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tv   Gloria Steinem Lawmakers Testify on Abortion Laws - Part 2  CSPAN  October 6, 2021 4:50am-8:59am EDT

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[animal banks -- [gavel banks] now i would like to introduce our second panel of witnesses. laura steinem, who is a longtime feminist, who has dedicated her life to protecting women's
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rights. she brings a unique perspective, having worked for, voted for choice and advocated for the right to an abortion even before the roe v. wade decision. -- gloria steinem. then we will hear from melissa murray, a professor of law at new york university. next, we will hear from dr. is about -- dr. isabel skop, a texas-based ob/gyn. next, we will hear from loretta ross, cofounder of the reproductive justice movement and associate professor of the study of women and gender at smith college. next, we will hear from dr. ghaz aleh moayedi, who was also a texas-based ob/gyn and is a board member for positions for
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reproductive health. finally, we will hear from maleeha aziz, a community organizer with the texas equal access fund. please raise your right hand. do you swear or affirm the testimony you are about to give us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> i swear. chair maloney: let the witnesses show, the -- let the record show the witnesses answered in the affirmative. with that, ms. gloria steinem, you are recognized for your testimony. ms. steinem: thank you so much for inviting me to be here today. i accepted this invitation because i felt i'm one of the few people old enough to remember how bad it was when
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abortion was illegal. that's why what is happening in texas is not only a local issue or a women's issue, it is a step against democracy, which allows us to control your own bodies and our own voices. remember when hitler's was elected -- when hitler was elected -- and he was elected -- his first official act was to padlock family planning clinics and declare abortion a crime. mussolini did exactly the same thing. because they knew that controlling reproduction and nationalizing women's bodies is the first step in a controlling state -- in an all-controlling state. the huge majority of american women stand for democracy and in opposition to texas senate bill
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eight. we do not want to have our bodies nationalized. otherwise, we will be very close to turning back the clock to the days of the 1950's when one in three women had an illegal and a dangerous abortion. what were those days like? well, i was there, and i can tell you, as many older women can, they were filled with danger for women and guilt for both women and men. it was a time when one in three or four women needed an abortion at some time in their lives, and so had to enter into a criminal underground without even the most basic medical safeguards or protections from sexual exploitation by the doctors themselves. in the 1950's, i lived this
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situation, which was also true in england. i was working as a waitress in london on my way to india. i had left an engagement to a very nice man here at home, who i knew -- we both knew, i think, that marriage would not be the right thing for us, and i was awaiting a visa for that trip to india. that was to be my embrace of a different life, yet i also realized i was pregnant. after what seemed to be an eternity of confusion and fear, i found an english doctor who was willing to help me by using a loophole in the law that allowed an abortion if he signed a statement saying the pregnancy was dangerous to my physical or mental health, and he said to me, but you must promise me two things -- you must never tell
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anyone my name, and you must do what you want to do with your life. i'm sure that man is no longer with us and has not been for many years, yet i'm grateful to him to this day, and i dedicated a book to him. now in this country, so many want to declare a fertilized egg to be a legal person. the -- thus not only criminalizing abortion, but nationalizing women's bodies throughout our child-bearing years by establishing a direct relationship between the government and a fertilized egg. indeed, the laws already in existence deprived poor women who must depend on the government for health care, young women without parental or judicial permission, and even women in the u.s. military, all deprived of the reproductive
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rights available to other women. many of them are already the victims of illegal and unsafe abortions that have become their only recourse. in the 1950's, the fact that i could be helped was all that was significant. i could not have the same safe and legal abortion if i stayed in the united states where draconian antiabortion laws, like those now threatened again, were causing even more deaths than in england. even so, i could afford to find a way out, and most women could not. i remember women who died from septic abortions. i remember children who were left motherless by women who simply wanted to have no more children than they could afford to care for. already, the antiabortion right
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wing has created such martyrs as rosie him and is who died in 1977, the first of many women to be killed by the hyde amendment -- such martyrs as rosie him and as -- rosie jiminez. standing up for reproductive justice in texas is not only standing up for women, it is very simply standing up for democracy. without decision-making power over our own bodies, there is no democracy. we cannot, we must not nationalize women's bodies. we must let each woman make this decision for herself. thank you.
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chair maloney: thank you. professor murray, you're not recognized for your testimony. professor murray: thank you. i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you. i envy -- i am a professor of law at new york university school of law where i teach constitutional law, family law, and reproductive rights and justice. prior to my appointment at nyu, i was professor of law at the university of california berkeley, where i taught for 12 years and served as faculty director at the berkeley center of reproductive rights and justice and interim dean of the law school. in 1973, the united states supreme court recognized that the 14th amendment guarantee of liberty protects a woman's right to determine whether to bear or
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beget a child. the supreme court has consistently affirmed the right of abortion as consistent with the constitution's guarantee of life and liberty. states may not ban abortion before viability or enact ways that are unduly burdensome. they cannot place a substantial obstacle in the path of a person seeking abortion. still, despite this president, state legislatures have continued to pass the constitution's limit by enacting increasingly restrictive abortion laws. in the previous decade, the antiabortion movement sought to legislate abortion out of existence. the goal was to gut the undue burden standard so the ride was essentially meaningless, but changes in the composition of the united states supreme court and lower federal court have emboldened state legislatures to pursue an even more aggressive and extreme agenda, flouting the
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limits of the supreme court. those responsible for those laws have made their intentions clear -- no longer content to chip away at the abortion rights, these recent laws are an obvious product designed to litigate and timidly overturn roe v. wade, and now they have their chance, and they are fully embracing it. in december, the supreme court will hear dogs versus the jackson women health organization, a challenge to a mississippi law which bans abortion after 15 weeks, in defiance of long-standing constitutional precedent that prohibits states from banning abortion before viability. mississippi not only entreats the court to uphold this unconstitutional ban but explicitly invites the court to overturn roe v. wade and planned parenthood versus casey. the supreme court's recent treatment of a petition
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involving texas' flagrantly unconstitutional abortion law suggests the court may well be amenable to this process. noting procedural irregularities, five justices set aside nearly five decades worth of precedent, allowing sb eight's six-we ban to take effect. today marks the 30th day that people in texas have woken up with fewer constitutional rights than the rest of the country. no matter what the court does moving forward, we will not be able to erase how its actions failed texas women and our constitutional. roe is deeply woven into our country's fabric. people have firmly supported the fundamental right to abortion for decades and have relied on ro's protections in their lives. if the court tugs at the threat that undergirds ro, the impact would not be limited to abortion
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rights. this legal unraveling would implicate a range of rights that, like ro, rest on constitutional protections for liberty and equality. the right to marry a person of one's choice, the right of parents to raise their children in the manner of their choosing, the right to procreate -- if ro falls, it would endanger all of these rights as well. it would also put at serious risk our country's notion of the rule of law, the legitimacy of the judiciary, and the principle of deference to long-standing precedent. in conclusion, i hope that as you consider protecting the right, you will keep in mind those who are most harmed by this law. thank you. chair maloney: thank you. dr. skop, you are now
