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Why This Congressman Is Leaving an Empty Seat at the State of the Union Address Tonight — in Addition to His Own


“There will be another empty seat in the gallery during Obama’s last State of the Union address,” King said.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) speaks in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has announced that he will leave an empty seat during tonight’s State of the Union address in honor of the estimated “55 million unborn, aborted babies” since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973.

King’s decision to leave an empty seat in acknowledgment of the unborn comes after the White House’s announcement that the president would leave an empty seat at the State of the Union address to honor victims of gun violence.

“There will be another empty seat in the gallery during Obama’s last State of the Union address,” King said in a statement. “I have reserved it to commemorate the lives of more than 55 million aborted babies, ‘the chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world.’ My seat on the floor of Congress will also be empty. I will be in the Member’s chapel praying for God to raise up a leader whom he will use to restore the Soul of America.”

There will be another empty seat in the gallery during Obama’s last State of the Union address. I have reserved it to...

Posted by Congressman Steve King on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

King criticized President Barack Obama as “the most pro-abortion president ever.”

“President Obama’s first official act, immediately upon his inauguration was to sign an executive order to accelerate abortions world-wide,” King said. “The first tears we have seen him shed in seven years were for the victims of the tragic Sandy Hook School shooting. As far as we know, Obama has never shed a single tear for even one of the more than 9 million babies aborted under his watch.”

King added that he is “sickened” that the president would veto the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which “would protect the lives” of those “who survived the attempt on their lives, by abortionists.”

King also said that the president has twisted tragedy into “an anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment tirade.”

Prior to King’s announcement, Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said that, as president, he would leave an empty seat for the victims of abortion during the address.

King has endorsed Cruz's candidacy for president.

Many lawmakers use the tickets given to them for the state of the union address to make a political point. For example, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has invited the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns who are suing the Obama administration over the Affordable Care Act's HHS mandate that forces them to provide contraceptive drugs, which they say is a violation of their faith.

According to Ryan's office, two nuns with the organization — Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, the organization’s mother provincial, and Sister Constance Veit — will represent the Little Sisters in the speaker’s box tonight.

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