Letter to Selected Members of the Senate on an Antiabortion Amendment to a Federal Debt Ceiling Bill

September 8, 1982

A broad spectrum of concerned Americans are joining with me in calling upon the Senate to bring to an end its debate on Senator Helms' anti-abortion amendment to the debt ceiling bill. Senator Hatch, whose Constitutional Abortion Amendment I continue to support, has generously joined in the call for a vote on the amendment now before the Senate.

This amendment is a responsible statutory approach to one of the most sensitive problems our society faces -- the taking of the life of an unborn child. Specifically, the Senate is debating an amendment which:

1.Affirms the humanity of the unborn child in our society;

2.Bans permanently Federal funding and support for the taking of the life of an unborn child except to save the life of the mother; and

3.Provides opportunity for the Supreme Court to reconsider its usurpation of the role of legislatures and State courts in this area.

I realize that this amendment reflects a moderate approach. My purpose is not to impede any other anti-abortion measures, including Senator Hatch's amendment, that may come before you. But this is the first clear-cut vote in this Congress on the humanity of the unborn, and it is crucial that a filibuster not prevent the representatives of our citizens from expressing their judgment on so vital a matter.

It is time to stand and be counted on this issue. I urge you to lend your support to Senator Baker's petition to invoke cloture on this measure.

Beyond the matter of cloture, it is vitally important for the Congress to affirm, as this amendment does, the fundamental principle that all human life has intrinsic value. We must never become a society in which an individual has the right to do away with inconvenient life. I ask that you keep these thoughts in mind when you vote your conscience on the amendment.

I hope that you will be able to join me on this issue. If not, please give me a call.

Sincerely,

Ronald Reagan