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recognized for your testimony. we cannot hear you. speak up. your microphone on. dr. skop: i'm dr. ingrid skop, a board-certified ob/gyn from san antonio. i have delivered over 5000 babies in each of these children has made a tremendous impact on the lives of the people surrounding them. also, many were not intentionally conceived. the texas heart act has reminded us of an inconvenient fact -- a month after conception, a fetus develops a heartbeat, which is universally recognized as a sign of life. the supreme court contended it could not resolve the difficult question of if this is a life. today, we cannot plead ignorance. we have all seen ultrasounds, pictures of the unborn
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demonstrating their just like us only smaller and in more need of care. the abortion debate has been obscured by euphemisms that allow us to mask the horror of the actions. we have created a class of humans considered unworthy of life on their own merits, valuable only if someone else desires them. this is the definition of genocide. we need to re-examine this as a scientific and human rights issue, not through the lens of political partisanship or social engineering. the women's health protection act seeks to codify roe, which allows abortion at any time in pregnancy if it can be justified as benefiting the health of a woman. health is broadly defined as physical, mental, encompassing almost every stated reason for abortion. this legislation will hurt, not protect women because maternal mortality is 76 times higher
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after an abortion at five months as compared to two. researchers affiliated with the abortion industry have ignored those limitations in the u.s. data collection, publishing papers reassuring us that abortion is very safe, but better quality, international studies demonstrate frequent complications after abortion. we did not believe the tobacco industry when it told us that her product was safe. shouldn't we be skeptical of similar claims from the abortion industry? about 86,000 abortions occur yearly after the first trimester when the unborn human might feel pain and about 11,000 occur after it can survive separated from its mother. where only -- one of only seven countries worldwide that will allow an elective abortion after viability, even though 2/3 of americans support restrictions after the first trimester. in abortion could cause uterine damage or incomplete tissue removal leading to hemorrhage,
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infection, and even death. i will never forget a young hispanic mother clinging to my hand in the icu pleading with me not to let her die as her body succumbed to overwhelming sepsis from a late-term abortion. subsequent pregnancies are also at risk. internal uterine damage can lead to placental damage. it can lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and even suicide. surely we can acknowledge that not every woman will and if it from this decision. i have seen many women coerced into abortion. a young black patient carefully recalled how her mother forced her to undergo an abortion at five months. pregnant again, her boyfriend told her she could not return home until she ended her pregnancy. she strongly desired to deliver her children. does she have a choice? children born to unmarried mothers have increased since ro
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and this number reaches 67% in the black community. the narrative of her body, her choice has led many men to believe that decision to bear a child is up to women alone, causing them to neglect their response abilities as fathers. i am also the medical director of 4 pregnancy centers in texas, providing free ultrasounds, sti treatments, and mental health care. in austin, the clinic provides full health care including contraception and counseling to promote strong relationships and healthy sexual behavior. abortion is not a choice to be celebrated but a decision to be grieved. children are not a burden to be disposed of, but a beautiful addition to the life of a family and society. our heroes are people who persevere in adversity. bearing and raising children is
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not easy, but without this important work, a society cannot endure. let us give motherhood the support and respect it deserves and stop promoting the destruction of innocent human lives. thank you. chair maloney: thank you. ms. ross, you are now recognized for your testimony. please unmute, ms. ross. ms. ross: thank you for inviting me and hearing me out today. i don't have written testimony because i feel the need to speak from my heart because my story disproves many of the theories that abortion opponents like to talk about. in 1968, i was pregnant in texas at 14 years old through and zest from a married cousin who was 27
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years old, who instead of babysitting me thought it was a good idea to get me drunk so he could have sex with me. in 1968, i did not have any options. my only choice was whether to have that baby and give him up for adoption, but i found that once i had my child, i could not go through with the adoption. it is not as easy as people try to say it is, so for the next 30 years, i ended up coparenting with my rapist, and although i seriously love my son, i hated his circumstances, and that complicated what my child should have received -- unconditional love from his mother. as he grew up and grew to resemble his father, it was always there, what had happened to me. i was lucky enough two years later to receive a full
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scholarship to major in chemistry and physics. when i became pregnant while at howard university, i was also lucky enough to be able to access a legal and safe abortion to washington hospital center, and that abortion kept me from becoming a teen mother with three children -- because i was pregnant with twins at the age of 16. i did not have any choice to have sex or to have a child, and it was so hard to raise a child born of rape and incensed, so i really don't think it should be more difficult 53 years later for a child in texas than it was for me in 1968. i really don't think so. now i'm wondering, is it a matter of people that don't know
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our story, or is it that they don't care? because 50 years of telling our stories does not seem to have changed the hard heart of people who have not been through what we have been through, and i'm wondering -- what does it take? in 1994, because of what i had been through, i was one of 12 black women who created the theory of reproductive justice. because we needed more than what either the pro-choice or pro-life movement offered us, which is the right to have the children that we want to have, the right not to have the children that we don't want to have, but most importantly, the right to raise those children in safe and healthy environments because nobody focuses as much as we need on what happens to
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the children once they are born, so we have used this framework. we have popularized it around the country. i am so honored and privileged to be able to tell my story, but i wonder if merely telling my story and all of our stories is enough because if you don't care, i don't know what it takes to reach your heart, but i can tell you, that theory of rape and incensed, just have the baby and give them up for adoption and accept that your life will be forever changed -- if you have not lived that life, then i wonder if you really know what you're talking about, and i was very glad that i had both my son, but i also had a choice two years later, if i would become a mother of three children and
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sabotage the rest of my life, but mostly not be able to provide for the child i already had because he became the most important thing to me, and i celebrate his life by the fact that i had choices. dank yell -- thank y'all for listening to me. i want y'all to talk about what it is really like for people who don't have choices, who live in texas who should not have to go through what i went through in san antonio. thank you. chair maloney: thank you, professor ross. thank you, and dr. --ms. moayedi, you are recognized. dr. moayedi: thank you. i want to describe how different
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abortion care looks in different parts of our country. i am a licensed physician who has practiced in both hawaii and texas, providing expert abortion care, and although i and the same physician with the same expert skills and training, i am compelled by texas to provide substandard care to patients in dallas compared to honolulu. imagine a 35-year-old american citizen 18 weeks pregnant working a minimum wage job and living in dallas. she is seeking an abortion prior to sb eight even being enacted. she, like most people who have abortions, is already a parent and restless in her decision. although she is confident and informed about her decision, she is forced to endure multiple harmful restrictions. first, texas has a law that requires abortion after 16 weeks to be provided in an ambulatory surgical center, a requirement that has been proven to be
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medically unnecessary and does nothing to improve quality or safety. by contrast, hawaii has no such law restricting work abortion care can be provided. if murray were able to make an appointment at one of our two surgical centers in dallas, she could not have her abortion that day. by texas law, she must make an appointment to see me, a physician, in advance of her procedure. as her physician, and then compelled to force her into a medically unnecessary ultrasound. i'm compelled to force her to look at and listen to the ultrasound. i'm compelled to force her to share a description of the ultrasound. i'm compelled to force her to hear medically inaccurate state-mandated scripts. after all of this, she still cannot have her abortion. she must return 24 hours later because i'm compelled to force her to wait, even though it is medically unnecessary and goes against my better judgment as a physician.
