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Public Statements

Life And The Health Care Reform Bill

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Dr. FLEMING, thank you very much for your leadership. It is so reassuring in so many ways having a distinguished medical doctor like yourself leading the fight, as you have done so ably, and to have some of our other docs who are speaking out so eloquently on behalf of the most fundamental human right of all, and that is the right to life. I find it appalling--and I know you do and our colleagues who are here tonight--that unborn children and the preciousness and the innate value of their lives is so easily cast aside by this Congress, regrettably by the abortion President, President Obama, who has systematically, since he has taken office, through policy reversal, through policy reinterpretation and through legislative proposals that he has made, including one that passed today that will force taxpayers to pay for abortion on demand in the District of Columbia. And we know when that happens, there will be more abortions, and the tragedy of that is beyond words. Young boys and girls who will never taste the sunshine, never see the light of day, never enjoy the everyday happiness, joy and challenges that all of us face. Their lives will have been snuffed out, killed in a very--as JOE PITTS just said a moment ago--a violent procedure, as you know so well as a medical doctor, of dismembering a child. I hope the American people finally at long last rip away the facade, the veil of secrecy that has so enveloped the abortion issue all of these years, whereby children are hacked to death by the abortionist, poisoned, as you know so well, with chemical poisons that effectuate the death of a fragile innocent body, a little child who wants to live and yet he's killed.

Mr. FLEMING. If I might reclaim just for a moment, if the gentleman will yield. In the late-term abortions--I've never seen one, but my understanding is that a trocar is inserted into the womb, into the skull of the baby, and the brains are sucked out, among many other things. Here we are concerned about waterboarding, and yet these kinds of techniques are done on our innocent children.

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. I would also point out that this Congress almost 4 years ago passed legislation, got 250 votes in favor of legislation that I offered, cosponsored by Mr. Pitts and many other colleagues, that basically said that unborn children feel pain. The evidence is overwhelming, at least from the 20th week on and probably before. And while this hacking maneuver, the D&E abortion is occurring, the child in that first few minutes of that gruesome, brutal decapitation--but it starts with arms and legs--suffers and feels excruciating pain. And as Dr. Sunny Anand has said, who is one of the pioneers in anesthesia for unborn children for benign reasons, surgeries and fixing children or at least helping to ameliorate spina bifida and other problems, you have to give anesthesia to these children or they feel it. Well, the abortionist has no such concerns and brutally kills the child.

Let me just say a couple of points, and again, we have got to ask the questions, and Americans really have to ask the question, why the rush to enact Mr. Obama's exceedingly expensive, complex and potentially ruinous restructuring plan without the benefit of comprehensive hearings on it and a thorough vetting of the actual bill text, rushing right to a markup before the Americans can look at it and decide what are the consequences, short, intermediate and long term to the legislation?

ObamaCare, as we now are seeing so clearly, is the greatest threat ever to the lives and the well-being of unborn children since Roe v. Wade itself legalized abortion right up to the moment of birth. We have made serious, modest but serious, attempts that have passed at the State and Federal level to mitigate abortions' reach by denying Federal funding, by putting in things like women's right-to-know laws, parental notification, waiting periods, all of which have lessened and reduced the number of abortions. All of that is at risk right now with this ObamaCare recommendation.

Despite Mr. Obama's oft-repeated statement that he wants to reduce abortion, just last week he told that to the Pope, a couple weeks before that to a big audience at Notre Dame University, and he says it over and over again. Well, words should have meaning. They should have consequences and actions should comport with those words. And in this case, they are diametrically opposed. He says one thing and does precisely the opposite.

The ugly truth is that if his so-called health care reform care bill, if enacted, will lead to millions of additional deaths to children and millions of mothers will be wounded. Even the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute has found that between 20 and 35 percent of Medicare-eligible women who would choose abortion carry their pregnancies to term when public funding is not available.

I remember when Henry Hyde was told, and it was like a revelation, the great Henry Hyde, the human rights leader, the finest orator perhaps ever in the history of this institution and the Hyde amendment author that proscribes Federal funding for abortion in the Medicaid program, when he learned that, by this extrapolation, that it was really true that millions of kids had survived because of his legislative leadership, and Jim Oberstar who was there that day and helped craft that legislation of the Hyde amendment in the 1970s, Henry Hyde had a big tear in his eye, knowing that there were kids walking all across America, now some of those kids, young adults, having their own children because the money wasn't there to facilitate their violent death.

