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PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION BAN - THE BETRAYAL IS NOW COMPLETE [BARF ALERT - ANTI-GOP PROPAGANDA]
| May 9, 2003
| By David Brownlow
Posted on 08/02/2003 10:39:40 PM PDT by Uncle Bill
PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION BAN - THE BETRAYAL IS NOW COMPLETE
By David Brownlow
May 9, 2003
A politician would have a hard time finding a more loyal special interest group than with those of us who oppose the legalized child killing industry. For the last thirty years of the war on the unborn, we have worked tirelessly to elect pro-life, mostly Republican, politicians.
Our loyalty was so strong that even though the Republicans failed to deliver us a single pro-life victory, we continued to send them back to Washington year after year. For thirty years, we trusted the Republicans when they told us to be patient, because they had a plan and a party platform that said abortion was wrong.
We now know that everything they told us was a complete pack of lies.
We know that because the Senate has finally passed the long awaited "Partial Birth Abortion Ban," Senate Bill S.3. Rather than being a useful tool in the fight to stop a barbaric and indefensible method of child killing, S.3 reads more like an instruction manual for abortionists.
In what can only be described as the mildest abortion restrictions that one could possibly put into words, Sec.1531 instructs the "doctor" to make sure and kill the child before "in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother". Or "in the case of breech presentation", make sure the child is killed before "any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother". (Actual text of SB S.3 in quotes)
With toothless restrictions like that, it is highly unlikely that even a single life will be saved. The only thing this will do is to make sure all the children are killed before the "entire fetal head" or the "fetal trunk past the navel" is showing. We waited thirty years for this?
Excuse me for shouting, but IF THE HEAD IS ALMOST OUT OF THE MOTHER, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO KILL THE KID? Do we hate children so much that we cannot wait 10 more seconds for the child to be born? 42,000,000 children killed since 1973 and this is the best they could come up with. What kind of people have we been putting into office?
If Senate Bill S.3 was just plain bad legislation, we could almost forgive the politicians for their incompetence. But believe it or not, this bill gets even worse. It gets a lot worse.
Not content to just write a watered down, sorry excuse for an abortion ban, the Senate goes on in Sec. 4, to let us all know "The Sense on the Senate Concerning Roe. v. Wade". I am not sure what kind of sense these people have, but we have definitely found out what we get for thirty years of loyalty. The 48 Republican Senators who voted to approve S.3, pledged that,
"the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade [410 U.S. 113 (1973)] was appropriate and secures an important constitutional right; and such decision should not be overturned".
You need to read that again. I've read it about 20 times and it still hurts to look at it.
Please understand that it was not just a few renegade Senators who voted for this. It was 48 Republican Senators, including every one of them who ever told us they were pro-life, who put their name on a bill that says; Roe v. Wade was "appropriate." This is a clear, unambiguous reaffirmation of the illegal Supreme Court decision that started this whole mess back in 1973. If I had not read it for myself I would not believe it.
The extent of their betrayal is absolutely breath taking!
So now we know why the Republicans have gone thirty years without a single pro- life victory. These guys are not even pro-life! We have been fooling ourselves that somehow, despite all the evidence to the contrary, the years of partisan efforts were getting us closer to ending legalized abortion in America. But if the "sense" of the Senate is any indication, we have not even started the fight. We can now only hope that the House has enough sense to put S.3 out of it's misery.
A decades old policy of voting for the lesser of two evils has left us with a Republican Party that is a mere hollowed-out shell of its former self, broken beyond any hope of repair. The only way we are ever going to win this fight is by putting men and women of integrity into office who will not bow to the political pressures.
Clearly, the team we have in there now is not up to the task.
Partial- birth abortion ban hits snag over Roe v. Wade affirmation
"President Bush supports the ban, but there has been no indication if he would sign it into law if it included the Roe resolution."
S 3 ES
To prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds and declares the following:
(1) A moral, medical, and ethical consensus exists that the practice of performing a partial-birth abortion--an abortion in which 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--is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited.
(2) Rather than being an abortion procedure that is embraced by the medical community, particularly among physicians who routinely perform other abortion procedures, partial-birth abortion remains a disfavored procedure that is not only unnecessary to preserve the health of the mother, but in fact poses serious risks to the long-term health of women and in some circumstances, their lives. As a result, at least 27 States banned the procedure as did the United States Congress which voted to ban the procedure during the 104th, 105th, and 106th Congresses.