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and if one of my colleagues is providing care the next day instead of me, she must wait even longer because texas forces people to have an abortion from the same physician that provided their ultrasound. in honolulu, she could call my office for an appointment in the morning and be going home in the afternoon. to add insult to injury, medicaid and private insurance are barred from covering abortion in texas. in hawaii, unless she is a member of the military or federal employee, her health insurance or medicaid would cover her cost. if she were living in hawaii, she would not have to forgo food or rent or childcare to access her abortion. in texas, she will. today, she cannot even get her abortion in dallas. the next closest clinic is oklahoma city, which had a one-month waiting list for appointments in the week prior to sb8 going into effect.
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now we are moving in concentric circles, further and further away from her home and further and further away from hope. this is exactly what sb8 intends to do and this is where we are today -- abortion care has almost completely stopped in our state. only a small fraction of patients are able to get the care they need in texas. clinics are working tirelessly to care for everyone they can within the limit and working with abortion funds to get everyone else out of the state for care. we know not everyone will be able to leave the state. the impact of this law is devastating. it is terrifying, not only for people with undesired pregnancies seeking abortion care, but for anyone with a highly desired pregnancy who has pregnancy complications. the consequences are far-reaching. health care providers are confused. my colleagues are asking if they are still allowed to treat and
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topic pregnancy or miscarriage. they are worried they will have to delay lifesaving care for people who are very sick. they are worried about all of the possible chronic conditions that can worsen in pregnancy but not worsen enough to warrant an exception under this law. sb8 has not only caused a near total abortion ban in texas, it has made it extremely dangerous to be pregnant in texas. where our fraternal morbidity and the tally rate is already unconscionably high, especially for black women and pregnant people of color, texas deserves better. i know firsthand that abortion saves lives. for the thousands of people i have cared for, abortion is a blessing. abortion is an act of love. abortion is freedom. we need federal protection now. we need laws that elevate science and evidence and recognize the autonomy of people accessing care. the women's health protection act is an important and critical
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step not enough. we need legislation that will protect pregnant people and birthing people in all their decisions so they can live their healthiest lives, but most of all, we need you to not forget about us, the people in texas and other restrictive states who are trying our best to care for ourselves, for our families, and our communities amid efforts to completely control our bodies and lives. thank you. chair maloney: thank you. ms. aziz, you're recognized for five minutes. ms. aziz: i want to begin by thanking congresswomen lee, jayapal, and bush for sharing their abortion stories last night and in the panel prior to this one. i am a mother, a survivor of sexual assault, a proud abortion
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storyteller, and a community organizer for the texas equal access fund. before sb8 officially became law, things were already dismal, but now they have become a nightmare. abortion funds have been working around the clock to help people access abortions with funding assistance, travel support, and more. abortion funds exist to counter the discriminatory, classist, and racist restrictions on abortion like the hyde amendment and sb8. the authors of sb8 and the people supporting this discriminatory and despicable law have made it abundantly clear that they do not care about our physical and emotional well-being. they are only interested in controlling our bodies. as a survivor, i know the feeling all too well, and it fills me with rage. i remember feeling helpless and disgusted by my own body for a
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very long time. sometimes i still do. and i'm so thankful that i did not become pregnant by my rapist. i'm angry that we survivors must publicly share our trauma to make legislators realize the depravity of these laws. at the texas equal access fund, we hear from people all over texas who need support. we hear panicked and anxious calls from clients who are terrified they will be forced to remain pregnant. over 80% of our clients learn about their pregnancy after eight weeks gestation. that's two weeks beyond the limit imposed by sb8, forcing them to travel out of state for care. texas does not guarantee paid sick leave. that means those who call for support are not able to earn a wage if they miss work for a multi-day medical appointment. i can relate to what our clients
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are going through. nearly eight years ago, i needed an abortion, too. i was a recent immigrant to the united states from pakistan. i was a college student navigating a new country, culture, and legal system. after affording housing and food, i did not have a lot of money left over. like many people searching for abortion clinics and needing an ultrasound, i ended up in a clinic known as a crisis medical center. the staff were not licensed medical professionals, and christian imagery was all over the walls. i'm muslim and uncomfortably and viewed through a christian lens. they told me texas band abortion because it was so dangerous. i panic. thankfully, a supportive family member covered the cost of my abortion and all the travel-related expenses that i could not afford. my partner and i took the next flight to colorado springs where i had my abortion.
