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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1947, Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013; and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1797, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Madam Speaker, I thank my good friend and colleague for yielding.

Madam Speaker, pain, we all dread it. We avoid it. We even fear it. And we all go to extraordinary lengths to mitigate its severity and its duration.

Madam Speaker, today, there are Kermit Gosnells all over America inflicting not only violence, cruelty, and death on very young children, but excruciating pain as well.

Many Americans, including some who self-identified as pro-choice--were shocked and dismayed by the Gosnell expose' and trial. Perhaps the decades-long culture of denial and deceptive marketing has made it difficult to see and understand a disturbing reality. Even after 40 years of abortion on demand and over 55 million dead babies and millions of wounded moms, many--until Gosnell--somehow construed abortion as victimless and painless. That has changed.

The brutality of severing the spines of defenseless babies--euphemistically called ``snipping'' by Gosnell--has finally peeled away the benign facade of a billion-dollar abortion industry.

I note parenthetically, and it may come as a shock to many, but according to the Americans United for Life Legal Defense Fund, the U.S. is among only four nations in the world that allows for abortions for any reason after viability, and one of only nine nations that allows abortions after 14 weeks. We're in some pretty bad company, Madam Speaker, because that includes China and North Korea. We are far outside the global mainstream.

I would note, Madam Speaker, that like Gosnell, abortionists all over America decapitate, they dismember, and they chemically poison babies to death each and every day. That's what they do. Americans are connecting the dots and asking whether what Gosnell did is really different than what other abortionists do. I would note to my colleagues that a D&E abortion, a common method after 14 weeks, is a gruesome, pain-filled act that literally rips and tears to pieces the body parts of a child.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is a modest but necessary attempt to at least protect babies who are 20 weeks old--and pain capable--from having to suffer and die from abortion.

I would note to my colleagues that a majority of Americans are with us trying to protect lives. According to a recent Gallup poll, 64 percent of Americans believe that abortion should not be permitted in the second 3 months of pregnancy; 80 percent say abortion should not be permitted in the last 3 months of pregnancy. The polling company found that 63 percent of women believe that abortion should not be permitted after the point where substantial medical evidence says that the unborn child can feel pain. The women get it, and they have so polled when asked if they are against this kind of pain for babies.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act recognizes the medical evidence that unborn children feel pain. We are not living in the Dark Ages. One leading expert in the field of fetal pain, Dr. Anand, at the University of Tennessee stated in his expert report, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice:

It is my opinion that the human fetus possesses the ability to experience pain from 20 weeks of gestation, if not earlier, and the pain perceived by a fetus is possibly more intense than that perceived by term newborns or older children.

Surgeons today entering the womb to perform corrective procedures, Madam Speaker, on unborn children, have seen those babies flinch, jerk, and recoil from sharp objects and incisions.

Surgeons routinely administer anesthesia to unborn children in the womb. We now know that the child ought to be treated as a patient, and there are many anomalies, many sicknesses that can be treated while the child is still in utero. When those interventions are done, anesthesia is given.

Dr. Colleen Malloy, assistant professor, Division of Neonatology at the Northwestern University, in her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in May of 2012 said:

When we speak of infants at 20 weeks post-fertilization we no longer have to rely on inferences or ultrasound imagery, because such premature patients are kicking, moving and reacting and developing right before our eyes in the neonatal intensive care unit.

In other words, there are children the same age who, in utero, can be killed by abortion who have been born and are now being given lifesaving assistance.

She went on to say:

In today's medical arena, we resuscitate patients at this age and are able to witness their ex-utero growth.

She says:

I could never imagine subjecting my tiny patients to horrific procedures such as those that involve limb detachment or cardiac injection.


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