(3) In Stenberg v. Carhart (530 U.S. 914, 932 (2000)), the United States Supreme Court opined `that significant medical authority supports the proposition that in some circumstances, [partial birth abortion] would be the safest procedure' for pregnant women who wish to undergo an abortion. Thus, the Court struck down the State of Nebraska's ban on partial-birth abortion procedures, concluding that it placed an `undue burden' on women seeking abortions because it failed to include an exception for partial-birth abortions deemed necessary to preserve the `health' of the mother.
(4) In reaching this conclusion, the Court deferred to the Federal district court's factual findings that the partial-birth abortion procedure was statistically and medically as safe as, and in many circumstances safer than, alternative abortion procedures.
(5) However, the great weight of evidence presented at the Stenberg trial and other trials challenging partial-birth abortion bans, as well as at extensive Congressional hearings, demonstrates that a partial-birth abortion is never necessary to preserve the health of a woman, poses significant health risks to a woman upon whom the procedure is performed, and is outside of the standard of medical care.
(6) Despite the dearth of evidence in the Stenberg trial court record supporting the district court's findings, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the Supreme Court refused to set aside the district court's factual findings because, under the applicable standard of appellate review, they were not `clearly erroneous'. A finding of fact is clearly erroneous `when although there is evidence to support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed'. Anderson v. City of Bessemer City, North Carolina (470 U.S. 564, 573 (1985)). Under this standard, `if the district court's account of the evidence is plausible in light of the record viewed in its entirety, the court of appeals may not reverse it even though convinced that had it been sitting as the trier of fact, it would have weighed the evidence differently' (Id. at 574).
(7) Thus, in Stenberg, the United States Supreme Court was required to accept the very questionable findings issued by the district court judge--the effect of which was to render null and void the reasoned factual findings and policy determinations of the United States Congress and at least 27 State legislatures.
(8) However, under well-settled Supreme Court jurisprudence, the United States Congress is not bound to accept the same factual findings that the Supreme Court was bound to accept in Stenberg under the `clearly erroneous' standard. Rather, the United States Congress is entitled to reach its own factual findings--findings that the Supreme Court accords great deference--and to enact legislation based upon these findings so long as it seeks to pursue a legitimate interest that is within the scope of the Constitution, and draws reasonable inferences based upon substantial evidence.
(9) In Katzenbach v. Morgan (384 U.S. 641 (1966)), the Supreme Court articulated its highly deferential review of Congressional factual findings when it addressed the constitutionality of section 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Regarding Congress' factual determination that section 4 (e) would assist the Puerto Rican community in `gaining nondiscriminatory treatment in public services,' the Court stated that `[i]t was for Congress, as the branch that made this judgment, to assess and weigh the various conflicting considerations. . . . It is not for us to review the congressional resolution of these factors. It is enough that we be able to perceive a basis upon which the Congress might resolve the conflict as it did. There plainly was such a basis to support section 4(e) in the application in question in this case.' (Id. at 653).
(10) Katzenbach's highly deferential review of Congress's factual conclusions was relied upon by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia when it upheld the `bail-out' provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, (42 U.S.C. 1973c), stating that `congressional fact finding, to which we are inclined to pay great deference, strengthens the inference that, in those jurisdictions covered by the Act, state actions discriminatory in effect are discriminatory in purpose'. City of Rome, Georgia v. U.S. (472 F. Supp. 221 (D. D. Col. 1979)) aff'd City of Rome, Georgia v. U.S. (46 U.S. 156 (1980)).
(11) The Court continued its practice of deferring to congressional factual findings in reviewing the constitutionality of the must- carry provisions of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992. See Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission (512 U.S. 622 (1994) (Turner I)) and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission (520 U.S. 180 (1997) (Turner II)). At issue in the Turner cases was Congress' legislative finding that, absent mandatory carriage rules, the continued viability of local broadcast television would be `seriously jeopardized'. The Turner I Court recognized that as an institution, `Congress is far better equipped than the judiciary to `amass and evaluate the vast amounts of data' bearing upon an issue as complex and dynamic as that presented here' (512 U.S. at 665-66). Although the Court recognized that `the deference afforded to legislative findings does `not foreclose our independent judgment of the facts bearing on an issue of constitutional law,' its `obligation to exercise independent judgment when First Amendment rights are implicated is not a license to reweigh the evidence de novo, or to replace Congress' factual predictions with our own. Rather, it is to assure that, in formulating its judgments, Congress has drawn reasonable inferences based on substantial evidence.' (Id. at 666).
