HANNITY: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I’m Sean Hannity. By a vote of
five to four, the Supreme Court gave abortion advocates cause for celebration
yesterday. The highest court in the land struck down a controversial Nebraska
law that banned the late-term procedure that is known as partial-birth abortion.
In a separate case, the court upheld the Colorado law that banned abortion
protesters from coming within eight feet of individuals trying to enter an
HANNITY: Joining us from Washington, Susan Dudley. She’s the deputy
director of the National Abortion Federation. And also in Washington, Father
Frank Pavone. And he’s with Priests for Life. Welcome back.
Susan, ... I just-I can usually understand the left’s arguments. I can
understand people that say they’re pro-choice. I can understand it. I disagree
with it, I understand it. But the procedure of partial birth where babies’ legs
are brought down to the birth canal, scissors are inserted in the back of the
neck, you suction out the brain and you collapse the skull of a perfectly formed
baby. I can’t fathom how any person with a conscience and a soul could support
that. I just don’t understand it. Can you explain it to me?
SUSAN DUDLEY, NATIONAL ABORTION FEDERATION: I think the first thing I want to
say is your description of performing this procedure on a perfectly formed human
baby is probably a distortion. It’s probably a result of the kind of rhetoric
that has surrounded this debate for the last five years.
HANNITY: Susan, I’ve interviewed doctors who have performed it. I’ve talked
to nurses who have been there. I spoke to one just the other day. And I was
asking-I mean, according to the doctor, many of these are viable. On their own,
could live outside the womb without the assistance of the mother. This is what
the doctor told me the other day. He said, "Sean, I’ve been there." He said, on
another floor, on the second floor, saving the same child’s life. On another
floor where they’re inserting the scissors and suctioning out the brains and
collapsing the skull. These are perfectly formed babies. It’s barbaric. How do
you-most people that describe themselves as pro-choice say they don’t support
this. Why do you support it?
DUDLEY: I support medical decisions being made by doctors, not by
politicians. I think that it’s very important that in a woman’s individual
medical case, her doctor is able to assess her situation, assess her physical
needs and do what’s best for her.
HANNITY: C. Everett Koop, the-C. Everett Koop...
DUDLEY: I don’t want politicians-I don’t want anybody in Washington...
HANNITY: Right, I understand.
DUDLEY: ... making the decisions for me.
HANNITY: All right, C. Everett Koop, former surgeon general, once said that
with all that modern medicine has to offer, partial-birth abortion is never,
under any circumstances, necessary to save the life of the mother. It’s not a
medical decision, ma’am. It has nothing to do with medicine. It has to do with a
woman that just decided she doesn’t want this thing anymore. That’s all it is.
DUDLEY: For every physician that you find who will make that kind of
statement, you can find other physicians who will say something different. And
that’s true of virtually any medical procedure where there are options about how
to get the procedure done.
COLMES: Father Pavone, let me (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Do you believe that
government should be making decisions about what medical choices a woman and her
doctor should jointly make? Should the government be involved in that?
FATHER FRANK PAVONE, PRIESTS FOR LIFE: No, but government can prevent the
abuse of medicine. Shouldn’t medical procedures be governed by moral principles.
We’re not talking here about politicians practicing medicine. We’re talking
about public servants protecting human lives.
COLMES: But, sir, this is...
PAVONE: But my problem...
COLMES: Go ahead.
PAVONE: My problem with the decision is my same problem with previous
abortion decisions by the court, that they are disconnected from the reality of
why women get abortions. Women don’t get abortions because of freedom of choice.
They get them because they feel they have no freedom and no choice. I
collaborate very closely with a group called feminists for life and we’re
dedicated to providing women real choices to do what they know is right.
COLMES: Would that woman be allowed then to make a choice if she chose
getting all the information to have this procedure if that’s what she wanted to
do? Why shouldn’t a woman have that choice?
PAVONE: You know, isn’t it sad that we live in a society where we can map the
human genome, we can go to the moon and come back again, but we can find no
better way to advance the life and health of a woman than to allow her partially
born child to be stuck in the back of a neck with scissors and its brains sucked
out? I think we can do better for women than having that done.
COLMES: Father, never before has our government-has the legislature decided
that a particular procedure done by a doctor in an operating room should be
illegal. This is the first time that would have ever happened in this country.
