Wednesday, May 17, 2006



Bicentennial Park, Columbus, Ohio
September 25, 2004

INTRODUCTION: Phil Heimlich introducing Dr. John Wilkke, director, Life Issues Institute, (Cincinnati) and former president, National Right to Life Committee. Master of Ceremonies for PAC Rally.

When I ran for office in 1993, he and his lovely wife Barbara were kind enough to sit down with me and talk about the issue of abortion from A to Z, and I’ll always appreciate their….considering how prominent they are, and that they took the time to sit down with me and talk this out with me.

Dr. Jack Wilkie in 1971 gave up his medical practice to devote himself to the pro-life cause. He has spoken in 66 countries. His materials have been translated in 29 languages. I asked him just now, how many times have you been invited to the White House? He couldn’t even count the number of times--12, 15, 20--many many times, because he is the person that presidents turn to when they want to hear from the leaders of the pro-life movement. It’s an honor for us to have him with us today. Please welcome a great man, a great friend, Dr. Jack Wilkie. (applause, cheers)

You know, as the saying goes, if my dad was here he’d be proud, if my mother was here she’d believe all of that. It’s my privilege today to introduce some of the truly big VIPs here in Ohio, and so on with the show

Our first person is the Attorney General of the State of Ohio, Jim Petro. He’s here with his lovely wife, Nancy. (applause). He has come up with a lot of experience behind him.. First a criminal prosecutor, then as city law director, city council member, then member of the Ohio House of Representatives for eight years, Cuyahoga County Commissioner for four, and Auditor for eight. Then he ran for, and became Attorney General. Well, some of you, of course, remember the partial birth abortion bill that he shepherded through the courts here, and achieved a victory of our 6th Circuit Court of Appeals so that the ban on that is in force in the 6th Circuit. That’s, I think that’s Michigan—it’s Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. Maybe Tennessee. (asks Petro—muffled background) And Tennessee. Good. (applause) And we do, we do owe him a debt for that. Now, just the other day you heard that the new law requiring certain regulations for the use of the French abortion pill RU 486 was passed, and that Gov. Taft signed it. It was challenged by Planned Parenthood and the others. It went before a Federal District court judge in Cincinnati, Susan Dlott, who did not surprise us with her decision. She was a Clinton appointee, the wife of one of the major financial contributors to Clinton’s campaign. In any case, she struck the law down and said that it was—it didn’t have a health exception. But the whole thing is about health, so ….in any case, I asked Jim if Ohio was going to appeal it, and he said definitely they would, so let me give you Jim. (applause)

Dr. Willke, thank you very much. I am very pleased to be here, and Doctor, I really appreciate your introduction. You’ve probably stated our position on HB 156. It will be appealed, but I also want to tell you Doctor, that my conversations over the years with you and Barbara are something I will always treasure. They were compelling. They provided me information that I thought really did

(end of tape)

….for all of you as we approach the election coming up on November 2. As I was coming over here today, Nancy, who is with me—she was just introduced to you-- my wife Nancy of nearly 32 years-- we were talking about a variety of things in our lifetime together, which has been 32 years. Long time. And I began to reflect on the fact that 28 years ago this week Nancy told me that we were expecting our first child. And with that revelation, all I could think about was that responsibility that became a driving force in my life that I would do all that I could to protect that new conceived child with all the power at my disposal. 26 years ago this week, Nancy told me that we were expecting our second child, almost exactly two years apart. And those are our two blessed children. And it was in that instance, also, that that view that I expressed a few minutes ago—that all I could do to protect that child from that moment of conception would be an important goal for my lifetime. I prayed that both those children would grow up to be strong adults, with strong and clear values, and among others things a sense of independence. In fact Nancy often joked with me because I’d come out of church and I’d say…she’d say what did you pray for during the silent prayer, and I’d say “for our children, for their values and their independence.” And now when we get together with our children--one lives on the east coast and one lives on the west coast and their respective careers--, she always says, “your prayers worked.” And that’s kind of a redeeming quality you can always kind of reflect upon.

And also, I’m very proud today of the men and women who work with me, and the ones that I manage in the Ohio Attorney General’s office. Nine months ago, the 6th Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals resolved the issues that we’d been raising as it related to Ohio’s partial birth abortion law. And they upheld on a 2-1 vote Ohio’s law even though it had not been upheld on the trial (entire?) court level. . We were very excited about that outcome, and we remain the only state of all of the states of the union that has an enforceable partial birth abortion law. (applause). We continue to battle in the courts. Today and last week, and in every day I can count on in the future because these battles are not going to end too quickly, in defense of laws that establish limits on RU 486. As Dr. Willke said, we do intend to appeal that current injunctive decision. And in laws that curtail the reckless behavior of Dr. Martin Haskell, and we’re in court on one of those cases right now. And also in court on cases that require informed and parental consent. And I think those are perfectly appropriate and will continue to fight that battle.

You know on the political front this year there has never been a more clear distinction than our presidential candidates. And that’s part of what this rally is all about-- to make you realize that we have such a clear choice as we look at the presidential election and as well look at elections around Ohio and around the country. President Bush aggresively talks about and advocates a culture of life. Sen. Kerry aggressively talks about and advocates a culture of abortion. If there has ever been a clear distinction, this is it. Over the next 40 days your efforts to insure President. Bush’s reelection will continue to see the advocacy at the national level that is so important to all of us. We have to move voters over the next 40 days to be sure that those voters who share our values are sure to be voting on November 2. If we don’t move those voters then we may lose an election. I can’t emphasize that enough, and I think you all to understand that responsibility. Voters need to be reminded of the responsibility of voting, of the outcome and what could occur if the outcome is different than the re-election of the president. And I know all of you really follow that message. And that message carries depending on how the turnout is for the presidential election, the election of other pro-life candidates in Ohio and around the country you are following. It really works that way. We lost many pro-life local races in 2000 because although President. Bush won, he won in Ohio by a much smaller margin than expected. And because that occurred we lost races that otherwise would have won. And so I can’t stress enough the importance of your efforts in getting the vote turned out.

With the strong support of this national organization—National Right to Life—24 years ago our nation elected another president who was committed to a culture of life The idealism that Ronald Reagan presented changed the way millions thought about this issue. Think about that. Think about the decade of the 1980s, and how the views expressed by Ronald Reagan did change gradually--coupled with the views expressed in the activism of this organization--changed the views of millions and millions of Americans. I think we all saw this occur. It was 1992, four years after President Reagan left the presidency, that Nancy and I were together in our first national convention of the Republican Party in Houston, Texas. And it was that occasion that represented the last major public address of Ronald Reagan. He addressed the convention and the 20,000 people present. He addressed at the same time, actually all of the millions of people watching on TV. And he was basically-- knowing that he was ill, but not yet ready to announce it--he was basically saying this is my last opportunity to address you all. And he concluded with that quote in mind by saying “My fondest wish for all of you is to love your country. Not for its power and wealth but for its selflessness and for its idealism. Our idealism includes at the top of our ideals, a deep and abiding in the sanctity of every human life from conception to natural death.” (applause) We must elect those share this idealism

Thank you so much for being here today. Thank you for your activism. God bless you all. (applause)

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