(12) Three years later in Turner II, the Court upheld the `must- carry' provisions based upon Congress' findings, stating the Court's `sole obligation is `to assure that, in formulating its judgments, Congress has drawn reasonable inferences based on substantial evidence.' (520 U.S. at 195). Citing its ruling in Turner I, the Court reiterated that `[w]e owe Congress' findings deference in part because the institution `is far better equipped than the judiciary to `amass and evaluate the vast amounts of data' bearing upon' legislative questions,' (Id. at 195), and added that it `owe[d] Congress' findings an additional measure of deference out of respect for its authority to exercise the legislative power.' (Id. at 196).
(13) There exists substantial record evidence upon which Congress has reached its conclusion that a ban on partial-birth abortion is not required to contain a `health' exception, because the facts indicate that a partial- birth abortion is never necessary to preserve the health of a woman, poses serious risks to a woman's health, and lies outside the standard of medical care. Congress was informed by extensive hearings held during the 104th, 105th, and 107th Congresses and passed a ban on partial-birth abortion in the 104th, 105th, and 106th Congresses. These findings reflect the very informed judgment of the Congress that a partial-birth abortion is never necessary to preserve the health of a woman, poses serious risks to a woman's health, and lies outside the standard of medical care, and should, therefore, be banned.
(14) Pursuant to the testimony received during extensive legislative hearings during the 104th, 105th, and 107th Congresses, Congress finds and declares that:
(A) Partial-birth abortion poses serious risks to the health of a woman undergoing the procedure. Those risks include, among other things: an increase in a woman's risk of suffering from cervical incompetence, a result of cervical dilation making it difficult or impossible for a woman to successfully carry a subsequent pregnancy to term; an increased risk of uterine rupture, abruption, amniotic fluid embolus, and trauma to the uterus as a result of converting the child to a footling breech position, a procedure which, according to a leading obstetrics textbook, `there are very few, if any, indications for . . . other than for delivery of a second twin'; and a risk of lacerations and secondary hemorrhaging due to the doctor blindly forcing a sharp instrument into the base of the unborn child's skull while he or she is lodged in the birth canal, an act which could result in severe bleeding, brings with it the threat of shock, and could ultimately result in maternal death.
(B) There is no credible medical evidence that partial-birth abortions are safe or are safer than other abortion procedures. No controlled studies of partial-birth abortions have been conducted nor have any comparative studies been conducted to demonstrate its safety and efficacy compared to other abortion methods. Furthermore, there have been no articles published in peer- reviewed journals that establish that partial-birth abortions are superior in any way to established abortion procedures. Indeed, unlike other more commonly used abortion procedures, there are currently no medical schools that provide instruction on abortions that include the instruction in partial-birth abortions in their curriculum.
(C) A prominent medical association has concluded that partial- birth abortion is `not an accepted medical practice,' that it has `never been subject to even a minimal amount of the normal medical practice development,' that `the relative advantages and disadvantages of the procedure in specific circumstances remain unknown,' and that `there is no consensus among obstetricians about its use'. The association has further noted that partial- birth abortion is broadly disfavored by both medical experts and the public, is `ethically wrong,' and `is never the only appropriate procedure'.
(D) Neither the plaintiff in Stenberg v. Carhart, nor the experts who testified on his behalf, have identified a single circumstance during which a partial-birth abortion was necessary to preserve the health of a woman.
(E) The physician credited with developing the partial-birth abortion procedure has testified that he has never encountered a situation where a partial-birth abortion was medically necessary to achieve the desired outcome and, thus, is never medically necessary to preserve the health of a woman.
(F) A ban on the partial-birth abortion procedure will therefore advance the health interests of pregnant women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.
(G) In light of this overwhelming evidence, Congress and the States have a compelling interest in prohibiting partial-birth abortions. In addition to promoting maternal health, such a prohibition will draw a bright line that clearly distinguishes abortion and infanticide, that preserves the integrity of the medical profession, and promotes respect for human life.
