we would dedicate ourselves, with renewed energy, to the reality of the precious value of life that God has given to us. Even choosing to die Himself so that we might live. Perhaps this story will reinforce this to you; it certainly does for me.

There was, some years ago, a 13 year old girl who lived in the ghettos of New York City. Life is tough in the ghettos and hers was made even tougher when she became pregnant after she was raped. No on counseled her to get a "safe, legal (and rare)" abortion (they were certainly rare because they were not legal then). No one even counseled her to get an illegal, back-alley abortion. No, she delivered and then raised her baby girl. I don't know that young mother's name, but I know and love her baby girl's name. Her name was Ethel -- Ethel Waters. As scripture tells us that His eye is on the sparrow, I know, I know, I KNOW, He watches all these little ones, who are even more precious in His sight! Let us never forget!

Rev. John Riggs, Pastor
Lake Shore Alliance Church, Erie, PA