And most people, conservatives especially, say they want less government. All of
a sudden, it seems they want government involved in this decision that should be
between a woman, her doctor, her mate and her god and nobody else.
PAVONE: Yeah, but you heard what the president said. He said that this
decision is consistent with Roe versus Wade. And I want to thank the court for
making it clear to this country that the so-called right to choose ... they
don’t want to finish this sentence, they don’t want to say choose what. Well,
now the country knows. The so-called right to choose means and includes the
right to kill a baby who is mostly already out of the mother’s body. Well, you
know the statistics, you know the polls. Sixty-eight percent of the American
people want a ban on this procedure.
DUDLEY: The fact is that women don’t go to their doctors and say, "I want a
particular type of abortion procedure." They say, "I need to get an abortion."
And then they trust their doctor to go back on all of his training, all of his
experience and all of his skills and provide her with the best medical care that
he can give her.
PAVONE: And there is-there are those studies...
DUDLEY: And if that means one type of abortion procedure over another type of
abortion procedure, once she has made the decision that she needs an abortion,
then that’s the only thing that we can with good conscience allow.
HANNITY: All right, we will-when we come back, we will allow the father to
respond. And we’ll see how pure and extreme Susan’s position is. I’ll challenge
her on that when we come back on the other side of the break. Please stay tuned.
COLMES: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I’m Alan Colmes.
Father Pavone, with all due respect, you have-you would like to see all
abortions outlawed in this country.
COLMES: Is that right? And isn’t partial-birth abortion one step in what some
might call a slippery slope toward outlawing all abortions?
PAVONE: Of course. We’ve never made any secret of the fact that we want to
outlaw all abortions because this country is founded on the principle of the
equality of all human beings. This whole discussion and this whole decision that
just came out this week, it’s like discussing, you know, should it be legal to
shoot someone in the heart instead of shooting them in the head, instead of
looking at the whole problem of shooting in the first place. And our solution is
very simple. Why can’t we try to love them and protect them both...
COLMES: I understand that...
PAVONE: ... both mother and child?
COLMES: I understand that your religious belief is that abortion-there should
be no abortions. That’s your religious belief. What about people who have other
beliefs than yours?
PAVONE: Of course.
COLMES: I mean, the idea of codifying into law one particular set of beliefs
it seems would go against what we stand for in this country, which is that
people with other points of view should have the freedom to do as they choose as
PAVONE: Well, I’m glad you bring this up because people have the right to
believe whatever they want about when life begins or if the baby has a soul. But
there are some people who don’t believe that the newborn is really a person.
Maybe somebody doesn’t believe that you and I are people. The points is this:
that the law does not require us to impose or to remove any beliefs. The law is
supposed to protect us despite people’s beliefs.
HANNITY: Hey, father...
PAVONE: So if someone doesn’t believe that I’m human, then they can’t kill
DUDLEY: I think it’s very important...
HANNITY: Hang on a second. We only have a minute left. Susan, hang on a
second, Susan. I want to bring up a point with you, because I only have a minute
and we’re going to lose the freedom to choose for the Boy Scouts, by the way,
interesting. I want to ask you this. I want to find out how pure and extreme you
are, because you said you don’t want the government and you don’t want a
politician involved in this. Does that mean a woman a week before her due date
goes to a doctor, decides she doesn’t want the baby, no health reason involved,
doesn’t want the baby, you support the right of that woman to have an abortion?
Would you support that?
DUDLEY: The Supreme Court has found...
HANNITY: I don’t want to know what the Supreme Court says. I want to know
what you say. I want to know what you think. Would you support that? Yes or no?
DUDLEY: Nobody can make a decision about when a woman can be a mother other
than that woman and her family and her...
HANNITY: So you do support it?
DUDLEY: ... religious counsel, and the people that know her and know her
HANNITY: A baby that’s viable, that one week away would be born. You support
that? Well, that is-how did you get so callous?
PAVONE: But that argument supports infanticide.
HANNITY: That’s heartless.
PAVONE: And that argument can be used to support the killing of a newborn
COLMES: All right, father, we thank you very much.
PAVONE: I thank you.
COLMES: Susan, thank you for being with us tonight.
That’s all the time we have for this evening. We want to take a moment to say
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