(H) Based upon Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (505 U.S. 833 (1992)), a governmental interest in protecting the life of a child during the delivery process arises by virtue of the fact that during a partial-birth abortion, labor is induced and the birth process has begun. This distinction was recognized in Roe when the Court noted, without comment, that the Texas parturition statute, which prohibited one from killing a child `in a state of being born and before actual birth,' was not under attack. This interest becomes compelling as the child emerges from the maternal body. A child that is completely born is a full, legal person entitled to constitutional protections afforded a `person' under the United States Constitution. Partial-birth abortions involve the killing of a child that is in the process, in fact mere inches away from, becoming a `person'. Thus, the government has a heightened interest in protecting the life of the partially- born child.
(I) This, too, has not gone unnoticed in the medical community, where a prominent medical association has recognized that partial- birth abortions are `ethically different from other destructive abortion techniques because the fetus, normally twenty weeks or longer in gestation, is killed outside of the womb'. According to this medical association, the `partial birth' gives the fetus an autonomy which separates it from the right of the woman to choose treatments for her own body'.
(J) Partial-birth abortion also confuses the medical, legal, and ethical duties of physicians to preserve and promote life, as the physician acts directly against the physical life of a child, whom he or she had just delivered, all but the head, out of the womb, in order to end that life. Partial-birth abortion thus appropriates the terminology and techniques used by obstetricians in the delivery of living children--obstetricians who preserve and protect the life of the mother and the child--and instead uses those techniques to end the life of the partially-born child.
(K) Thus, by aborting a child in the manner that purposefully seeks to kill the child after he or she has begun the process of birth, partial- birth abortion undermines the public's perception of the appropriate role of a physician during the delivery process, and perverts a process during which life is brought into the world, in order to destroy a partially-born child.
(L) The gruesome and inhumane nature of the partial-birth abortion procedure and its disturbing similarity to the killing of a newborn infant promotes a complete disregard for infant human life that can only be countered by a prohibition of the procedure.
(M) The vast majority of babies killed during partial-birth abortions are alive until the end of the procedure. It is a medical fact, however, that unborn infants at this stage can feel pain when subjected to painful stimuli and that their perception of this pain is even more intense than that of newborn infants and older children when subjected to the same stimuli. Thus, during a partial-birth abortion procedure, the child will fully experience the pain associated with piercing his or her skull and sucking out his or her brain.
(N) Implicitly approving such a brutal and inhumane procedure by choosing not to prohibit it will further coarsen society to the humanity of not only newborns, but all vulnerable and innocent human life, making it increasingly difficult to protect such life. Thus, Congress has a compelling interest in acting--indeed it must act--to prohibit this inhumane procedure.
(O) For these reasons, Congress finds that partial-birth abortion is never medically indicated to preserve the health of the mother; is in fact unrecognized as a valid abortion procedure by the mainstream medical community; poses additional health risks to the mother; blurs the line between abortion and infanticide in the killing of a partially-born child just inches from birth; and confuses the role of the physician in childbirth and should, therefore, be banned.
SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTIONS.
(a) IN GENERAL- Title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after chapter 73 the following:
`CHAPTER 74--PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTIONS
`1531. Partial-birth abortions prohibited.
`Sec. 1531. Partial-birth abortions prohibited
`(a) Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both. This subsection does not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself. This subsection takes effect 1 day after the date of enactment of this chapter.
`(b) As used in this section--
`(1) the term `partial-birth abortion' means an abortion in which--
`(A) the person performing the abortion deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head- first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and
`(B) performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus; and
`(2) the term `physician' means a doctor of medicine or osteopathy legally authorized to practice medicine and surgery by the State in which the doctor performs such activity, or any other individual legally authorized by the State to perform abortions: Provided, however, That any individual who is not a physician or not otherwise legally authorized by the State to perform abortions, but who nevertheless directly performs a partial-birth abortion, shall be subject to the provisions of this section.
`(c)(1) The father, if married to the mother at the time she receives a partial-birth abortion procedure, and if the mother has not attained the age of 18 years at the time of the abortion, the maternal grandparents of the fetus, may in a civil action obtain appropriate relief, unless the pregnancy resulted from the plaintiff's criminal conduct or the plaintiff consented to the abortion.
`(2) Such relief shall include--
`(A) money damages for all injuries, psychological and physical, occasioned by the violation of this section; and
`(B) statutory damages equal to three times the cost of the partial-birth abortion.
`(d)(1) A defendant accused of an offense under this section may seek a hearing before the State Medical Board on whether the physician's conduct was necessary to save the life of the mother whose life was endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life- endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.
