Last night, Congressman Bill Huizenga spoke in support of pregnancy resource centers, the important role they play in communities across West Michigan, and the freedom of conscience.
Mr. Speaker, there are three critical foundations of which our nation was built upon: The Freedom of Speech, the Freedom of Conscience, and the Right to Life. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and who was our third President, said, “No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.” What he means by civil authority is government.
I stand here today in the well of the House chamber as America’s freedom of conscience and our right to life is once again under attack. The law at issue in California is a classic example of government using its power to force its citizens to promote messages that conflict with their personal beliefs.
Pro-life Pregnancy Centers are a valuable asset to women, to men, to the families, and certainly to babies, around the country and in Michigan. These centers provide – at no charge – practical resources, information, and emotional support for expecting mothers, fathers, and families in need.
As leaders in this nation, we should be offering support, resources, and praises for their efforts – not forcefully targeting pregnancy centers with unconstitutional government mandates.
Through my wife, Natalie, who has served on the board of a local pregnancy resource center in West Michigan, I have seen first-hand the overwhelmingly positive impact they have on the community. My sister-in-law still serves on that board. This has a real impact on real lives. Even after the baby is born – resource centers often provide care, clothing, education, and emotional support. I know in my own church in West Michigan, we regularly have dresser drives where we fill a dresser for that pregnancy center and we are providing those diapers and providing that formula. We are there to help those mothers make it through.
The Federal government should never force or attempt to coerce medical professionals, employers, or resource centers to perform or promote abortions against their beliefs. Our basic freedoms and founding principles were established to protect us from this exact sort of intimidation. I want to thank my colleagues for leading this effort. These pregnancy resource centers work. They offer compassionate care to those who need it most and should be treasured by the government, not targeted by it.