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Government Leaders on Abortion

Congressman Chris Smith
Chris Smith


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Chris Smith, Chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro Life Caucus, delivered the following speech on the House floor today during debate on the Unborn Victims of Violence Protection Act.
Why would Planned Parenthood and a virtual who’s who of abortion activists in America so vehemently oppose the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and promote a gutting substitute in its stead?  Why would they take a position so extreme that 80% of Americans oppose it?
Why is it, that on the Floor of the House of Representatives so many intelligent, talented, and gifted lawmakers to whom so much has been given, are going to such great lengths to deny basic protections in law for an unborn child who has been shot, beaten, stabbed, or otherwise mauled by an attacker – even taking the irrational step of opposing a definition that overwhelmingly passed this House 417-0 in 2000?
Could it be that America’s abortion culture - a culture of death - has so numbed our hearts and dulled our minds that we have become unwilling - or perhaps incapable - of recognizing the obvious?  Could it be “Denial” with a Capital D? 
Amazingly, as a result of breakthroughs in medicine, today unborn children are often treated as patients in need of curative procedures and healing just like any other patient.  Is the concept of an unborn child as a victim really so hard to grasp - even when we are not talking about abortion, but assault by a mugger?
Have the soothing voices of denial by credentialed people - especially in medicine and the media - ripped off our capacity to think?   Has the horrific specter of almost 45 million poisoned or dismembered babies – legally enabled by Roe v. Wade – robbed us of our capability to see and understand and empathize? 
Is it a lacking in logic, or courage, or common sense, or compassion?
Have unborn children become mere objects - a dehumanizing and deplorable status that feminists once rightly rebelled against?
Does a mugger – like an abortionist – have unfettered access to maim or kill a baby without triggering a separate penalty for the crime? 
For years, Congress has updated and strengthened laws and stiffened penalties for those who commit violence against women.  And that is as it should be.  Crafting such protections - and penalties for perpetrators - is among our highest responsibilities and duties as lawmakers. 
In December President Bush signed my bill, “The Trafficking Victims Protection Act,” which is a reauthorization of my original trafficking bill that President Clinton originally signed into law.  This sweeping law continues to fulfill part of our responsibility to protect women from violence at home and overseas by authorizing more than 200 million dollars over the next two years for the fight against the international trafficking of women.
Women who are victims of violence need every legal protection, appropriate shelter, and assistance a caring society has to muster.
But, I would respectfully submit - so do children.  A victim is a victim, it seems to me, no matter how small.
Why then is it so difficult to recognize an unborn child as a victim who is all too capable of suffering severe trauma, disfigurement, disability, or even death?

• Unborn children feel pain when they are shot or beaten
• Unborn children bleed and bruise easily
• Unborn children are as vulnerable as their mothers to an assailant wielding a knife, or gun, or steel pipe.
 The amniotic sac is like a protective bubble, but it isn’t made of Kevlar.  It pierces easily.


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