`(2) The findings on that issue are admissible on that issue at the trial of the defendant. Upon a motion of the defendant, the court shall delay the beginning of the trial for not more than 30 days to permit such a hearing to take place.
`(e) A woman upon whom a partial-birth abortion is performed may not be prosecuted under this section, for a conspiracy to violate this section, or for an offense under section 2, 3, or 4 of this title based on a violation of this section.'.
(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of chapters for part I of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 73 the following new item:
SEC. 4. SENSE OF THE SENATE CONCERNING ROE V. WADE.
(a) FINDINGS- The Senate finds that--
(1) abortion has been a legal and constitutionally protected medical procedure throughout the United States since the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)); and
(2) the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade established constitutionally based limits on the power of States to restrict the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy.
(b) SENSE OF THE SENATE- It is the sense of the Senate that--
(1) the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)) was appropriate and secures an important constitutional right; and
(2) such decision should not be overturned.
Passed the Senate March 13, 2003.
To prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion.
Bush Signs Largest Family Planning Bill In U.S. History
January 11, 2002
On Thursday, January 10, 2002, the White House reported President Bush signed the ominous $15.4 billion foreign appropriations bill, H.R. 2506, for fiscal-year 2002. The bill authorizes $446.5 million U.S. tax dollars to be given to other countries for abortion- family planning activities throughout the world. The abortion-family planning funds approved by Bush represents an increase of $21.5 million over last year for international family planning.
[end of excerpt]
U.S. Quietly OKs Fetal Stem Cell Work - Bush allows funding despite federal limits on embryo use
White House killed human-cloning ban
Although President Bush has endorsed a complete ban on human cloning sponsored by senators Sam Brownback, R.-Kan., and Mary Landrieu, D.- La., White House lobbyists contacted Republican senators June 18 to ask them to vote that morning for cloture (a closing of debate to bring a legislative question to a vote) on the Senate's terrorism insurance bill (S 2600), thus preventing an up-or-down vote on a human cloning amendment that Brownback wanted to attach to the bill. His amendment would have banned the patenting of human embryos effectively destroying any economic incentive for the experimental cloning of human beings."
TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News
KEYWORDS: abortion; bush; gop; pbaban2003; republican
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To: Uncle Bill
wholly crap! unbelievable! I did not know about the details. Just sickening...
To: Uncle Bill
IF THE HEAD IS ALMOST OUT OF THE MOTHER, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO KILL THE KID?
I never did understand why conservative politicians did not address this point.
Obviously, if you can deliver the baby to kill it, you can deliver the baby!
To: AAABEST; billbears; Victoria Delsoul; Fiddlstix; fporretto; Free Vulcan; Liberty Teeth; Loopy; ...
posted on 08/02/2003 10:53:18 PM PDT
by Sir Gawain
(Every Jedi has a semi-retarded twin -- http://www.jedimaster.net)
To: Uncle Bill
Neither party is worth a damn. I have no further loyalty to either party.
posted on 08/02/2003 10:53:31 PM PDT
"Obviously, if you can deliver the baby to kill it, you can deliver the baby!"
Exactly. Whatever happened to for the children when it really counts?
"Neither party is worth a damn. I have no further loyalty to either party."
Me either. Screw 'em. I'm sick of the betrayals.
To: Uncle Bill
Hello sir. God bless.
Hearing on The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (HR 1833)
Statement of Brenda Pratt Shafer, R.N.
Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution
Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. House of Representatives
March 21, 1996
Mr. Chairman and honorable members of the Judiciary Committee, I am Brenda Pratt Shafer. I am here before you, at the request of the Committee, to relate to you my experience as an eyewitness to what is now known as the partial-birth abortion procedure.
I am a registered nurse, licensed in the State of Ohio, with 14 years of experience. In 1993, I was employed by Kimberly Quality Care, a nursing agency in Dayton, Ohio. In September, 1993, Kimberly Quality Care asked me to accept assignment at the Women's Medical Center, which is operated by Dr. Martin Haskell. I readily accepted the assignment because I was at that time very pro-choice. I had even told my teenage daughters that if one of them ever got pregnant at a young age, I would make them get an abortion. They disagreed with me on this, and one of them even wrote an essay for a high school class that mentioned how we differed on the issue.
So, because of the strong pro-choice views that I held at that time, I thought this assignment would be no problem for me.
