Kellyanne Conway

Address at SBL List Campaign for Life Gala - May 22, 2018

Kellyanne Conway
May 22, 2018— Washington, D.C.
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Thank you.

I can't blame you for wanting to stretch.

So to have a little play on words. The president spoke so long and so well, that when he goes long, I go short. So I will be brief.

But I came here tonight for a couple of reasons. The main one is to say thank you. Thank you so much for standing for life. Thank you so much for losing friends and maybe some family members along the way for your beliefs, but never losing face and never losing faith.

I came tonight to tell Marjorie Dannenfelser and Jane Abraham and so many others in this room, long departed, and who couldn't be here tonight—thank you. Thank you for having courage to stand in a very big breach when it was not fashionable to do so, when people told you you can't, you shouldn't, and it's never going to work. Thank you for doing that for 25 years and for having this gala for 11 years.

So you've heard a lot tonight about my boss, the most pro-life president in history, our pro-life vice president colleagues, like Marc Short and others who are here who are pro-life, those of you who are elected officials. I'm not going to go through all that again. I'm gonna tell you a couple stories, 'cause that's what I'm good at.

I first met the second lady of the United States of America, Mrs. Karen Pence, at an SBA List, a Susan B. Anthony List tea, a small tea, and I sponsored it. I was newly married. It was 17 years ago and Congressman Pence was in his first term, first year of his first term. And here comes Karen Pence with these three little adorable kids who are now all grown, of course. And that's the first time I met her.

And so I've thought about Susan B. Anthony List and it's the ways it's weaved itself into my life and my career over time. And then of course nothing could beat the role of Susan B Anthony list in—and I had to bring it with me because i have it in my office—September 2016.

Some of you have heard this story. I need to share it with everyone.

Marjorie was calling me and saying, "Kellyanne, we have this letter. It would be really helpful if Mr. Trump would sign it because the grassroots would feel really activated if they thought that he was there for them, that they'll be there for them. But, you know, we need the Republican nominee to make just a couple of commitments. So take a look at this and we'll get it out to our grassroots leaders."

So I took a look at it. It wanted to say, "I am committed to nominating pro-life justices to the United States Supreme Court, signing into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Act, making the Hyde Amendment permanent law, defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they provide abortions."

So I said, "Okay." So I gave it to Mr. Trump and he had it with him as he traveled around the country. And then on September 10—it was a Saturday—Mrs. Trump, Mr. Trump, me and a couple of other people flew out to St. Louis to honor Phyllis Schlafly at her funeral. See—it all comes together—and I said, while we're here, this letter, again.

So he read it and he said, "Yeah, I know. I saw this." He said, "Where's all that stuff you're always telling me about Hillary Clinton? Why isn't it in here?" And I said, "Oh. Got a pen?"

And he started writing, he started dictating what he wanted to say. And he said, "Do you think Marjorie will mind if we say all this about Hillary Clinton in the letter?" And I said, "I have a feeling she's gonna be really happy and so will the grassroots leaders."

So I want you to read what Mr. Trump added to the letter: As we head into the final stretch of the campaign, the help of leaders like you is essential to ensure that pro-life voters know where I stand and also know where my opponent Hillary Clinton stands. Hillary Clinton not only supports abortion on demand for any reason but she takes it a step further. She wants to force the taxpayers to pay for abortions by repealing the bipartisan Hyde Amendment. Hillary Clinton also supports abortion until an hour before birth and she will only appoint Supreme Court justices who share this view. She doesn't even try to hide her extremism. When asked on "Meet the Press" whether unborn children have constitutional rights, Clinton bluntly responded, "The unborn person doesn't have constitutional rights." She is so committed to this view that she proclaimed in a speech that "religious beliefs have to be changed" in order to advance her abortion agenda. Hillary Clinton's unwavering commitment to advancing taxpayer-funded abortion on demand stands in stark contrast to the commitments I've made to advance the rights of unborn children and their mothers when elected president."

And then he talks about the four and then he talks about Governor Pence and the rest is history. And you helped to make it and don't ever forget it and we are grateful that you did.

Then of course Mr. Trump took it all the way to Las Vegas in that final debate against Hillary Clinton and gave the most impassioned defense of life I've ever heard from a presidential debate podium. It took, for those of you don't believe in conversion, it took a Manhattan male billionaire who for most of his adult life said he was pro-choice and a couple of times "very pro-choice" to give the most impassioned defense of life I'd ever heard. I'd worked on the messaging for decades. He's the one who said it in his own words.