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i still remember the horrible and vile insults strangers yelled at me as i walked into the clinic, which i had to endure twice because i had to wait 24 hours before i could have my abortion. i am eternally grateful my provider ease my anxiety and calmly reminded me that i knew what was best for my body. my friends and family stayed with me for a few days. i dealt so cared for and loved, the way everyone should feel when they are ill or having an abortion. my procedure, pain medications, flight, hotel, and transportation costs -- nearly $2000. with federal policies like the hyde amendment and state laws that ban private insurance from covering abortion procedures, we are left to pay for all these costs out-of-pocket despite having health insurance. a year after the birth of my daughter, i recognized the
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symptoms a severe pregnancy issue i have experience with all my pregnancies. i was physically unable to care for or spend time with the baby i chose to have, and it broke my spirit. my husband's active-duty military and lives 4 hours away during the week. we decided that an abortion was the best decision for our family. the love i have for maia, my daughter, made my second abortion the easiest decision that i have ever made, and this time, i knew abortions were both legal and safe in texas. my abortion helped me create my family i have now, and for that, i will forever be grateful. doing so also made me a better mother because i chose motherhood on my terms. i welcomed it with open arms. members of congress, i sit here before you today to ask you to show up for those of us who have had abortions and provide
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abortions. no one should be afraid of seeking health care. no one should be criminally punished for wanting to end their pregnancy, and no one should hear asking a loved one for support in a time of need. everyone loves someone who has had an abortion. i hope that you listen to my story and the stories of countless others. the actions that you take impact your decision and loved ones who have had an abortion. thank you for listening. chair maloney: thank you. i thank all the panelists. i now recognize myself for five minutes for questions. since i have been in congress, we have never had pro-choice majorities until this year. now we have a pro-choice majority in both chambers, including more than 100 democratic women. the american people are solidly on the side of choice with four
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in five people supporting legal abortion. despite this strong support for abortion rights, right now, anti-choice state legislators are trying to bulldoze the right to abortion right into the ground, and we cannot let that happen. thank you for being here today. you spoke about your own abortion. in the early 1970's, before roe v. wade, you pioneered the fight for reproductive rights, but what is happening today puts these five decades of progress at risk. ms. steinem, since roe v. wade, has the right to abortion ever been under greater risk than it is now? than it is today?
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you need to unmute, ms. steinem. ms. steinem: i do not remember any time of greater risk, and i'm sorry to say that i believe it is also connected to a racial bias in this country because we are at a point when we are about to become a majority people of color country, which seems to me a great event in a way. we are going to have better relationships with other countries in the world, understand differences better, but i think there is a profoundly racist resistance to the continuation of the right to safe and legal abortion, and we see that in the nature of the
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resistors and the nature of their politics. it is absolutely fundamental that we control our own bodies. there is no democracy without that. we are fighting for their very basis of democracy. chair maloney: thank you. professor murray, one of the most extreme abortion bands -- bans in history took effect after the supreme court refused to block it. this december, the supreme court will hear oral arguments in a case examining mississippi's 15-week abortion ban. this is a direct challenge to roe v. wade, which establishes the constitutional right to abortion. how real is the possibility that roe will fall in the coming months, and what will happen on the state level if it does? professor murray: thank you for
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the question. i think it is clear given the supreme court's action in the order that there is certainly a majority of the court that is receptive to the process of overruling roe, and the question has been presented by mississippi in a brief before the court. regardless of what the court does, it could overrule roe entirely. it could remove viability as a salient marker in the court's jurisprudence, but the bottom line is the same. reproductive rights across the country will be imperiled. if roe is overruled, that would return power to the states and the country will be a patchwork of unequal access, and that will have profound implications for poor women, women of color, lgbt women, women who live in rural areas.
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it the supreme court saves roe, what we will have is a right to abortion in which states will begin to pass ever more restrictive laws and cuts where a 12-week ban is permissible, a six-week ban is permissible. coming back to sb8, the fact that we are considering a six-week ban, we need to consider what is reasonable in terms of abortion restrictions. chair maloney: thank you. professor ross, you are one of the original rounders of the reproductive justice movement. if roe falls, what will it mean for those seeking care, particularly those for whom care is out of reach? >> what it means is we will face what i
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face when i was a teenager. they deemed it not safe to get an abortion. instead, they stuck me in a home for unwed mothers. a lot of people think that because i kept my son born of rape and incense, that that is why abortion should be illegal or outlawed, but just because i love my child does not mean i wanted to be raped to have him. i think it will be hard on women in texas, but i have to say, if grassroots reproductive justice activists who believe that abortion is a human right, we will do whatever is necessary to save women's lives. we are going to have every means
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at our disposal to make sure women do not die because people do not care, but we care. chair maloney: thank you all for being here today. the gentleman from texas, mr. cloud, is now recognized. representative cloud: thank you, chair. the toughest discussions we have up here are the ones where the emotions of people seem to be in deep conflict. our declaration of independence talked about the inalienable rights that we have as people, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and it is important that our founders recognize that these rights --
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they are not a grant from government, but they were a gift from god. they preceded our government, and therefore, we do not have a right as a government to limit them. when we look at that, we realize that we cannot have liberty, we cannot have pursuit of happiness without the right to life. roe v. wade was decided in 1973, and, of course, much has changed in the last nearly 50 years. we know a whole lot more than we did then. nearly 50 years of scientific advancement have revealed the amazing miracle of a child. i asked my mother if she had an ultrasound picture of me, and she said no, and that is pretty common for anyone who was born when i was born, right around the time roe v. wade was decided. ultrasounds were not very common. there was not much we knew about what was going on, but much has happened and said then. we have ultrasounds now or we
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can see facial features. we can see a child smile, we can see them react to external stimulus and express emotion. we know a child's heart beat can be detected as early as six weeks. in the early 1970's when roe v. wade was being discussed, abortion advocates understood it as an appendage of sorts, but now we understand so, so much more about it. according to the american college of pediatricians and the association of american physicians and surgeons, they said this -- we now know that the unborn child is a living human being rapidly developing from the moment of conception and capable of feeling pain long before viability. even in the pre-viability period, the child's heartbeat, the child can express himself or herself through other actions and respond to other actions outside the home. in short, as basic embryology
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textbooks now teach, life begins at conception to the -- to the surprise of nobody in the medical profession. dr. skop, can you speak to the development of a child who has not been born yet? is it fair to consider this an issue? dr. skop: we now know so much. some people want to call it fetal cardiac activity instead of a heartbeat. blood vessels exist from about the 16th day after conception. the fetal blood cells are actually already in place by about 21 days when that heartbeat -- when the electrical activity that generates the heartbeat is in place, so the whole system is there and running that early, within just a few weeks.