But I was wrong. I stood at a doctor's side as he performed the partial-birth abortion procedure-- and what I saw is branded forever on my mind.
I worked as an assistant nurse at Dr. Haskell's clinic for three days-- September 28, 29, and 30, 1993.
On the first day, we assisted in some first-trimester abortions, which is all I'd expected to be involved in. (I remember that one of the patients was a 15-year-old-girl who was having her third abortion.)
On the second day, I saw Dr. Haskell do a second-trimester procedure that is called a D & E (dilation and evacuation). He used ultrasound to examine the fetus. Then he used forceps to pull apart the baby inside the uterus, bringing it out piece by piece and piece, throwing the pieces in a pan.
Also on the first two days, we inserted laminaria to dilate the cervixes of women who were being prepared for the partial-birth abortions-- those who were past the 20 weeks point, or 4 1\2 months. (Dr. Haskell called this procedure "D & X", for dilation and extraction.) There were six or seven of these women.
On the third day, Dr. Haskell asked me to observe as he performed several of the procedures that are the subject of this hearing. Although I was in that clinic on assignment of the agency, Dr. Haskell was interested in hiring me full time, and I was being given orientation in the entire range of procedures provided at that facility.
I was present for three of these partial-birth procedures. It is the first one that I will describe to you in detail.
The mother was six months pregnant (26 1/2 weeks). A doctor told her that the baby had Down Syndrome and she decided to have an abortion. She came in the first two days to have the laminaria inserted and changed, and she cried the whole time. On the third day she came in to receive the partial-birth procedure.
Dr. Haskell brought the ultrasound in and hooked it up so that he could see the baby. On the ultrasound screen, I could see the heart beating. As Dr. Haskell watched the baby on the ultrasound screen, the baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen.
Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby's legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby's body and the arms-- everything but the head. The doctor kept the baby's head just inside the uterus.
The baby's little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors through the back of his head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall.
The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening and sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby was completely limp. I was really completely unprepared for what I was seeing. I almost threw up as I watched the doctor do these things.
Mr. Chairman, I read in the paper that President Clinton says that he is going to veto this bill. If President Clinton had been standing where I was standing at that moment, he would not veto this bill.
Dr. Haskell delivered the baby's head. He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw that baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he'd used. I saw the baby move in the pan. I asked another nurse and she said it was just "reflexes."
I have been a nurse for a long time and I have seen a lot of death-- people maimed in auto accidents, gunshot wounds, you name it. I have seen surgical procedures of every sort. But in all my professional years, I had never witnessed anything like this.
The woman wanted to see her baby, so they cleaned up the baby and put it in a blanket and handed the baby to her. She cried the whole time, and she kept saying, "I'm so sorry, please forgive me!" I was crying too. I couldn't take it. That baby boy had the most perfect angelic face I have ever seen.
I was present in the room during two more such procedures that day, but I was really in shock. I tried to pretend that I was somewhere else, to not think about what was happening. I just couldn't wait to get out of there. After I left that day, I never went back. These last two procedures, by the way, involved healthy mothers with healthy babies.
I was very much affected by what I had seen. For a long time, sometimes still, I had nightmares about what I saw in that clinic that day.
That's why, last July, I wrote a letter to Congressman Tony Hall of Dayton, in support of the bill, telling what I had seen. And that led to me being asked to tell others what I'd seen, just as I am doing here today.
Mr. Chairman, since I wrote that letter to Congressman Tony Hall, I have been subjected to some strange attacks on my credibility, and I would like to address these briefly.
Last July 12, I sat in the audience as the full Judiciary Committee debated this legislation, and I heard Congresswoman Schroeder read a letter from Dr. Haskell to the Judiciary Committee (also dated July 12) in which he said, "I have examined our records and found no evidence of a Brenda Shafer working for us during 1993."
Fortunately, I had previously provided the Constitution Subcommittee with the pertinent payroll records from Kimberly Quality Care, including their invoice to Dr. Haskell's clinic. After these documents were circulated, Congresswoman Schroeder withdrew that particular allegation, explaining it away as resulting from confusion over my married name. But it seemed peculiar to me at the time that neither she nor her staff had contacted me, or the subcommittee staff to request documentation, before she basically called me a liar in front of everybody. But there was much more of that sort of thing to come.
