• Abortion providers could face criminal charges if they allow children who have survived brutal procedure to die.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— During House business on September 18, United States Representative Marlin A. Stutzman (R-Ind.) was floored by the stubborn unwillingness of House Democrats to part ways with and defund Planned Parenthood. Stutzman’s reaction comes amidst reports exposing how depraved the organization has proven itself to be via undercover videos showing the Planned Parenthood’s involvement in selling the organs and tissues of aborted babies for profit.
“How can there possibly be two sides to this?” asked Stutzman. He was dumbfounded by the remarks of House Democrats who so brazenly defended Planned Parenthood Federation of America while invoking the Democratic party-line “pro-choice” ideology, which for over 40 years has claimed a “legal” haven for abortion on demand, based on a single U.S. Supreme Court decision in the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade case.
Critics maintain the high court read into the Constitution a nebulous, expansive “right to privacy” to “choose” whether to end the life of the unborn. More than 50 million people are not alive today due to this alleged “legality” attached to terminating childbirth.
Scores of emotional statements on both sides of the aisle were prompted by Representative Robert William “Bob” Goodlatte (R-Va.) bringing to the floor H.R. 3504, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. He noted that the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, has been investigating what the bill addresses: that in some cases babies who’ve survived attempted abortions are being passively allowed to die in the clinic just after the failed abortion or actively killed in the clinic.
AFP observed the highly charged proceedings as the only press in the House chamber.
Goodlatte clarified that abortion doctors and their staff who leave the child to die would get five years in prison under this bill and those who directly kill the still-alive child, say, with a surgical tool, could get life in prison or possibly the death penalty for first-degree murder. This by all indications represents a strengthening of existing law.
The House approved the bill 248-177 with eight legislators not voting and Representative John R. Garamendi (D-Calif.) voting “present.” The vote was strictly along party lines in the Republican-controlled House.
The eight not voting were Representatives Jeffrey Lane “Jeff” Fortenberry (R-Neb.), Stephen Lee Fincher (R-Tenn.), Ann L. Wagner (R-Mo.), Ronald James “Ron” Kind (D-Wisc.), David Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Charles Bernard “Charlie” Rangel (D-N.Y.), Charles Michael “Mike” Thompson (D-Calif.) and John K. Delaney (D-Md.). Fincher, Fortenberry and Wagner, however, were among the bill’s 98 co-sponsors.
Representative Adrian M. Smith (R-Neb.), contacted by AFP, released a statement:
“The House voted to enforce stronger criminal penalties on abortion providers who deny medical care to children who survive an abortion procedure. It is chilling to have to pass legislation in America to prevent the murder of live-born babies, but these horrors are all too real. We cannot and will not stand silently by and allow these evils to continue in our country.”
Goodlatte added that some failed abortions—involving people who survived into adulthood—have caused cerebral palsy due to oxygen deprivation at the abortion clinic. The Judiciary Committee recently interviewed some abortion survivors.
Democrats demonstrated that they are on the wrong side of this issue.
The views expressed by Representative Judy M. Chu (D-Calif.) that morning were largely representative of what the other attending Democrats had to say.
“But what this bill does is to vilify abortion providers,” Chu said, criticizing the bill’s intent to dissuade clinic doctors and staff from undertaking acts of sheer barbarism. This bill is so broad and the penalties are so severe—up to 5 years in prison—that one can only conclude that the real purpose of this bill is to intimidate abortion providers out of practice.” Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) snapped, “This bill is guerrilla warfare against Roe v. Wade,” which “would restrict women’s access to reproductive health care.”
Fellow New Yorker Jerrold Lewis “Jerry” Nadler (D) even said “thank God” for Roe v. Wade.
Goodlatte and other Republicans shot back that abortion has little to do with genuine women’s healthcare, and there are scores of other kinds of clinics across the nation that can readily provide quality women’s healthcare and collectively deserve the $450 million in government funding now given to Planned Parenthood.
Another Abortion Bill
On the same day, H.R. 3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, was approved 241-187. Another bill, this one on the Senate side, S. 1881, would terminate federal funding of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America “or its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics.” First introduced July 28, the brief Senate bill has not been acted upon by either chamber and does not state a time limitation for cutting funding.
But the House bill does. According to the Library of Congress:
“This bill prohibits, for a one-year period, the availability of federal funds for any purpose to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., or any of its affiliates or clinics, unless they certify that the affiliates and clinics will not perform, and will not provide any funds to any other entity that performs, an abortion during such period. The restriction will not apply in cases of rape or incest or where a physical condition endangers a woman’s life unless an abortion is performed.”