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we can see facial features. we can see arms, legs. by nine to 10 weeks, the baby has fingerprints and fingernails. at 10 weeks, ultrasound tells us if that baby is going to be left or right-handed. we can see a strong preference for sucking one over the other, and this all happens in the first trimester. it is beautiful, and widely available to every american to look on youtube and to see how much they look like us at such an early gestational age. representative cloud: what >> for a long time, researchers in the field thought it was necessary to have a completely formed cerebral cortex to feel pain. we now know that the sensory
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receptors again at seven weeks, that the spinal reflex arc, which allows withdrawal begins at 10 weeks. a fetus at about 16 weeks is undergoing amniocentesis and is excellently stuck with a needle will do all the things we would do if we experienced pain. it will withdraw from the pain sensation, it's heart rate will go up, it will release stress hormones. by 20 weeks, the lower part of the brain is fully functional and connected to the extremities. experiments in infants who don't have complete development of the cerebral cortex show that they show pain, we can see it on their faces. with when fetal surgery is performed as young as 18 weeks, the anesthesiologist always treats the fetus as a separate patient.
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he does not just give anesthesia to the mother, he gives it directed to the fetus to help that fetus not feel pain during surgery. by the time of viability at around 22 weeks, we know that unborn human being feels pain, there has never been an abortion procedure used at that stage has got to result in excruciating pain to a member of our species. >> the gentleman's time is expired. ms. norton now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair, for this compelling hearing. before i get to my main questions for the witnesses, i want to point out how uniquely vulnerable the reproductive
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rights of the women i represent in the district of columbia are, at least until statehood. congress has control over the district's local affairs. currently, congress prohibits the district from spending its own funds on abortion services for low income women, including -- even though if teen states use their own funds for this purpose -- 15 states use their own funds for this purpose. if the supreme court overturns row -- roe, congress could prohibit abortion in the district. for 50 years, the supreme court has upheld the right to abortion care. still, many states have sought
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to undermine this constitutional right, including by enacting trigger bands. -- trigger bans, which would take in effect in the result roe falls. 24 states would likely take action to ban abortion, that includes 30 states were so-called trigger bans have been enacted, meaning abortion would be immediately outlawed if roe were overturned. can you explain how these trigger bands work and what that would mean for abortion access in these 11 states? >> trigger bans are already
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passed in these states. in the event roe is overturned, abortion would immediately be outlawed. it would turn the united states into an abortion free zone and women who live in those states into refugees -- reproductive refugees. we have been discussing the refugee crisis at the southern border, we will be helping a different kind of refugee crisis within our country. >> thank you. professor ross, you are one of the founding thought readers of the reproductive justice movement, which has broadened our understanding of how abortion restrictions disproportionately harm certain
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communities. how would banning abortion further entrench long-standing health inequities, particularly for communities of color? >> thank you for the question. as we find out from covid, people who already had in adequate health care, who already had limited life choices, their lives are now made worse when they have to deal with an unexpected health crisis, particularly an unplanned pregnancy. for black women, latina women, indigenous women, disabled people, people who were already marginalized and underserved by the existing health care system, will find their lives made worse. they will find they have fewer options and have to go through
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more extraordinary hardships to take care of the children they already have, to try to find or keep a job if they are already marginalized. i find that people will be desperate when they have to choose between paying rent or buying food or getting an abortion or taking care of the children they have. we as mothers, do whatever is necessary to take care of our children. sometimes, i remember with my own child, going without food so my baby could eat. things are not the same, people are asking us to dive deeper into. i don't even know why 50 years later i am fighting against human rights violators. i don't know why, but i continue to do so. >> thank you, very much. my time is expired.
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>> the gentle lady leads -- yields back. >> once again, we find ourselves on this committee, dealing with issues that we have no jurisdiction to associate ourselves with. today, the democrats are trying to convince us abortion is a constitutional right, which arguably, you've got about as much constitutional right to kill an unborn baby as you do your neighbor. it is the preamble of our constitution that states clearly that the purpose of our constitution is to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, which are those that are not yet born, certainly not the intent of the constitution to kill the unborn and our posterity, but to secure the blessings of liberty for them. yet here we are again, madam
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chair, we have time and again written letters and made requests for oversight of the executive branch. we have serious issues in this country that we have not been able to have hearings on come up from the southern border or we have covid coming across, drugs, human trafficking, criminals, terrorists and who knows what else, still no hearings to address those issues. inflation, on and on, and less we deal with the disastrous decisions of this renda's -- and failures of this horrendous administration, here we are dealing with abortion, as a pastor i have dealt with this for over 25 years. i'm unapologetically pro-life, i have spoken, marched, prayed on
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this issue for decades. i appreciate my colleagues -- calling for her and credible testimony this morning. i was shocked last week as my colleagues on the others of the outvoted voted against the protection of the baby born alive from a botched abortion. yet we are told the baby is somehow the mother's body. i wonder if that baby lying on the table there is considered the woman's body, and if it is ok to kill that baby? my colleagues voted in that direction last week. i have seen over and over, i have prayed with and ministered to women who are suffering emotionally and physically with the results of abortion. i believe this needs to be a major topic. our federal government should not be in the business of expanding abortions, but
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limiting it. from that, dr. skop i want to thank you for being here, your testimony was incredible. your professional insight, opinion, perspective, is it correct to refer to the baby in the womb as the woman's body? >> thank you, congressman. the baby has its own jim -- genetic makeup, half of which comes from his mother and have from his father. he is dependent on his mother, yet dependency should not be a criteria of who has the right to life -- to live and who may be killed. a newborn infant clearly is dependent. human beings are very dependent for the early part of life, unlike many animals, we need our mothers to care for us, to bring us to birth, and to care for us
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afterwards. clearly, though in the body, he is no more a part of the woman's body than a car in the garage is a feature of the garage. >> dependency, it isn't like saying if a toddler fell and swimming pool, it is dependent upon someone else to save it, it is not of value and let it drown. we could go down that path, dependency is not the issue, it is a separate individual in the womb, can you tell some a women die each year from abortion procedure complications, do you have any idea? >> i cannot tell you that. our country has very poor data on deaths related to abortion. there are many reasons for this, one is that there is no clear federal mandate to report deaths related to abortions.