In his July 12 letter, Dr. Haskell said also said that my account was "inaccurate," because "she describes procedures at 26 1/2 weeks and 25 weeks... This is contrary to my own self-imposed and established limit of 24 weeks." But in recent times I've seen an article published in American Medical News for July 5, 1993-- just a few months before I worked for him-- in which Dr. Haskell said that he performs the procedure "up until about 25 weeks," which conflicts with his letter to the Judiciary Committee.
Also, in Dr. Haskell's 1992 paper describing the partial-birth procedure, "Dilation and Extraction for Late Second Trimester Abortion," which you have all seen, he wrote,
"This author routinely performs this procedure on all patients 20 through 24 weeks LMP [i.e., from last menstrual period] with certain exceptions. The author performs the procedure on selected patients 25 through 26 weeks LMP." Keep in mind that this 26 1/2 week little boy had Down syndrome, so this was a "selected patients" case.
Later, I learned another letter had been produced by Dr. Haskell's operation, dated July 17, this one signed by Christie Gallivan, a nurse. This letter was cited by opponents of the bill before and during the House and Senate floor debates, and was even entered into the Congressional Record by Senator Barbara Boxer.
In this letter, Christie Gallivan acknowledged that I had worked at the clinic for three days, but went on to claim that since I was a temporary nurse, I "would not have been present" at such a procedure-- or, then again, in the alternative, that if I did see such a procedure, then my memory must be faulty, or else that I must be deliberately "misrepresenting" what I saw.
Well, as I've said from the beginning, although I was assigned by a temporary agency, Dr. Haskell needed another surgical nurse-- I was told that he was having a hard time keeping them-- and he seemed to be interested in hiring me on a permanent basis. He wanted me to observe the procedure. Christie Gallivan was the surgical nurse and she spent those three days giving me an "orientation," as it says on the Kimberly Quality Care invoice. But what is striking to me is how blatantly inconsistent Nurse Gallivan's letter is, not only with what I saw, but with what Dr. Haskell himself has written and said elsewhere.
Christie Gallivan wrote, "Dr. Haskell does not use ultrasound in the performance of second-trimester procedures." Then she went on, regarding my account, "Therefore, her entire description of her experience with viewing the second-trimester abortion, which includes Dr. Haskell using the ultrasound while doing this procedure, is clearly questionable."
Yet, in Dr. Haskell's paper explaining how he performs the procedure, he clearly states that the surgical assistant "places an ultrasound probe on the patient's abdomen and scans the fetus, locating the lower extremities." And a little further on, referring to the forceps, he wrote, "When the instrument appears on the sonogram screen, the surgeon is able to open and close its jaws to firmly and reliably grasp a lower extremity."
So when Christie Gallivan writes that I could not have seen a baby moving, you can evaluate-that statement in the light of her other statements on these points on which there is such a clear written record. And you should notice that she never tries to explain, in this letter, why anyone should believe that these babies supposedly don't move. I've been given a copy of a transcript of the tape-recorded interview with Dr. Haskell conducted by the American Medical News in June, 1993-- only three months before my time at his clinic-- in which he explicitly acknowledged that most of these babies are alive when he pulls them out.
On November 17, I testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Kennedy asked me why it had been reported, in a nursing newsletter, that I was employed by the National Right to Life Committee. As replied, and I tell you know, I've never been a member of, or a donor to that organization, and certainly in no sense an employee.
Certainly, since last summer I have cooperated with National Right to Life in their efforts to make my experience more widely known, because I think it's important that people know the truth about this matter. But National Right to Life has not paid me for anything, and nobody else has paid me for anything in connection with this subject either, beyond reimbursing travel and accommodation expenses. By the way, the editor of the nursing newsletter subsequently retracted the erroneous claim.
Most recently, I got a copy of a letter sent to a constituent by Congresswoman Lynn Rivers of Michigan, written in longhand, in which this distinguished member of Congress claimed that I "was unwilling to testify under oath or submit herself to cross examination in front of Congress-- even though she was sitting in the hearing room while testimony was being taken."
Of course, Mr. Chairman, that is all pure fiction. By the time I heard of your bill and wrote my letter to Congressman Hall, on July 9, you had already concluded the hearing on your legislation. I was present for the July 12 markup, and spoke with various members of the committee and the press informally, but of course there was no opportunity for me to formally testify on that occasion, although I certainly would have welcomed the opportunity.
