1:40 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Good afternoon. I'm pleased that all of you have joined us as the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 becomes the law of the land. (Applause.) For years, a terrible form of violence has been directed against children who are inches from birth, while the law looked the other way. Today, at last, the American people and our government have confronted the violence and come to the defense of the innocent child. (Applause.)
I want to thank you all for coming. Many of you have worked long and hard to see this bill come to fruition, and we thank you for your efforts.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: I see some members of my Cabinet have come. I appreciate the good work of the Attorney General, John Ashcroft. (Applause.) Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson, is here. Thank you, Tommy. (Applause.) There are a lot of members of the Senate and House here today, I want to thank you all for passing this important legislation. I'm glad you're here. (Applause.)
The primary Senate sponsor is with us, Senator Rick Santorum. (Applause.) Senator Orrin Hatch and Senator Mike DeWine helped, as well, in the Senate. Thank you all very much. (Applause.) Steve Chabot was the primary House sponsor, and Steve is with us. Thanks for coming, Steve. (Applause.) I'm thankful that our Speaker is with us today. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate you coming. (Applause.) The Majority Leader, Tom DeLay, as well. Thank you for coming, Tom. (Applause.)
I'd like to mention three other members of the House. Henry Hyde is with us today. Mr. Chairman, we appreciate you coming. (Applause.) Jim Oberstar is with us. Jim, thank you for being here, sir, I appreciate you coming. (Applause.) Bart Stupak, from Michigan, is with us, as well. Thanks for coming, Bart, glad you're here. (Applause.)
I appreciate His Eminence, Cardinal Egan, is with us today. Thank you very much, sir. (Applause.)
In passing this legislation, members of the House and Senate made a studied decision based upon compelling evidence. The best case against partial birth abortion is a simple description of what happens and to whom it happens. It involves the partial delivery of a live boy or girl, and a sudden, violent end of that life. Our nation owes its children a different and better welcome. (Applause.) The bill I am about to sign protecting innocent new life from this practice reflects the compassion and humanity of America.
In the course of the congressional debate, the facts became clear. Each year, thousands of partial birth abortions are committed. As Doctor C. Everett Koop, the pediatrician and former Surgeon General has pointed out, the majority of partial birth abortions are not required by medical emergency. As Congress has found, the practice is widely regarded within the medical profession as unnecessary, not only cruel to the child, but harmful to the mother, and a violation of medical ethics. (Applause.)
The facts about partial birth abortion are troubling and tragic, and no lawyer's brief can make them seem otherwise. (Applause.) By acting to prevent this practice, the elected branches of our government have affirmed a basic standard of humanity, the duty of the strong to protect the weak. The wide agreement amongst men and women on this issue, regardless of political party, shows that bitterness in political debate can be overcome by compassion and the power of conscience. And the executive branch will vigorously defend this law against any who would try to overturn it in the courts. (Applause.)
America stands for liberty, for the pursuit of happiness and for the unalienable right of life. And the most basic duty of government is to defend the life of the innocent. Every person, however frail or vulnerable, has a place and a purpose in this world. Every person has a special dignity. This right to life cannot be granted or denied by government, because it does not come from government, it comes from the Creator of life. (Applause.)
In the debate about the rights of the unborn, we are asked to broaden the circle of our moral concern. We're asked to live out our calling as Americans. We're asked to honor our own standards, announced on the day of our founding in the Declaration of Independence. We're asked by our convictions and tradition and compassion to build a culture of life, and make this a more just and welcoming society. And today, we welcome vulnerable children into the care and protection of Americans. (Applause.)
The late Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey once said that: when we look to the unborn child, the real issue is not when life begins, but when love begins. (Applause.) This is the generous and merciful spirit of our country at its best. This spirit is reflected in the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which I am now honored to sign into law. God bless. (Applause.)
(The bill is signed.) (Applause.) Thank you, all. (Applause.)
