October 22nd, 1999 -
The matter of partial-birth abortion has been an issue that has
been discussed and debated for quite some time now. The people of
Colorado know that I am pro-life. I have long supported this stance
as a State Senator, in the House of Representatives and through my
tenure as a United States Senator.
As we all know, President Clinton vetoed the Partial-Birth Abortion
Ban in 1997 and I come here today to again raise my support for the
Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. My reasons still stand the same for
support of this bill.
The issue of partial-birth abortions have been a matter of debate in
many state legislatures. Last year The Denver Post supported the
issue stating that this piece of legislation would not impose what
the Supreme Court has called an ‘undue burden’ on the rights of the
mother, as opponents have stated. Nor does this legislation
interfere with the established principle that doctors must be free
to use appropriate medical judgment to preserve the mother’s life.”
(Denver Post, October 24, 1998).
I understand that President Clinton continues to exemplify the idea
that “partial-birth abortions are to protect women from being
eviscerated or ripped to shreds and to keep from losing the ability
to ever bear further children.” This “ . . . procedure can pose a
significant and immediate threat to both the pregnant woman’s health
and fertility.,” as former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop states.
Even the American Medical Association’s board of trustees have
determined that there are no situations in which a partial-birth
abortion is the only appropriate procedure to induce abortion.
Also Dr. W. Martin Haskell, a well know proponent and practitioner
of partial-birth abortions, in an interview with the American
Medical Association’s American Medical News of July 5, 1993 stated
that approximately one-third of fetuses involved in the partial
-birth procedure “are definitely dead” before removal of the fetus,
and “probably the other two-thirds are not.” In response to this
statement, Professor Robert White, Director of the Division of
Neurosurgery and Brain Research Laboratory at Case Western Reserve
University, explains that fetuses within the gestational period when
this procedure is performed are “fully capable of experiencing
The consensus that this procedure is medically unnecessary comes
from both the pro-life and pro-choice camps as well as many health
institutions and I urge all of my colleagues to support this
legislation so that we can ban this procedure.