In November, when Senator Hatch invited me to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I accepted immediately and without qualification. During the question period, Senator Kyl asked me if I would be willing to testify to these things under oath and I replied, "Yes, sir, I would. Or under a lie detector or anything else I need to do." [Senate hearing record, p. 63] And I tell you the same thing.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for indulging me in unburdening myself on these points. It is been frustrating to hear, and hear of, these attacks on my truthfulness, and not be able to respond.
It is still amazing to me that certain individuals who hold high elective offices, offices for which I hold great respect, have been so willing to publicly spread this kind of blatant misinformation about me, without making the slightest effort to investigate or look at any of the documentation.
Mr. Chairman, these people who say I didn't see what I saw-- I wish they were right. I wish I hadn't seen it. But I did see it, and I will never be able to forget it. That baby boy was only inches, seconds away from being entirely born, when he was killed. What I saw done to that little boy, and to those other babies, should not be allowed in this country.
[End Of Transcript]
posted on 08/02/2003 11:14:31 PM PDT
(Pesky, hiding, blonde hair-causing a blonde moment!! Can't find it to pull it out!!)
To: Sir Gawain
Thanks for the ping, Gawain. :-(
To: Uncle Bill
We were promised a ban on partial birth abortions.
This bill bans partial birth abortions.
Therefore we have been betrayed.
posted on 08/02/2003 11:34:39 PM PDT
We cannot vote for Bush anymore! We must find someone else. He is little better than the worst with a disguise. He is like the Trojan horse for us and apparently the republicans that signed the "partial birth abortion ban" are not better. Also his roadmap to peace is a roadmap from hell. What's going on with him considering he suppose to be a Christian???
How does INTSUM translate into this?
I don't believe I am able to read the President's mind about what he is doing. But I do support most of his decisions. I believe if he supports this, it is because he believes this is the right, first step to a total ban.
I could be wrong, and this is just my opinion, but at this time I choose to trust the President I helped to put in office.
posted on 08/02/2003 11:59:09 PM PDT
(Pesky, hiding, blonde hair-causing a blonde moment!! Can't find it to pull it out!!)
Yea, this whole thread has gone over my head too. They wanted a PBA ban, they got a PBA ban, and now they are bitching that Bush didn't ban ALL late term abortions.
Hey, I want abortion banned too, but let's quit moving the goalposts. This would have never passed if it banned something other than PBA.
posted on 08/03/2003 12:07:38 AM PDT
"He is like the Trojan horse for us and apparently the republicans that signed the "partial birth abortion ban" are not better."
Given the 'close' numbers of the Congress and Senate; particularly those Repubs who are in fact Liberal by ANY other qualification. . .perhaps; this was the best we could do this year. . .
The fact is, we need more and 'better' Republicans on board to help pull the boat here and get it to 'safe harbor'.
I hope no one makes the mistake of thinking Bush et al. . .is no better than any Democrat. Give the 'new Left Democrat Party' an inch. . .and the miles we walk afterward will be truly regretable.
posted on 08/03/2003 12:18:12 AM PDT
Uncle Bill figured out a long time ago that most people are idiots, and that they will believe the dealine, and his missinformation without ever bothering to actually think for themselves.
Bill is an anarchist, his goal is to create chaos under any sort of administration.
Bush promised a ban on partial birth abortions, and it has been delivered, yet you see people in here yelling tyhat they will not vote GOP again...I want to see the sort of anti-abortion bill the Dems will pass to please these single-issue voters.
posted on 08/03/2003 12:18:59 AM PDT
by Luis Gonzalez
(Yo soy la Cuba libre.)
To: Luis Gonzalez
I applaud any sort of restriction on abortion, but I won't be happy until abortion of any sort is illegal. This bill is probably the best we're going to get for a while, though, and it's a start.
posted on 08/03/2003 12:24:47 AM PDT
Quit playing into Bill's sleight of hand, and figure out that all that text that he used to get a knee-jerk emotional reaction no longer applies as all partial birth abortions have been banned.
posted on 08/03/2003 12:28:15 AM PDT
by Luis Gonzalez
(Yo soy la Cuba libre.)
To: Uncle Bill
Who the heck are "women" that they feel their lives are more important than other lives??? If "women" feel that way, then I don't want to be any part of them!!! All human lives are valuable unless they have committed crimes so heinous that they no longer deserve the privilege G-d gave them.
posted on 08/03/2003 12:30:51 AM PDT
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