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i'm sure many members of this committee are aware there is a maternal mortality crisis in our country across the board. studies have documented between 50 and -- 50% and 75% of maternal deaths that occur related to childbirth come out related to care in a hospital, many of those do not get reported on the death certificate. there are various reasons for that come up that i will not go into. the cdc primarily draws their data from death certificates. they are ignoring the fact that it is very difficult to document on a death certificate, if a woman has an abortion and commit suicide out of guilt six weeks later, that will most never be documented. many abortion providers do not maintain hospital privileges.
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it is common, i have seen this in my own profession, taking care of women in the emergency room for a woman not to return to the abortion provider if she has a complication. many times she is ashamed and will not tell me it was an abortion that led to the complication. >> the woman's time is expired. >> it is very poor data, we do not know the answer to that. >> thank you, madam chair. >> the gentleman from virginia, mr. connelly is recognized for five minutes. >> dr. moayedi, dice it out right -- did i say that right? since the data as they, what do you know about complications and deaths from licensed clinics that provide medically
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supervised care with respect to abortions? >> and q for that question, i would like to first remind all ob/gyn's that the american board of obgyn's has warned that spring medical misinformation can result in loss of board certification. >> can i enter you there? did you just hear misinformation? >> i did just hear misinformation. >> for the record, madam chair. we just heard misinformation. >> it is incorrect that this data is not tracked. this data is tracked from a clinic level in texas, it is legally required that every day we report to the state who has had abortions and if they have had complications. in fact, the state has passed a new lot that i have to report complications not related to abortion care that might happen 20 yearly -- 20 years later. >> couldn't one make the
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opposite argument dr. skop just made that closing clinics and making it difficult to get a legal abortion, which is legal in america, we are, texas for example, endangering the lives of women seeking a safe, clinical procedure. >> we don't need to make the argument, it is medical fact. >> medical fact. >> we know that when people do not have access to abortion care, maternal morbid -- morbidity and mortality rates rise. >> would it be fair, in your opinion, to say frankly the new texas law is endangering the lives of women? >> yes, sir that is what i said in my testimony. >> what kinds of requirements as the state of texas imposed, firf
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all, a physician must ovabortiod evidence you don't need a physician to hand someone a pill or promote -- provide first trimester abortion care. in texas, you have to have a medically unnecessary ultrasound, that has to be provided by the same physician that is going to purport -- provide the abortion. there's no reason these increased safety at all. they have to wait between four hours between the time they get their ultrasound and the time they get there abortion. the same physician has to do it, you have to be at least 18 years old or get parental consent. you need to have an id. you need to be able to access a clinic, we do not have enough planks in our state, if you live
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along our southern border, that access has been gone for a while. the state restricts me practicing evidence-based care. the state does not allow me to provide medication and abortion past 10 weeks, even though we have good evidence that the medication is safe to provide after 10 weeks. the statepill, even though all , physician or not connote you do not need a physician to give you a pill. >> let me interrupt you. what you just described sounds like an overregulated regime in texas, making it very difficult for a woman to access legal medical care with respect to abortion. i find it ironic that same people that say that wearing a mask compromises my personal autonomy have no compunction about imposing on women in this
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country and in the state of texas. some of the most restrictive legislation governing this most sacred autonomy, control of your own body, the texas law allows vigilantes and gives them bounties, how is that affecting you in your work? i yield, madam chairwoman? >> as i mention come up we have a lot of -- it is basic autonomy, it is difficult to navigate, no one could have imagined something like this would happen? -- something like this would never happen. just because they want the money, and anybody can ring about a frivolous lawsuit against somebody come up family
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member or friend trying to support them having an abortion. it is ridiculous. abortion says -- abortion is health care, every person deserves equitable and fair access to abortion. >> we are back to the wild west in texas. i yield back. >> heals back. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. >> dr. skop, you were just accused of spreading misinformation, would you like to address that comment, please? >> thank congressman come, for the opportunity. i think there is data available to support everything i have said today. i provided references to the committee of what i had said. it is unfortunate that the politicize it politicalization
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-- i went into care to care for two patients, a woman and her unborn child. i continue, because in my conscience i cannot do otherwise to advocate for the life and health of both of my patients. that is the right thing to do. >> i agree with you. we are seeing that same discussion with what we claim to be a science. with the covid-19 discussion, as well. the health care provider, we know patient autonomy is the -- all pregnant women us receiving an abortion should be told of the risks, including the impact to future fertility. tiered knowledge, are women being told the by taking this pill it may impact their future
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fertility, not be able to have children in the future, is that -- can you discuss these ramifications? >> i do not know specifically what is being said in abortion clinics. i do know may states have mandated the discussion of complications. the fda mandated discussion of complications as well. what we do know and what i have seen frequently in the er, from women having complications is that it results in complications frequently. studies from europe tell us medical abortions have complications four times as frequently as surgical abortions. very good studies and meta-analyses tell us that between 5% and 8% of women who receive a medical abortion do not pass the tissue completely or hemorrhage and require
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surgical completion. i do not know how many women understand they have between a1 and 12 or one in 20 chance of a surgery in addition to the pills they receive. i think the number of medical abortions and percentage of abortions is going up dramatically, particularly in response to covid. there is a good possibility women understood the high risk of complications, they might opt for surgical abortions instead. the numbers of medical abortions are concerning. additionally, the fda, because of covid, remove the in person requirement for medical abortion dispensing, which means a woman does not need to have an ultrasound to find out how far along she is, i have seen many women who underestimate their gestational age, there must hire -- there are much higher risk to
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fail if they are advanced gestational age, medical abortion pills do not affect the pregnancy in the tube, women have died from that. they do not evaluate rh status, in which case a woman may in a future pregnancy, if she needed the injection and did not get it, she could form an immune response to her future children. 14% of those children, if untreated will be stillborn, half a suffer death or brain injury. there are significant complications that can occur with unsupervised medical abortion. for some reason, the fda is choosing to look the other way on that. >> let me get this right, there is preoperative screening, complications if we don't screen and complications postabortion, based on those screenings or additional facts? >> that is correct.
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there is a lot that women probably do not now. >> i have limited time. i yield back. >> thank you. the gentleman from illinois is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, chairwoman, i appreciate you holding this important hearing. dr. skop, i have a question for you, sb eight prohibits abortions to the fetus after quote unquote detectable fetal heartbeat, correct? >> correct. >> and you testified in support of sb8 at a march texas state senate hearing, right? >> i was at a state senate hearing, i was testifying particularly about the medical abortion limitations. i may have submitted a written testimony, i do not recall -- >> but you support sb8?