And I had to bring that, too, tonight. I have it right here; let me just put in my passcode. I love it. This is perfect. She says she strongly supports Roe v. Wade, and then President Trump says, "Well, you know with Hillary, she'd take that baby out of his mother's womb an hour before it's being born," and basically turned around to her who's really extreme.

And ladies and gentlemen, the reason I just wanted to tell you about all that is so that you understand it wasn't a coincidence—it certainly wasn't collusion—it wasn't a coincidence, it wasn't a mistake. It it's called causation, not coincidence, and it's due in large part because people who had braved the elements and the ridicule for years going to the March for Life, for people who had made the sign of the cross in front of them when they heard about a friend making a different choice, for people who had volunteered at crisis pregnancy centers or donated their money and of course their time.

It happened because people who ran for office stood up and weren't afraid to say without apology—I am pro-life. It happened because mothers and daughters and grandmothers had conversations across their kitchen tables. It happened because all of you in this room share very different lives, perhaps very different views on a number of issues, but together you give voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless.

And that is why I am here. I stand here tonight humbled and grateful certainly, but very resolved that what has happened in the last 16 months in this administration is what my boss would call a really good start. There is much more to do, and we will do this.

But this is not a political calculus. This is a change in the culture. This is not about institutions. This is about the Constitution.

The first right we have is life and the greatest gift we have is life.

I'm grateful for Steve Scalise for treating us tonight to those wonderful words of reflection on a resolve, and I will share with you when I was asked in one of those one-year specials—"The first year of the Trump administration. We never thought of it last. What do you have to say, Kellyanne?"

They said, what was the best day? And I gave a couple examples. What was the worst day? And of course, and being them, was waiting for me to say something about me. And I said, "The very worst day in the first year of the Trump administration…

[phone beeps] That's my kids looking for me, sorry. One of them, for sure. Who just said to her a friend, "You know, I did the iPhone alert thing on the TV and it worked." Mother of the year, no, no really.

And anyhow I said, "You know what the very worst day of the first year of the Trump presidency was?" "Oh, when he pulled out of the Paris agreement?" No. "When the health care bill f…?" No. I said, "When Congress and Steve Scalise was crawling across that blood-stained field, struggling for his life."

And the host, literally his eyes bugged open because he hadn't thought about it in so long. That shooter doesn't hate baseball on sunny days in June. That shooter hated Republicans. That shooter hates pro-life Republicans.

But the reason that was the most harrowing day is the same reason why we're here—because we believe in the dignity and the sanctity and the worthwhile fight and struggle for life at all stages, from conception to natural death. And I am so grateful that he was here tonight.

I stand here, I work there, because of issues like this, but this of course is my most precious issue. I don't hide that.

But I want to tell you tonight very quickly why I'm really here and why the President stood here before you. It is because we have the ability to reach people who feel like nobody sees them and nobody's listening.

And when the President talked about the forgotten man or forgotten woman, he also means the teenager who finds herself with an unexpected pregnancy, and she's afraid, and she's alone, and she's wondering what to do. Pray for her. Help her. Be there for her. Let her see, yes.

Show the example of Catherine and her parents. [to Catherine's parents] Is she still awake? Hi, sweetheart.

People think it's too hard. I can't do it. I don't have the time. I don't have the money. It won't fit in my schedule. Bah bah bah bah. It's the most beautiful gift of all.

And then I dedicate this award, particularly, in memory of a little baby named Simon Peter. He was born to a friend of mine this week across the country. And his mother was told in February when she was well past the halfway point, plus, that he wasn't going to make it and if he did he wouldn't make it for long. He has a genetic condition. They said, we really think it's in your best interest to abort this baby. And she said, I can't because you already let me hear his heartbeat and you already told me he's a boy. I can't be the one who extinguishes my son's heartbeat. And she carried that baby and he was born a little bit under four pounds this past Monday and he lived for 69 minutes. And his mother and his father and his family had a chance to meet him and give him a proper farewell, and his mother has donated his organs. And I pray for them and I ask you to do that and I ask all of us lift them up as an example of what is the best in all of us.

Because ladies and gentlemen, let me leave you with this thought—it is a completely decidedly non-political thought—every unborn child has the right for those tiny little eyes to one day see his or her parents, hold their hand, hear their voices, let them hear their voices.

We are at a time in our culture where life is undignified. It is seen as unimportant, an afterthought.

So for those little eyes, those little ears, those little hands, those little heartbeats that we can hear really early on, I pray for them. I ask you to pray for them.

And I ask you whatever you've already done for this cause, this movement, this organization—do it again. Do it more and bring other people along.

I thank you. I love you and I ask God's blessing on all of you.