We do stand today and mark the 40th anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade decision, and it really said that not all life is created equal. Since the Supreme Court gave our government's seal of approval, if you will, for on-demand abortion, there have been over 55 million lives lost. Mr. Speaker, I'm not certain that we think about the gravity or the enormity of the issue until we look at it in that collective sense, 55 million lives that have been lost.
As a woman, I personally believe that America is better than choosing abortion, and I agree, and I believe that women deserve better.
The gentleman from New Jersey referenced the press conference that victims held today, and I was so touched by a statement from one of those that participated in this press conference. Her name is Irene Beltran. Ms. Beltran tells the story of what she endured when she was living in southern California and when she chose the path of abortion, and it is a very tender and heart-wrenching story. I want to quote from one paragraph in her story and this statement that she gave. And I'm quoting Ms. Beltran now:
I've grief-stricken countless people with the choice that I've made. I've robbed my seven children of a sister that they could have played with, fed, and helped nurture. I've robbed three sets of grandparents of a granddaughter. I've robbed future generations from ever existing. I've suffered from depression, anxiety, and eating disorder, just to name a few. I felt damaged, humiliated and hopeless.
Women deserve better than abortion. I stand before you today because my daughter forgives me, my family forgives me, the Lord forgives me, and I forgive myself. I dedicated the rest of my existence to fight this life-and-death war. This is why I am silent no more.
That is the statement from Ms. Beltran as told at the press conference today. And we all know in our hearts what she says is just so true, that life is a natural right. It's a gift from God, whose love extends beyond our comprehension, and He calls on us to protect the smallest and the weakest among us.
We're moving forward with pro-life legislation in the States, and the gentleman from New Jersey referenced the movement that he has worked in for 40 years. We have 24 State legislatures that passed a record 92 measures that restricted abortion in 2011. Nine States have recently banned most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
On the national level, we're working to end taxpayer funding for abortion. I have legislation that addresses that Title X funding. And we are continuing to work to make certain that we focus on helping the families that have felt the impact of abortion in their life. We're focusing on celebrating life and committing to making certain that we stand and work toward a pro-life America.