END 1:51 P.M. EST
Senate Endorses Roe, Defeats
Pro-Abortion PBA Ban Amendments
From the Washington Post
Washington, DC -- The Senate yesterday
turned back a series of
pro-abortion challenges to a proposed ban on an partial-birth abortions,
but voted narrowly to reaffirm its general support of the Roe v. Wade
Supreme Court case that legalized abortion.
The Senate plans to pass the bill
Thursday, and the House is likely to
follow suit in the near future. President Bush backs the bill and abortion
advocates vow to take it to the Supreme Court.
The pro-abortion amendment endorsing
the Roe decision, approved 52 to 46,
expresses the "sense of the Senate that the decision of the Supreme Court
in Roe v. Wade was appropriate and secures an important constitutional
right." The decision, it added, "should not be overturned."
Nine Republicans joined 42 Democrats
and one independent in voting for the
resolution, which was sponsored by pro-abortion Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA).
Five Democrats voted with 41 Republicans against it. For the talley please click HERE
Abortion rights forces picked up
one vote since 1999, when the Senate last
voted to endorse Roe v. Wade. The vote then was 51 to 47. Sen. Kay Bailey
Hutchison was the only member who voted in 1999 to flip-flop. She voted
against the Harkin amendment in 1999 and for the pro-abortion resolution
this time around.
A leading spokesman for one pro-life
organization told the Pro-Life
Infonet he believes the Harkin amendment will be removed in a conference
committee following House passage of the bill.
In the first roll call on amendments
offered by opponents of the ban, the
Senate voted 60 to 38 to reject a proposal from pro-abortion Sen. Richard
Durbin (D-IL) to drop the partial-birth abortion ban in favor of a ban on
abortions of viable unborn children unless two abortion advocates certify
that a woman's life or physical health would be seriously threatened by
Pro-life Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA),
who almost single-handed defended the
pro-life positon the entire day, said Durbin's amendment would make the
bill meaningless. By allowing abortion practitioners to define when a
partial-birth abortion is needed, and by using a vague "health" exception,
essentially all partial-birth abortions would remain legal.
A proposal from pro-abortion Sen.
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to require the
approval of only one abortion practitioner was defeated, 60 to 35.
In another vote, 56 to 42, the Senate
rejected a proposal by pro-abortion
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to send the bill to the Judiciary Committee,
another attempt to kill the bill.
"I don't understand," said Senator
Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL) during the
debate "how those who can hear the howl of a wolf or the squeal of a
dolphin can be deaf to the cry of an unborn child."
Senate Begins Debate on Partial-Birth
Source: Associated Press, Cybercast News Service; March 11, 2003
Washington, DC -- The U.S. Senate
began debate Tuesday on the latest
attempt to pass a ban on partial-birth abortions. Pro-life lawmakers
believe this is their best shot ever at enacted such a ban into law thanks
to the control they have over the agenda in both the Senate and House and
the willingness of a pro-life President to sign the bill into law.
On Tuesday, members turned back
two amendments that would have tied the
promotion of contraception to the bill.
The underlying abortion measure
is expected to clear the Senate later this
week, and House passage is assured. President Bush has said he would sign
the legislation, and pro-abortion Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA told reporters,
``This will end up in court. That's absolutely true.''
Supporters of the bill argue
that the abortion procedure to be banned is
barbaric, carried out on an unborn baby within inches of being born alive,
and never medically necessary.
Opponents counter that the legislation
is unconstitutional because it
could ban more than one procedure, and that while it contains an exception
to preserve the mother's life, there is no similar provision to protect a
woman's health. Such a health exception is routinely opposed by pro-life
groups who know that it will only allow all partial-birth abortions to
Pro-life Sen. Rick Santorum said no health exception is needed.
"There is no reason, for the
health of the mother, to do this procedure,"
he argued. "And so, while Roe requires a 'health of the mother' exception,
it doesn't if there is no health consequence."
Santorum's assessment is supported
by Dr. Curtis Cook, associate director
of maternal-fetal medicine at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Mich.