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>> i support the ability of a state to legislate the perfor r ance of abortion -- >> it does not have an exception even in the case of rate, correct? >> that is probably correct. >> it does not have exception even in the case of inset -- in zest- incest? >> correct. >> i have a daughter, one my greatest fears is that she will be raped. if god forbid, your daughter were raped, do you believe that your daughter should be forced to carry the fetus to term? >> i just want to say for the
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record, the stories i've heard from women today of their abortion, make me very sad. i feel for every woman that has been through that horrendous situation and had to make that decision. we are in a world where women do not have to work -- address that decision. in the case of a rape, women generally know they have been raped. a woman can find out -- >> i'm asking you a simple question, even after eight detectable fetal heartbeat out under sb8, if your daughter will raped, do you believe she should be forced to carry the baby to term? >> sb8 is enough time for a woman who has been raped to determine -- >> i am asking after determine
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-- detectable fetal heartbeat. i'm asking a simple question. at that point, is it your testimony that you believe your daughter should be forced to carry the baby to term, even in the case of rape? >> if my daughter were pregnant as a result of rape, that would be sad. >> you are being evasive. this is the hypocrisy which characterizes people like you having an opinion as to how you would treat your own daughter, but forcing other daughters and sisters and women in the state of texas to go through unholy different experience. in texas, they reported more than 14,000 rapes in the state of texas. most experts believe the actual number far surpasses the number
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of reported rapes. do you believe that after a fetal preppy is detected, there should be any exception for rate or in zest -- rape or incest? >> i think a woman has adequate time -- >> after the fetal department -- fetal heartbeat has been ascertained under the statute, it appears you don't believe there should be an exception for rape or incest. that goes directly contrary to what donald trump said, he said i am strongly pro-life with three exceptions, raped, incest, protection of the health of the mother. ronald reagan said texas will
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work tirelessly to make sure we eliminate all raped. you don't believe sb8 is going to result in the elimination of rape in texas, are you? >> of course not. >> madam chair, his time is expired. >> give me an answer. >> the heartbeat indicates an independent human life. as a pro-life physician, who advocates for the fetus as well as the mother, that is he that human life should be allowed to continue. >> unresponsive, thank you. >> the gentlemanly -- yields back. the gentlewoman from north carolina, ms. fox, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairman. i want to thank you for the way you've handled yourself in this hearing.
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i want to thank dr. skop for being willing to put up with some disrespectful questioning, and a very disrespectful attitude towards you. we really appreciate that. thank you very much for doing that. dr. skop, have you seen many examples of premature babies born around 22 to 24 weeks they go on to leave -- lead healthy lives after receiving treatment? as you see in the age of these decrease as science has advanced? >> i have. i have been practicing for 25 years. around the time i started, i think we considered viability the age at which you could likely resuscitate a baby, that he would have a good chance of survival was around 25, 26 weeks.
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currently, we are seeing babies saved in our hospital at 22 weeks. extraordinarily fragile, extraordinarily sad, heartbreaking for the mothers. many times i have seen this in association with eight shortened cervix -- eight shortened cervix , which is associated with abortion, particularly multiple abortions. sadly, women do not know the choice they make today may cause them to have an extremely premature baby who clings to life later. >> do you believe that the age of viability will get younger as we continue to make scientific and medical progress? >> i think it may get a little younger, i think there is going to be a physical constraint at the point at which the of the ally -- alveoli and blood
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vessels that through the lungs can pass oxygen. there may be a hard limit, it is amazing we are saving so many babies just a little over halfway through a pregnancy. >> dr. skop come up in an amicus brief submitted to the supreme court in the jackson case, 375 women shared sworn affidavits how they were injured by second and third trimester late-term abortions. madam chair, i ask unanimous consent to insert and record via amicus brief in the appendix purporting the experience of these women. >> without objection. >> thank you. have you encountered women in your work who have had similar experiences? >> i think the late abortion is exceedingly emotionally traumatic for a woman. she has felt the baby moving,
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regardless of her circumstances, that has got to be the hardest decision to make. they are very dangerous. i will tell you something else i'm concerned about, coercion. if we have abortion without limits, for any reason, in this country, until birth, a woman who is deemed coerced toward a number -- toward an abortion has nine months to fight for the life of her baby. i think many women who have late abortions are women who got tired of saying no, i want to keep my baby. which is terribly tragic. one thing i have seen in texas from the pregnancy centers i work with is that women come in for ultrasounds, and when they see the heartbeat, they are very happy, because they now know that their boyfriend or mother cannot force them into an abortion because it is illegal. the earlier we set limits, the more we are protecting women from that coercion of losing the
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baby that they want to carry. >> and we see this in a crisis pregnancy centers all over the country. dr. skop, i'm going to give you a few more seconds, i know you have corrected the record at least once, since i've been listening, there are many things that have been said today that have not been true. i want to see if you would like to correct any more falsehoods that have been said? >> i must speak to the statement that was made that pro-life people are racist, because we do not want the hyde amendment to be overturned and for the government to pay for abortions of children of color. the flipside that we should be considering is that black women have more abortions the white women, people may not recognize it, but there has got to be a eugenics component here.
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in the civil rights era of the 1960's, there were approximately 18 million black people in america, approximately 18 million black babies have been awarded -- aborted.+ it is not racist to want to save those children. >> that is an eloquent statement. we know planned parenthood was begun in order to kill black babies and other children who were unborn that they felt were unfit for this world. it is important people understand the history of planned parenthood. thank you very much, i yield back. >> the gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. women in the united states have a had a constitutional right to abortion it in america -- in the united states since 1973.
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that is a fact. women have been free to make their own decisions with respect to abortion. this is as it should be, everywoman woman situation is unique. -- every woman's situation is unique. some are 19 and become pregnant by raped, or incest. others are impoverished, ill, depressed, emotional or mental crisis and could not contemplate it. every situation is different. deeply personal. real question before us in america today is who is going to decide for the women of america, is it the women of america? or the state legislatures, 69% of whom are men? who is going to make these most private and intimate decisions.
