May 16 2013
I rise to once again ask my colleagues to join me in expressing the sense of the Senate that governments at all levels have a compelling interest in preventing and punishing the practice of late-term abortions under unsafe, unsanitary, and illegal circumstances.
It seems as though every day brings new evidence that this problem is much bigger than we could have feared.
Earlier this week, of course, Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first degree murder, for severing the spines of newborn infants, and one count of involuntary manslaughter, for the death of a pregnant mother who came to Dr. Gosnell for “care.”
The shocking details of the Gosnell case have, despite the best efforts of the mainstream media to cover it up, become national news.
The abortion industry has spun into action, trying to isolate and condemn Gosnell as an aberration.
Planned Parenthood cited Gosnell’s “appalling crimes.” NARAL called him a “butcher.”
On this very floor last week, Gosnell’s actions were decried by pro-choice Senators as “reprehensible” and “an outrage… a violation of everything we hold dear.
But Mr./Madam President, Kermit Gosnell has only been sentenced to life in prison and condemned as a monster for doing things for which – had he done them a few seconds earlier… or a few centimeters in one direction – those same voices might have hailed him as a hero.
Remember, President Obama himself, while serving in the state legislature, voted against legislation that would have protected the civil and constitutional rights of infants born-alive in Illinois.
At a recent hearing in the Florida state legislature, a Planned Parenthood representative refused to acknowledge that newborn babies have a right to life.
In recent weeks, undercover videos have caught abortion clinics around the country casually offering to kill born-alive infants.
And just this week, evidence emerged about similar abuses at a clinic in Texas.
This has nothing to do with health care, or even with medical negligence, but murder – a war on women and children waged under the guise of legitimate health care.
As much as we might want to agree that Kermit Gosnell is an aberration, recent revelations suggest otherwise.
A mounting body of evidence seems to suggest that at least among some late-term abortion providers and advocates, the immorality of infanticide may be an open question.
Mr./Madam President, the abortion industry’s defense of late-term abortion has always been based on a rejection of innate human dignity. How could it be otherwise?
But as technology advances, their case for late-term abortion increasingly rejects medical science, as well.
We now know as a scientific fact that unborn children after about 20 weeks of development can feel pain. We know that Dr. Gosnell’s victims squirmed and cried before he severed their spinal cords.
And we know that every day medical technology progresses, our abortion laws fall further behind the science.
It is a tragedy all its own that even today, our laws defining human life depend more on geography than biology.
The unsettling question before us now is: Has an industry whose profits have always depended on dehumanizing unborn children gone even further, and dehumanized born-alive children, too?
The case of Kermit Gosnell… the undercover videos… and recent clinic scandals around the country… all hint at a terrifying answer.
And yet right now, we just don’t know.
My resolution will call on governments at all levels to find out. To find out what the late-term abortion industry is really up to, and to take any appropriate and necessary measures to prevent and punish abusive, unsanitary, and illegal practices.
Some might say that this resolution is a symbolic gesture. Perhaps. And I and others have introduced more concrete legislation.
But even so, Mr./Madam President, symbols are important.
It is important that the strong stand up for the weak.
That we, in the world’s greatest deliberative body, lend our voices to the voiceless.
That we, representatives of the most powerful nation on earth, promise to protect the weakest, most innocent, and most vulnerable among us… and punish those who would do our children harm.
I urge all my colleagues to take that stand, and support this resolution.