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Public Statements

Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


UNBORN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE ACT OF 2004

Mr. SANTORUM. Madam President, I thank the Senator from Ohio. If Senator Feinstein's speaker arrives, I will be happy to abbreviate my remarks to accommodate the other side of the aisle.

I wanted to congratulate Senator DeWine and Senator Graham, who have really worked hard not just on this legislation, but getting this legislation to a point where we can have an up-or-down vote, have a vote on the amendments, and let the Senate work its will. That is one of the things we have not seen done in recent weeks. We have had an opportunity here on a very important issue to have the Senate's will be done. I also congratulate Senator Frist and Senator McConnell and the Democratic leaders for allowing us to debate this issue. This is an important debate.

I think Senator Graham, who I had the privilege of listening to for a few moments, summarized it very well. The issue is, how many victims are there? Do we recognize the loss of a child in the womb, a child who is anticipated, is wanted, and whose life is very real to the mother and father and the family? When that life is taken away by a third party, do we recognize that child's existence in the law?

I don't think anyone would doubt that when a woman who has a child in the womb is attacked and injury comes to that child, another person is affected. If the child dies, that child is affected. There is something that goes on to another human being. The issue here is whether we are going to recognize that in the law. I agree with the Senator from South Carolina that it has nothing to do with abortion. It is specifically excluded from this legislation. So why do all of the abortion rights activists have a problem with this legislation?

It comes down to the very issue, do we recognize the humanity of a child in womb? How far would we go to protect this right to an abortion? Do we go so far as to even deny the existence of a child who is not subject to abortion? How far do we go to protect this right, the supreme right above all, the right to an abortion, a right that can have no restriction on it? In fact, it cannot even have a restriction that is not at all applicable to it. So, in other words, we cannot even talk about this, or some way, through some logic, attack the issue. We have to deny under every circumstance that the child in the womb is a human life. That is what this is about.

This is all about denying the humanity of the child. We just cannot contemplate that in our laws. We cannot have any admission anywhere in law that says what is inside the woman's womb is a child-when, of course, we all know that is exactly what it is. But we cannot express that legally. If we do, somehow or another, this right to abortion may be threatened down the road. Who cares about what harm we may bring? Who cares about what harm we may bring to a mother whose child is injured or what harm we may bring to the family who may lose or have an injury to a child in womb? Who cares that we cannot bring somebody who has done violence to a child in the womb to justice? All of those things are worth ignoring to protect this right that is not even at stake today.

This issue, as I have said many times, is a cancer. I thought at first it was a cancer that ate away at us in how we view the relationship between the mother and the child, but it is worse. It is a cancer that reaches in and infects even areas that have nothing to do with abortion.

We need to let common sense reign in the Senate today. The common sense is, this is a child who is loved and wanted by the mother. This is a child who, in many cases, has been given a name, such as Conner Peterson, and this is a child who deserves the dignity of recognition by our society.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has used 5 minutes.

Mr. SANTORUM. Madam President, I yield the floor.

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