The following is a transcript of President Bush's phone call to anti-abortion demonstrators in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 22, 2002:
Thank you Nellie, and thank you all very much. I am in Missouri today, and I appreciate being included in your celebration of life.
I know that many of you have made great sacrifices to come to Washington today -- riding buses all night, and braving the cold all day. I admire your perseverance and your devotion to the cause of life.
You are gathered today on the National Mall, not far from America's monument to Thomas Jefferson, author of our Declaration of Independence. And the March for Life upholds the self-evident truth of that Declaration -- that all are created equal, and given the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
That principle of America needs defenders in every place and every generation. In our time, respect for the right to life calls us to defend the sick and the dying, persons with disabilities and birth defects, and all who are weak and vulnerable. And this self-evident truth calls us to value and to protect the lives of innocent children waiting to be born.
You and I share a commitment to building a culture of life in America, and we are making progress. As President, I have signed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, opposed the destruction of embryos for stem cell research, and refused to spend taxpayer money on international programs that promote abortion overseas. My Administration is challenging the Oregon law that permits physician-assisted suicide. We support abstinence education, crisis pregnancy programs, and parental notification laws. And we are offering compassionate alternatives to abortion, by promoting adoption and extending state health care coverage for unborn children.
I hope the United States Senate will pass a bill this year banning partial-birth abortion, which I will sign. Partial-birth abortion is an abhorrent procedure that offends human dignity. I also urge the Senate to ban all human cloning. We must not create life to destroy life. Human beings are not research material to be used in cruel and reckless experiments.
For 30 years, the March for Life has been sustained by constant prayer and an abiding hope: that one day every child will be born into a family that loves her and a Nation that protects her. And when that day arrives, you will have the gratitude of millions -- especially those who know the gift of life because you cared, and you kept the faith.
May God bless you all. And may God bless America.