Message to the Congress Transmitting the Pro-Life Act of 1988

 

June 8, 1988

 

To the Congress of the United States:

 

I am pleased to transmit for your immediate and favorable consideration the ``President's Pro-Life Act of 1988.'' This important legislation carries out my commitment to protect the rights of unborn children by prohibiting any Federal dollars from being used to fund abortion unless a mother's life would be physically endangered by carrying the fetus to term.

 

Since the legalization of abortion on demand in 1973, there have been an estimated 21 million abortions in this country. The bill I am sending you has been named the ``President's Pro-Life Act of 1988'' to emphasize the urgent need to reduce the number of abortions in this country and to reaffirm life's sacred position in our Nation.

 

The findings that would underlie the mandate of the statute point out that abortion takes the life of a living human being, that there is no right to abortion secured by the Constitution, and that the Supreme Court erred in its decision in Roe v. Wade in failing to recognize the humanity of the unborn child.

 

The key provision of the bill would enact, on a permanent and government-wide basis, the anti-abortion provision -- commonly known as the Hyde Amendment -- that is included annually in the appropriation act for the Department of Health and Human Services. Enacting this prohibition on the funding of abortion in general legislation will extend its application to all agencies and to all Federal funds.

 

None are more powerless than the unborn. I urge you to pass this measure promptly and thereby join me in helping to protect their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

 

Ronald Reagan

 

The White House,

 

June 8, 1988.