Pelosi Floor Speech on Kidnapping of Girls, Young Women in Nigeria

May 9, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor today on the kidnapping of hundreds of girls and young women from a rural school in Nigeria.  Leader Pelosi condemned the despicable acts of the terrorist group known as Boko Haram and called for the safe return of these innocent girls and young women to their families.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:

“Thank you, Mr. Leader, for yielding.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving the House this opportunity to speak this afternoon about this despicable crime.  In starting, I will thank the distinguished Majority Leader for his remarks, and I associate myself with his remarks in their entirety.  That's how important all of this is.

“I want to commend Congresswoman Frederica Wilson for her resolution, H. Res. 573, condemning ‘the abduction of female students by armed militants from the terrorist group known as Boko Haram in the Northeastern Province of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’

“Mr. Speaker, it is clear that what happened in Nigeria is outside the circle of civilized human behavior.  It is unconscionable, and these despicable acts must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.  The capture and captivity of these girls challenges the conscience of the world in a very specific, in a very different way.  And perhaps that difference can make a difference.

“I wholeheartedly support the decision by President Obama, Secretary Kerry and the Administration to deploy aid, personnel, law enforcement and military experts to Nigeria to partner with local authorities to find these girls and return them home.

“I commend the women Members of the House: in a bipartisan way, 100 percent of the women have signed a letter condemning these actions.  I salute the First Lady for her #BringBackOurGirls tweet, and hope that Members will also be doing that.  Because the most horrible form of torture for someone who is held by terrorists is when their captors tell them: ‘Nobody knows you're here, who you are and is even worried about you.’  We want to remove all doubt, every minute of every day.

“And as we go into Mother’s Day, think of those mothers.  Think of those fathers.  Think of the siblings of these girls.  Our thoughts and prayers rest with the mothers and fathers and siblings of each girl kidnapped and separated from her family, and all the victims of human trafficking around the world.  As horrible as it is, as unthinkable as it is, it's happening all the time – this trafficking issue.

“So maybe this horrible, heinous crime will give the attention that human trafficking needs in order for us to end it.  And so, let us all subscribe to the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.  With that, Mr. Speaker, I thank you again for giving us the opportunity to focus on this despicable action – but to do so prayerfully, hopefully and determined to #BringBackOurGirls.

“With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back to the distinguished Leader, and I yield back our time.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.”