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Government Leaders on Abortion

Congressman Chris Smith
Chris Smith

From the Congressional Record, 1-19-11 - Page H338 

Acceptable Bigotry - Prejudice Against the Child in the Womb

Watch a video of this speech

Mr. Speaker, earlier today, an abortionist in Philadelphia, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, was arrested and charged in the death of a mother and seven babies who were born alive but then killed by severing their spinal cords with a pair of scissors.

According to the CBS TV affiliate in Philadelphia, the district attorney said that in 1 year alone, Dr. Gosnell made approximately $1.8 million performing abortions.

The abortion industry, Mr. Speaker, is a multibillion dollar business. Planned Parenthood boasts that in 2008 alone, their abortionists killed over 324,000 babies, while raking in approximately $1 billion in fees and local, State, and Federal Government subsidies. The ugly truth is that abortionists often get filthy rich not by healing or nurturing or curing, but by dismembering and decapitating the fragile bodies of unborn children, by starving the child in the womb with lethal agents like RU486 or by other means of chemical poisoning. The ugly truth is that women are victimized by abortion, wounded and hurt physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Women deserve better than abortion.

The only thing the multibillion dollar abortion industry has produced in America and worldwide is victims, wounded women and over 52 million dead babies in the United States alone since 1973, more than six times the entire population of my home State of New Jersey. The multibillion dollar abortion industry systematically dehumanizes the weakest and most vulnerable among us with catchy slogans, slick advertising, clever marketing, and very aggressive lobbying, particularly here.

They have made the unacceptable--to be prejudiced and bigoted against a child in the womb--acceptable to some. This acceptable bigotry has been promoted for decades, despite breathtaking advances in fetal medicine, including microsurgery, underscoring the fact that an unborn child is a patient in need of care, diagnosis and care, just like anyone else, and despite the amazing window to the womb, ultrasound imaging.

In 1976, Dr. Willard Cates and David Grimes, then with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, presented a paper to a Planned Parenthood meeting entitled, and I quote this directly, ``Abortion as a Treatment for Unintended Pregnancy: The Number Two Sexually Transmitted Disease.'' These two abortion doctors reduced the child in the womb to a disease, to a parasite, to something that had to be vanquished. As far as I know, no one at Planned Parenthood objected to this dehumanizing language and obvious bigotry towards children.

Mr. Speaker, the evidence of significant harm to women who abort increases each and every year. Abortion hurts women's health and puts future children subsequently born to women who abort at significant risk. At least 102 studies show significant psychological harm, major depression, and elevated suicide risk in women who abort. The Times of London reported that senior psychiatrists ``say that new evidence has uncovered a clear link between abortion and mental illness in women with no previous history of psychological problems.'' They found that ``women who have had abortions have twice the level of psychological problems and three times the level of depression as women who have given birth or who have never been pregnant.''

In 2006, a comprehensive New Zealand study found that almost 80 percent of the 15- to 18-year-olds who had abortions displayed symptoms of major depression as compared to 31 percent of their peers. The study also found that 27 percent of the 21- to 25-year-olds who had abortions had suicidal idealizations compared to 8 percent of those who did not have an abortion.

Abortion isn't safe for subsequent children born to women who have had an abortion. And this fact is so underappreciated in the United States, and really around the world. At least 113 studies show a significant association between abortion and subsequent premature births. One study by researchers Shah and Zoe showed a 36 percent increased risk for preterm births after one abortion, and a staggering 93 percent increased risk after two. Same goes for low birth weight, similar percentages.

So what does this mean for the children? Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant mortality in the industrialized world after congenital anomalies. Preterm infants have a greater risk of suffering chronic lung disease, sensory deficits, cerebral palsy, cognitive impairments, and behavioral problems. Low birth weight is similarly associated with neonatal mortality and morbidity. Abortion causes great harm to children, to mothers.

Dr. Alveda King, niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, who we honored just this past Monday, has joined the growing coalition of women who deeply regret their abortions, and are, as they call themselves, Silent No More. Out of deep personal pain and compassion for others, Dr. King, who has had two abortions herself, and the other women of Silent No More challenge us to respect, protect, and tangibly love both the mother and the child. The women of Silent No More give post-abortive women a safe place to grieve and a road map to reconciliation.

This week, with the full and unequivocal support of Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor, more than 125 Members and I will introduce the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a government-wide prohibition on taxpayer subsidization for abortion and conscience protections with durable remedies.

Abortion is not health care. We know that. And polls show that taxpayers strongly oppose publicly funded abortion, 67 percent, according to a recent university poll. Our new bill is designed to permanently end any U.S. Government financial support for abortion, whether it be direct funding, or by tax credits, or by any other subsidy.

Regarding conscience rights, last year Cathy DeCarlo, a nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, was compelled, despite her strong moral and religious objections, to assist in a grisly D&E abortion, which has been described by the U.S. Supreme Court as a procedure where the doctors use forceps to literally tear apart the unborn child. The child often feels pain. It's done later in pregnancy. D&E is a gruesome act of child abuse.

Ms. DeCarlo sued, asserting her right to conscience had been violated under existing Federal law, namely, the Church amendment. Her case was dismissed, however, due to the lack of prescribed remedies. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act protects conscience rights of individuals and institutions, entities as we call them, by empowering the courts with the authority to prevent and redress actual or threatened violations of conscience.




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