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Public Statements

Regarding National Media Coverage of Philadelphia Murder Trial

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ROTHFUS. Thank you.

"Troubling'' is the word for what we see happening in Philadelphia. I think if you look at what this trial is about, about 20 years ago we had a decision from our Supreme Court that basically said:

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of the human life.

I suggest that at the heart of Dr. Gosnell's trial is this understanding on the part of Dr. Gosnell that he had the liberty to define his own concept of existence and of meaning and of the universe. But that's to be juxtaposed with what our Founders described as self-evident truths, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among them are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

That concept was enshrined in our Constitution, where our Fifth Amendment provides that no person is to be deprived of life without due process of law; and, again, our 14th Amendment adds that no State shall deprive a person of life without due process of law.

As we watch this trial unfold in Philadelphia and continue to hear the daily testimony of what's happening, I think it's appropriate that we reflect on those words of the Founders and how far we've come from those days.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.


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