PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION BAN PROTECTS SANCTITY OF LIFE
May 15, 1997
Washington, D.C. -- Personal experience and the "miracle of life"
led Senator Mike Enzi to make a passionate plea for his colleagues'
support of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban bill being contemplated by
Enzi, an original cosponsor of the Senate measure, related how
his daughter's three-month premature birth illustrated the struggle
for precious life and influenced his strong support for a ban on
partial birth abortions.
"Amy was born three months premature. She weighed just two pounds
and the doctor's advice was, 'wait until morning, see if she lives.'
The doctors could do nothing to help this newborn baby. Until you
have seen a baby that was born three months premature you would not
believe what they look like. Another lady had given birth to a
10-pound baby at the same time Amy was born. The two babies were
laying side by side. I remember standing outside the nursery with
some other people looking in at the babies. The other people said
'Oh, look at that one. Looks like a piece of rope with some knots in
it. Too bad,'" Enzi recounted.
The next day Enzi took Amy, their first child, to the hospital in
Casper via car in a Wyoming blizzard, the same blizzard that
prevented them from flying to Denver where they sought the best
possible medical care that could possibly save their child's life.
"So we took a car from Gillette, Wyoming, to the center of the
state, to Wyoming's biggest hospital, to get the best kind of care
we could find. We ran out of oxygen on the way, the highway patrol
was looking for us, and all along the way, we were watching every
breath of that child," said Enzi.
"We arrived at the hospital in Casper and put her in the care of
the doctors. There were several times when Diana and I went to the
Hospital to see Amy in her isolette with a shroud around it. We
would knock on the window and the nurses would come and say, 'It's
not looking good. We had to make her breathe again.' Or, 'Have you
had the baby baptized?' We had Amy baptized in the first few minutes
after birth, but she worked and struggled to live. Watching an
infant fight with every fiber of her being demonstrated
unquestionably the desire to live, even though only six months
She did live. That little girl is now a 25-year-old middle school
English teacher in Gillette and she "loves every minute of every
day," according to her dad.
Enzi said this experience changed his whole outlook on life and led
him to support the abortion ban bill, where doctors take lives
instead of saving them.
"Life is such a miracle that we have to respect it and work for
it every single day in every way we can," said Enzi. "This bill will
help in that effort."
Enzi discounted an amendment offered by Minority Leader Tom
Daschle (D-SD), which would allow the procedure in certain
"The bill we have now provides an exception if the procedure is
necessary to save the life of the mother and no alternative
procedure could be used for that purpose," said Enzi.
"But the truth is, the leaders in the medical profession have
stated that this procedure is never necessary to save the life of
the mother. In fact it could actually be more dangerous for her."
Enzi said the false testimony of Dr. Ron Fitzsimmons, who said this
procedure is rarely performed and then later recanted and admitted
that it is commonly done, had a great deal to do with the Partial
Birth Abortion bill's passage in the House.
"His reversal led to the veto-proof passage in the House and I'm
sure it will influence the vote in the Senate," said Enzi.
"We as senators will cast no vote that will more directly affect
the future of our families and our children than the vote on this