Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) took a break from shaking hands with March for Life participants on the sidewalk near the Supreme Court Friday to speak with Townhall about the battle of “winning hearts and minds” on abortion and the progress that’s been made for the pro-life movement this year.
Sasse had a message for those who were discouraged with the lack of progress for pro-life legislation in the Senate.
“There’s a tendency that a lot of our friends have and neighbors have to start to think that legislation is the heart of this battle and really the heart of this battle is going to be winning hearts and minds,” he emphasized.
“Now legislation has a really important place,” Sasse said. “I’m the lead sponsor in the Senate of the Born Alive Act and we’re going to be voting soon on the Pain Capable Act which I’m an original co-sponsor of as well and we need to advance those things but the reality is that there aren’t 60 votes right now.”
Sasse pointed to scientific and cultural change as a way to effect legislative change.
“The way we’re going to advance this cause is by winning people one by one to the beauty of what’s happening in mom’s tummies,” he said, “as a baby develops and one of the great things, and you see so many young people out here, one of the great things you see in this movement is an awareness that the images that we’re getting in utero right now are changing people’s minds.”
“I mean when you see ten fingers and ten toes developing in there we’re not just pro-baby and pro-mom, though we are those things, we’re pro-science,” he concluded, “and it turns out this movement is generationally moving in the right direction. Teens and twenty-somethings are more pro-life than their parents and grandparents and so there’s a lot of legislation that needs to happen but the pathway to that legislation is going to be the broader movement of people trying to celebrate life and persuade their neighbors by love.”
So there Sasse stood in his red Nebraska jacket shaking the hands of the people trying to effect cultural change and win hearts and minds by marching to the Supreme court on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
“I just wanted to thank all of these people for being here,” he explained. “I mean this is a movement that is about love, it’s about trying to persuade our neighbors about the universal dignity of all babies and it’s just a pretty special weekend.”
While Sasse has been a vocal critical of President Trump, he acknowledged some of the president’s accomplishments on pro-life issues over this past year.
“One of the things that the President has been really, really faithful and successful at is the kind of people he’s been putting on the bench,” he said of Trump’s judicial appointments. He also praised Trump’s re-instatement and expansion of the Mexico City policy which prevents funds from going to organizations that support abortion overseas.
He added that the Department of Health and Human Services “has taken some important steps just this week to try to advance a conscience-based set of protections for healthcare providers who go into healthcare for the purposes of trying to protect and save and advance life not take it.”
HHS announced Thursday a new division that will address conscience protection and religious freedom complaints.