Henry Hyde and all of us who have been part of this know that because of these efforts, uphill as they are, children will survive, and mothers will avert this irreversible decision. ObamaCare opens the spigot of public funding and does more to facilitate abortion than any action since Roe, and this is the big issue. And I hope every American realizes, despite all of the cheap sophistry that is being thrown about here, what is at the core of this is an abortion promotion and the facilitation of it and spending for it.

Despite the fact that a majority of Americans don't want to fund abortion, and every poll shows that, the Obama-Dingell-Kennedy bill will force every taxpayer and premium payer in the United States to pay for and facilitate every abortion in the country.

ObamaCare will absolutely mandate abortion on demand, even in private insurance plans, which will lead to many more abortions. On April 2, Secretary Sebelius admitted that most private plans ``do not cover abortion services except in certain instances.'' That radically changes under ObamaCare. The legislation vests new, and you have gotten into this, Doctor, new huge, sweeping powers into an Obama-appointed committee that will be crafted after the legislation is signed into law, establishing essential health benefits all plans must include.

That is the dirty little secret about this bill. They are waiting until after it is all inked and signed by the President, and then these so-called experts will say, this is what every minimum plan needs to have in it, and we have no doubt whatsoever that abortion will be in the mainstay of what they provide.

NARAL's president has said, If indeed we can advance a panel or commission, then I'm very optimistic about reproductive health being part of the entire package. In 2007, Mr. Obama told Planned Parenthood, Reproductive care is essential care, we are absolutely in favor of reproductive care. But then as Hillary Clinton said in response to a question I posed at the Foreign Affairs Committee, she said, of course, reproductive health includes access to abortion.

So they use word games to cloak and stealth it. But the bottom line is that what they are talking about is abortion on demand.

Pro-abortion organizations believe they are on the verge of the biggest expansion of abortion ever. The president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice said, Let there be no mistake, basic health care includes abortion service.

ObamaCare will also exponentially expand the number of abortion mills in this country by requiring that any insurance provider contract with essential community providers. And guess what? Planned Parenthood, which itself does over 300,000 abortions every year, a staggering loss of children's lives, many of those children are from adolescents, young minor girls who get abortions there, often without parental notification or consent, on June 17 billed itself in a media blitz as essential community health care providers.

So they will be integrated with the health care insurance companies and a number of clinics which have dwindled and gone down over the years, as well as doctors willing to commit these grizzly acts will grow because there will be a mandate from Uncle Sam, from the White House and from this Congress if this is allowed to happen.

So I just want to say to my colleagues one last thing. In the early 1980s I was the prime sponsor of the Federal funding ban under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. We had a very big floor fight in this battle. We won it. President Reagan signed it into law, and the government plan that I'm in, and I suspect all of you are in, and many government employees, if not all, but most, all of a sudden did not provide for abortions.

In the first year, when President Clinton had his Presidency, and the Democrats controlled the House and the Senate, we lost that rider in the Treasury-Postal appropriations bill. The Clinton administration swung into action and ordered all of the insurance companies to carry abortion. There was no language in the bill, no pro-life language, no pro-abortion language, no language, but that meant they could order, just like they did with the Hyde amendment under President Carter in the 1970s that necessitated the Hyde amendment in the first place.

So let me say to my colleagues on the Democratic side, and perhaps those on the Republican side who haven't really gotten it yet, if there is no language in here proscribing abortion, explicit language, it will be there. The Benefits Advisory Committee will order it, and as we have found with public funding, no language equals abortion subsidization, which leads to a significant skyrocketing of abortions in this country.

We want fewer abortions. We want to affirm life and love them both, mother and child. So I thank you, Dr. Fleming, for giving us this opportunity to hopefully alert the American people that the abortion industry is looking really, in a very quick way, in a hurry-up offense, to take the most offensive acts against children, innocent children, and with their taxpayer dollars, yours and mine.

I yield back, Dr. Fleming.

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Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Let me just make a couple of points, Doctor. The abortion industry is seeking a bailout. This is the abortion bailout bill and it needs to be seen as that. The number of abortions are going down because of ultrasound and because of educational efforts. This would mandate private insurers to cover abortion--and public as well--expand venues, the killing centers, to do abortions.

But there's something that I would like your take on. The former director of the National Abortion Federation has said that the number of abortions are going down, also, because there are physicians who either can't or won't perform this, quote, essential service in her view. The American Medical News reported that abortion is a matter of choice in this country, not only for women but for physicians as well. All over the country most physicians are choosing not to do it. The San Francisco Chronicle has said those who run abortion clinics, even in large cities, say that recruiting doctors is now their most serious problem. To which we say, thank God that doctors are doing what the Hippocratic oath has told them and admonished them to do.

I would like your take on that.

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