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The Sanctity of Human Life

Right now in the Senate, we are spending many hours each day listening to arguments about the impeachment of President Trump. It’s a historic time in our country. Once the trial is finished, I plan to write a weekly column sharing my thoughts on the impeachment process. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously. The impeachment trial begins every day (except Sundays) at 1 p.m., so I have had some time in the mornings to focus on my other Senate duties. This includes meeting with South Dakotans who are visiting Washington. We recently welcomed a number of South Dakotans who came to participate in the March for Life. 


The March for Life is held each year on the national mall, and it coincides with the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, that legalized abortion. Tens of thousands of participants come from all over the country to share their pro-life views with their legislators. As a supporter of the pro-life movement, it is inspiring to see so many Americans who, like me, are working to change peoples’ hearts and minds on the issue of abortion. From conception to natural death, life is a gift that should be treated with dignity.


In the Senate, I have cosponsored dozens of bills aimed at protecting innocent lives. The tide is beginning to turn, and more people are starting to understand the importance of protecting life, at all stages. After all, most people, regardless of their political beliefs, believe in the sanctity of life. I really think it’s in our DNA as humans. You hear stories all the time of people doing extraordinary things to save the lives of others. All life is precious, and it is not up to us to decide whether life should continue. Only God can make that decision.


My views on abortion have been shaped by events in my own family, specifically my Grandma Georgiana. When Georgiana’s mother was pregnant with her, she was kicked by a horse. As a result, no one thought Georgiana would survive past birth. She was born with only one eye, was deaf in one ear, had heart problems and no feeling in part of her face. Yet, not only did she survive but she lived to age 85. If she were born to a different family, with today’s attitudes about abortion, she might not have been given the chance to live. At this point in the story, I should also tell you that Georgiana wasn’t my biological grandmother.


My dad, Grandpa Don, was one of ten children born to Mary and Marion “Butch” Rounds. Sadly, Mary passed away when my dad was very young. Butch didn’t have the money or ability to care for ten kids, so the younger kids were sent to live among family and friends. My dad was taken in by the Kauth family who lived in a nearby town. He was raised by Georgiana Kauth and her brother John. They were incredibly loving and supportive caretakers to my dad.


It’s been nearly two years since dad passed away, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and the legacy he left behind. He was raised with a deep faith in the Lord, a strong work ethic and a servant-minded heart. Looking back, I think about the many different paths dad’s life could have taken had Grandma Georgiana and her family not taken him into their home with loving arms. Or had Grandma Georgiana not instilled strong moral values in him from such a young age. Or, if Grandma Georgiana, who everyone thought would not survive past birth, had been discarded before she even had a chance to live, as is all too common in America today. Grandma Georgiana is a beautiful reminder of how precious all life is.


Each life is precious and each life has value. The sanctity of human life is something we should all work to protect. God has a plan for all of us, and even when we’re facing difficulties, we have to trust in his guidance. To me, pro-life means choosing family, and I’ll always fight for that cause.



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