"There's no health benefit to
the mother whatsoever [and] certainly no
health benefit to the fetus," Cook, who is also an assistant professor of
medicine at the University of Michigan, explained. "There is even evidence
that would support that this may indeed be a more dangerous procedure for
the mother than other, previously existing procedures."
Former Surgeon General C. Everett
Koop came to a similar conclusion nearly
six years ago.
"Partial birth abortion is never
medically necessary to protect a mother's
health or fertility," Koop said on May 13, 1997. "On the contrary, this
procedure can cause a serious threat to both."
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist,
a surgeon, joined the roster of
lawmakers expressing support for the measure during the day, describing
the type of abortion in dispute as ``a fringe medical procedure...it is
outside the mainstream.''
He said a partial-birth abortion
is not usually performed until a woman
has reached a 20th week of pregnancy, and that many of the babies killed
would have a ``fighting chance of being a healthy human being'' if the
abortion were not performed.
ACTION: Please call or
fax your Senators and ask them to support Senate
Bill 3, the ban on partial-birth abortions. Also encourage your Senators
to oppose any weakening amendments or alternative bills. You can contact
any Senator at 202-224-3121 or find specific information for each Senator.
You can do that by clicking on this special link.
Vote on Partial-Birth Abortion
Ban Next Week
National Right to Life
March 6, 2003
Senate Will Vote on Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Next Week
Washington, DC -- In response to President
Bush's appeal to ban an
"abhorrent procedure that offends human dignity," the U.S. Senate is
slated to begin debate on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act the week of
The legislation (S. 3), sponsored by Sen. Rick
Santorum (R-Pa.), would ban
an abortion method in which a living baby is mostly delivered alive before
being killed. The bill has been a major pro-life priority since 1995. It
was twice vetoed by President Clinton.
A January Gallup poll found that 70% of the
public favors the ban.
Nevertheless, the bill still faces fierce resistance from lawmakers
closely allied with the abortion lobby. It is not yet known whether
pro-abortion senators will attempt to impede the bill with a filibuster.
Close votes are expected on crippling amendments, including an alternative
measure that pro-life groups refer to as "the phony ban."
For details on the current congressional situation,
statistics on partial-birth abortion, and other up-to-date information,
see the memo "Recent Developments on Partial-Birth Abortion," posted on
the National Right to Life Committee website. Also viewable on the website is a
series of graphic illustrations of the partial-birth abortion method,
recently made available to NRLC.
Because the vote is so near, phone calls and
faxed letters are the best
way to communicate with senators' offices. E-mail is also useful, but in
some cases it may not be counted in time to impact on the vote. Where
possible, use all three of these modes of communication.
To send a fast, easy e-mail on this bill to
both of your U.S. senators,
use the NRLC Legislative Action Center. After reading the alert message, enter your zip
code, and a suggested e-mail message to your senators in favor of the
Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act will be displayed. You can send the
messages directly from the NRLC site.
To obtain telephone or fax numbers, click "Elected
Officials," choose your
state, and click through to the profile of an individual senator.
In the alternative, just go to the NRLC website
Under the prominent heading "Legislative Action Center," enter your zip
code into the box, and you will automatically be provided with a button to
obtain "Info" on your two senators, including the phone numbers of their
Washington and in-state offices and their fax numbers.
You can also reach the Washington office of
any senator through the
Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. However, this general number is
sometimes jammed up during major legislative activity.
Please urge like-minded fellow citizens to
communicate with their
senators, too. Also, write letters or op-ed essays for local newspapers,
highlighting the critical votes that lawmakers are casting on
Washington, DC -- With pro-life lawmakers finally
in control of both
Congressional chambers, pro-life lawmakers hope they can pass a ban on
partial-birth abortion and present it to President Bush for his signature. If they
don't do it this time you can consider it "politics as usual".
