Vitter: Keep pushing anti-abortion message

Advocate photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Dr. Al Krotoski, left, shakes the hand of US Sen. David Vitter prior to Vitter's speech to more than 100 people at the 3rd annual Baton Rouge Right to Life breakfast held at St. Thomas More Catholic Church Saturday morning.
Advocate photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Dr. Al Krotoski, left, shakes the hand of US Sen. David Vitter prior to Vitter's speech to more than 100 people at the 3rd annual Baton Rouge Right to Life breakfast held at St. Thomas More Catholic Church Saturday morning.

Louisiana residents opposed to abortion need to keep speaking out at the state Legislature and U.S. Congress as well as in the broader popular culture, Louisiana’s senior senator said in an address delivered at Saturday’s third annual Baton Rouge Right to Life benefit breakfast.

“The first battle we have is just to have these issues heard and not let them be swept under the rug,” Sen. David Vitter, R-La., told more than 100 people in St. Thomas More Catholic Church’s fellowship hall. “Abortion is still very commonplace in America and is happening hundreds and hundreds of times a day.”

The United States is basically a politically center-right country, Vitter said, and many Americans are, “in their heart, uncomfortable with abortion and they know there is something really, really wrong here.”

Vitter criticized “the left” for avoiding use of the term, “abortion.”

“President (Barack) Obama doesn’t talk about abortion outright — he almost never talks about that,” Vitter said. “It’s ‘women’s health’ issues. Really? Is this such a wonderful procedure you can’t even name it? When about half of the time you are ending women’s lives?”

Vitter cited the national partial-birth abortion ban imposed several years ago as a moral victory that also portrayed members of the political left who supported it, as extremists. “They were defending this procedure? Really?” he asked.

Vitter told the crowd he is working on a bill now to outlaw sex-selection abortions because, “there are tens of thousands of sex-selection abortions — against females — going on in America and even more around the world.”

A fetal-pain bill, now being discussed, Vitter said, and another bill he’s working on would both require an emergency room nearby in case there are medical complications from abortion procedures. “The mothers are also victims,” he said.

Vitter declared that “a true culture of life in America” won’t be realized until young people change society. “We will win this battle — I can’t tell you when — but we will win it,” Vitter said as the audience applauded.

Baton Rouge Right to Life was founded in 1973 and has grown to over 1,000 members, said board president John Hauler. It is a major sponsor of the annual “Life March” protest rally held downtown and on the State Capitol steps.

“We hold this event to remind people why it is important to respect life — to keep it in the public eye,” Hauler said. “We need to do more to end abortion on demand.”

U.S. Rep. William Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, attended the breakfast, but did not address the audience. Afterward, he commented, “Life is important but also is parenthood and the responsibility of fathers. Dads need to be involved for the betterment of the families that are under duress right now — especially with issues such as abortion.”

Board member Charlotte Bergeron reported on state legislative decisions banning “tele-med” or “web-cam” abortions and the “coerced abortion of minors” act. Gov. Bobby Jindal signed both of them, Bergeron said to a round of applause.

State Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-Denham Springs, who sponsored the “coerced abortion act,” Act 260, also attended the breakfast.

“The core of human value is being attacked and we must keep fighting to prevent this,” Hodges said afterward. “Act 260 gives us an avenue to protect children from being coerced into having an abortion and declaring such acts as child abuse.

“When we do not honor life at its earliest stages, I’m concerned America is ceasing to be good, which undermines our greatness,” Hodges said. “I applaud Baton Rouge Right to Life for their efforts to keep America great.”