Remarks to Participants in the March for Life Rally

January 22, 1986

The President. Hello, Nellie Gray?

Miss Gray. Hello, Mr. President. [Applause]

The President. Nellie, first of all -- --

Miss Gray. Mr. President, that is prolife America welcoming you to this 13th March for Life, and we wait to listen to your words.

The President. Well, thank you very much. And Nellie, first of all, thank you all for those beautiful red roses that have arrived here for Nancy and myself.

But now I'm pleased to tell all of you who've come today to march for life, welcome to Washington, and thank you all for your commitment and support for the right to life. When you insist upon legal protection for all human life, you're simply being true to our most basic principles and convictions as Americans. We'll continue to work together with Members of the Congress to overturn the tragedy of Roe versus Wade.

By your presence today, you reaffirm the self-evident truths set forth in our Declaration of Independence. Each year remarkable advances in prenatal medicine bring even more dramatic confirmation of what common sense has told us all along: that the child in the womb is simply what each of us once was, a very young, very small, dependent, and very vulnerable live member of the human family. Last year in my State of the Union Address, I stated that abortion is either the taking of human life or it isn't. And if it is -- and medical technology is increasingly showing it is -- it must be stopped. Now, together -- --

Miss Gray. Yes, Mr. President?

The President. -- -- together, we will ensure that the resources of government are not used to promote or perform abortions. And I know that many of you provide compassionate care for women seeking alternatives to abortion. The heroic efforts of these women who choose life are a moving testimony to our reverence of human life. Each child about to be born is a unique, unrepeatable gift. Each child who escapes the tragedy of abortion is an immeasurable victory.

Last month I had a very special visitor in the Oval Office. Mother Teresa was in town, and we were able to exchange holiday greetings. We've often heard Mother Teresa say that: ``Abortion has become the greatest destroyer of peace. If we really want peace, if we're sincere in our hearts that we really want peace, we should make a strong resolution that we will not allow a single child to feel unwanted, to feel unloved.'' That was Mother Teresa's reminder to us.

Our nation's affirmation of the sacredness of all human life must begin with respect for our most basic civil right: the right to life. And again this year, let me say I'm proud to stand with you in the long march for the right to life. God bless you all.

Miss Gray. Mr. President, we want to thank you very much for being with us today, and we liked particularly your words which said that each and every human life is precious. And we want to work with you and your administration. Particularly, we want to stop the funds for abortion in the District of Columbia -- no exceptions and no compromise. We want, also, to work with you to assure that we have prolife judges appointed. And, Mr. President, we are here in unity today -- unified -- the grassroots movement with our no-exception position, and we will be working for the paramount human life amendment. May we work with you, Mr. President?

The President. You certainly may. And again, God bless you all. Thank you all.

Miss Gray. Thank you, Mr. President, and God bless you. We are so pleased that you are in the White House.

The President. Thank you very much. Goodbye.

Note: The President spoke at noon from the Oval Office via a loudspeaker at the rally site. Participants had gathered on the Ellipse for a march to the Supreme Court on the 13th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion. Nellie Gray was president of March for Life.