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Court Security Improvement Act Of 2007--Motion To Proceed--Resumed

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

COURT SECURITY IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2007--MOTION TO PROCEED--Resumed -- (Senate - April 18, 2007)


Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, I rise today with great hope in my heart that a step was taken forward on human dignity today. Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the partial-birth abortion ban passed by Congress in 2003, and I applaud the Court for this decision.

As many of my colleagues know, partial-birth abortion is one of the most heinous and grotesque forms of abortion. Science has shown that after 20 weeks, unborn children do indeed feel pain. Imagine the pain a prenatal baby feels as it is so savagely destroyed in the latter part of the pregnancy. It is incomprehensible that we should allow such a procedure to continue in our Nation, and I am thankful--I am thankful--the Congress passed this important ban, that President Bush signed it into law, and now the Supreme Court has upheld this in the face of a challenge. I think this is an important day for human dignity, that we are starting to recognize the dignity of everybody at all stages.

We had a big debate on the Senate floor last week about stem cells and whether we should destroy the youngest of human lives for research purposes. I don't think we should. We should extend dignity. But certainly we should extend dignity to a child who is very well developed in the womb and who is being aborted feeling great pain, the child itself. We should show dignity for that life. The Court is starting to express the fundamental right to life and the dignity of each life in the country, and what a great message to our Nation, what a great message to our world for us to have that.

The majority decision of the Court, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, recognizes that partial-birth abortion is not medically necessary. Far from it. Both mother and child deserve far better than abortion, particularly such an invasive, barbaric procedure as partial-birth abortion.

I am pleased that the Court states in its opinion:

It is, however, precisely this lack of information concerning the way in which the fetus will be killed that is of legitimate concern to the State.

Citing Casey, the father of the Presiding Officer, supra, at 873, it states:

States are free to enact laws to provide a reasonable framework for a woman to make a decision that has such profound and lasting meaning.

The State has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed. It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know: that she allowed a doctor to pierce the skull--

Of a child, her child--

and vacuum the fast developing brain of her unborn child .....

The child is human and in her womb.

I repeat, today's decision by the Supreme Court puts hope in our hearts. Americans understand that life is a precious gift and worthy of respect and protection. Indeed, this deep belief is at the very root of our Nation's founding--of our Constitution. I believe our laws and the precedents of our courts ought to reflect this culture of respect for human life and human dignity at all stages, in all places; that every human life is precious, it is unique, it is sacred, and it is a child of a loving God. It applies to the child in the womb at whatever stage its development. It applies to a child in poverty. It applies to a child in Darfur. It is pro-life and it is whole-life, beginning to end, and that is as it should be.

I am delighted that the Supreme Court is moving forward to see the expression of life in the Constitution. I hope that someday we will see all life respected at all stages and protected in this land and around the world.


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