The following is from a speech given by the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, to the annual convention of the National Religious Broadcasters on January 31, 1983, as quoted in the National Right to Life News of Feb. 24, 1983.

“There is another struggle we must wage, a struggle to redress a great, national wrong. We must go forward with unity of purpose and will. Let us come together, Christians and Jews, let us pray together, march, lobby and mobilize every force we have, so we can end the tragic taking of unborn children’s lives. Who among us can imagine the excruciating pain the unborn must feel as their lives are snuffed away?

I am glad that a Respect Human Life bill has already been introduced in this Congress by Representative Henry Hyde. Not only does this bill strengthen and expand restrictions on abortions financed by tax dollars, it also addresses the problem of infanticide. It makes clear the right of all children, including those who are born handicapped,  to food and appropriate medical treatment after birth, and it has the full support of my Administration.

I know many well-intentioned, sincerely-motivated people believe that Government intervention violates a woman’s right of choice. And they would be right if there were any proof that the unborn are not living human beings. Medical evidence indicates to the contrary and, if that were not enough, how do we explain the survival of babies born prematurely?

We once believed the heart didn’t start beating until the 5th month. But as medical instrumentation improved, we learned the heart was beating long before that.

Doesn’t the constitutional protection of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness extend to the unborn, unless it can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that life does not exist?

I read in the Washington Post about a young woman named Victoria. She is with child, and she said: ‘In this society we save whales, we save timber wolves and bald eagles, and Coke bottles. Yet everyone wanted me to throw away my baby.’ But Victoria’s story has a happy ending. Her baby will be born.

Victoria has received assistance from a Christian couple, and Save-A-Life, a new Dallas group run by Jim McKee, a concerned citizen who thinks it’s important to provide constructive alternatives to abortion. There is hope for America; she remains a powerful force for good; and it’s thanks to the conviction and commitment of people like those helping Victoria. They are living the meaning of 2 great commandments: ‘thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might;’ and ‘thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.'”