Some are going so far as to say that a ban
will be passed and signed by
President Bush before the Easter recess. In his January State of the Union
speech, Bush named the bill as one of his top priorities. It should be. Recent
polls reveal that a majority of Americans favor the ban with no strings attached.
Starting off the process, the House Judiciary
Subcommittee on the Constitution
plans to hold a hearing on the issue. "A physician delivers an unborn child's body
until only the head remains inside the womb, punctures the back of the child's skull with a sharp instrument, and sucks the child's brains out before completing delivery of the dead infant, pro-life Rep. Steve Chabot, sponsor of the bill on the House side, said.
Not a very pretty picture and one the abortion industry tries to keep under wraps.
Pro-life Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) is sponsoring
the Senate version of the
partial-birth abortion ban and it is expected to reach the Senate floor next week.
Santorum should receive your prayers daily that God would anoint every word he says
in the defense of those wanting to be born.
Meanwhile, pro-abortion Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
and Jim Greenwood (R-PA)
hope to introduce their alternative bill, the Late Term Abortion Restriction Act.
It allows the procedure banned by the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, but prohibits abortion after viability of the fetus unless the mother's health is at risk. This is the same false argument that has been used over and over again to make any ban null and void. Pro-life advocates rightly oppose the bill because the "health" exception is so broad that it essentially bans no abortions. Hoyer and Greenwood should be ashamed of themselves.
Pro-life Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) has a visceral reaction to the phrase "partial birth abortion."
"To stab a child in the back of the head and then suck his or her brains out is child abuse in the extreme," said Smith, who has been pushing for this bill's passage since 1995. "The other [abortion] methods are no less gruesome. They are somewhat less visible."
He added, "The other side wants America to
be in denial. The more they can offer denial about the reality of abortion,
the better. They cloak everything in the sophistry of choice."
Their "choice" is to kill the developing baby ultimately for profit.
A choice that affects two people presupposes a bilateral agreement but in an abortion the other person involved in the matter has been denied their right.
Pro-abortion groups like to refer to a partial birth abortion as as a "so-called" partial birth abortion. This does not reflect the truth. The baby is half out of the mother's womb and is alive and kicking because its body has been reversed so that its head will remain inside its mother. At this point the abortionist stabs the baby in the back of the head and then sucks his or her brains out. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the birth was partial before death was administered.
Kate Michelman, president of the National Abortion
and Reproductive Rights Action
League (NARAL), said last week that the name of the bill is "inflammatory." But she realizes that she has little power to stop passage of this bill. "We are climbing uphill," she said. Michelman's ultimate concern is to keep making her huge salary and perks from NARAL all paid for by the abortion industry. Every Christian ought to be praying for this woman's conversion.
LeRoy Carhart, a Nebraska abortion practitioner
who is just as pathetic as Michelman, successfully challenged his state's
ban on partial-birth abortion at the Supreme Court,
said if the federal ban is passed, he plans to file a law suit similar to the one filed under his name in 2000 so that he and other abortionists can continue to make money from killing babies wanting to be born.
Carhart, who goes the "extra mile" in this soared profession teaches abortion methods at facilities nationwide, took a potshot at Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), who supports the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act: "I hope he knows more about heart surgery than he does about abortions because he certainly doesn't know much." His remark really shows how naive Mr. Carhart is. The bottom line is that any type of an abortion kills. That alone should be a good reason not to permit it.
Notwithstanding Carhart's obnoxious remark,
Smith says the bill's name accurately
describes the procedure, normally called "dilation and extraction" or "dilation and
evacuation" by abortion advocates. "A child is born partially," said Smith. "Why
not call it what it is?"
Like Chabot, Smith believes the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act will be signed into law, but he doesn't want to sound too confident. " I don't ever like to use the phrase shoo-in," he said. "Nothing is ever a shoo-in."
What can you as a Christian do about this. First write your Representative in Congress and your Senator. Tell them to vote FOR the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. Then pray like you have never prayed before. This time, with God's ultimate help, this horrendous abortion technique will end.
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