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i know every member of the committee on the others opposes roe v. wade and right to privacy. i wonder if any of them are willing to defend the details of the new texas law. it not only makes it unlawful for women to have an abortion after six weeks, when most women do not know they are pregnant, it deputized as everyone person in the state, including rapists and sexual harassers and insurrectionists and murderers, including snooping and spiteful neighbors, feuding relatives to go out and sue the doctors, nurses, medical personnel and family members who helped their daughter or niece or sister or mother through a health crisis. they can soothe them for $10,000 -- sue them for $10,000 under texas state law today. that is america in the 21st century come up with the
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constitutional right to privacy under attack. this is our future and our present, the nightmare that the gop wants to deliver to us. our friends don't want to speak about the specifics, so i want to ask specifically, every witness here, do you think the law should be changed in america so women and girls were raped can be forced to bear their rapist's child as under the texas law? i will begin with ms. steinem. then ms. aziz, just yes or no. should the lobby changed so that women and girls were raped can be forced to bear their rapist's child. >> is a survivor, no one should
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have to do that. >> the answer is no, it should not be changed. >> dr. moayedi? >> no. >> thank you. dr. skop? >> no, i don't want to see the law changed, i want people to change their hearts and minds >>. > i take it your view is roe v. wade -- we should try to convince people to our point of view about an intensely private decision like this? >> that is why i am here today. >> thank you, professor murray, what about you? >> yes. >> ms. ross? i don't know if she's still here. >> no, my son had a complicated life getting to know his pedophile father.
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the fact that i had to deal with this man, re-raping me emotionally to raise my child, that is an obvious no. >> ms. ross, i went to ink for your testimony, you -- thank you for your testimony, you have made vivid for us what we are talking about here, every woman's situation is different. the supreme court made this a personal decision in the doctrine has changed from the trimester framework, everyone is saying you can have an abortion up to nine months, that arranged but has nothing to do with the law in the united states under roe v. wade or planned parenthood v kc which draws a line of fetal viability, i want to thank every witness seems to agree that the texas law is deeply flawed. if not completely unconstitutional. impinging on the woman's right
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to choose and compelling her to bear her rapist's or abuser at's or assailant's child against her will. that is an outrage and a scandal, totalitarian, let us go back to the right to privacy and have the discussion, that people can add engage with each other and move each other, i think dr. skop -- i think dr. skop to that point. i yield back. >> mr. higgins is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. from my heart, i feel the pain of my fellow americans on both sides of the aisle. we will all answer for our sins. all of us fall short of the glory of god, i am no exception.
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i have lived in times at rebecca -- in rebellion against god. every sinful act i will kneel before our lord and say over the course of my six years, i failed and fallen in ways that bring shame upon my heart and soul. i have been callous and uncaring , i have lacked compassion and broken promises. i have been at times a bad son, and unworthy brother, a failed husband. and forefather. i have lived and thus i have sinned. america is an anointed nation, as such, our republic will move forward according to god's will. our nation will evolve in our saviors on time -- savior's own time. i stand in judgment of no man. as a child of god, i will fight
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to protect the innocent with every fiber of my being and every part of my spirit. ultimately, god's will will imbue itself into american society, as has been mentioned here today. america at cycle laws ultimately will reflect god's love for his unborn children. until that time, some of us will never rest in our battle to protect the most vulnerable amongst us. the precious and innocent children of the womb. this is been a meaningful and insightful hearing. i moved by the testimony of our witnesses today. i have faith and confidence in the future of our nation,
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divided that we be on this issue. i believe ultimately, we are in god's hands and we will move forward according to his will. madam chair, i yield. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. >> the gentleman needs to unmute. >> thank you, madam chair. i just want to take 30 seconds to correct the record. representative fox suggested -- this absurd suggestion and that it was somehow conceived to encourage abortion in the african-american community. i suggest reading in eighth grade history book as a starter. first of all, abortion was not
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legal when planned parenthood was founded in the 1930's. originally it was founded to carry birth-control control by margaret sanger. the great civil rights leader was an advisor. it is fine to have ideological differences, it is sad that people are saying things that are a misreading of american history. frankly, pretty unpatriotic that you don't take the time to read american history and are creating false impression. this is why i think civil education -- civic education, get some basic facts. with that, let me turn to dr. skop. do you believe that homosexual
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behavior should be criminalized? >> [laughter] >> no of course not. >> you believe that same-sex marriage is ok? or are you against it? >> at this point, i think our country has decided that decision. i have no opinion to weigh in. >> it wouldn't be something you strongly oppose? >> i think what you are talking about is activity -- >> a simple yes or no. are you mutually for or against it, lately, do you think we should have tried to legalize -- >> i think they do. >> you think that is fine? >> that is the decision our country has made. >> the question, do you support a right to life group?
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>> are you asking me if i financially support? -- >> [indiscernible] >> i assume, you are sympathetic -- >> there are differences of opinion within the pro-life community, as i'm sure there are in the pro-choice community. i think they did a heroic thing, i'm proud that texas is the first state -- >> here is my question for you, i hope you won't condemn this. former texas solicitor general, has filed an amicus brief on the group texas right to life in the dodds case, the review describes roanoke. they said -- heroic.
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they said there is no source of lot that can be invoked to resist it, -- we support the overturn of lawrence b texas, meaning basically they want to criminalize homosexual behavior again and take away same-sex marriage. can you today say and how embarrassed you are giving your beliefs that they would quote something like that to the supreme court? >> i have no opinion on that statement. i do not think it relates to the issue of abortion. >> of course it does, they are putting an amicus brief in the texas right to life, part of their argument for overturning roe v. wade points to issues of equality, does not concern you? the groups, in the name of
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defending sb8 are trying to overturn lawrence? >> i have no opinion on that. i wonder, could i clarify what congresswoman fox said, they mentioned -- >> do that on someone else's time. i want to know if you don't find a embarrassment in the fact that you have members of the pro-life movement that -- are you aware of that. >> i don't see how that pertains , i would imagine their briefs written in support of roe that might contain facts that you can to -- consider controversial. >> madam chair, his time is expired.
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perhaps he could have a hearing on homosexuality after your hearings on white supremacy and -- >> madam chair, i have a point. >> the gentlelady is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. with respect to the gentleman from louisiana, my understanding is that it is the chair that decides what is part -- when a person's time has expired, the gentleman should have his mike muted, it is out of order when chiming in to tell you when someone's time has expired. >> yes, you're right. >> isn't that correct? >> the gentleman from louisiana didn't speak. >> the floor is mine at the moment. forgive me if i made reference to the wrong person, whoever has been calling out is out of
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order. it is you that controls the time , and tells members when their time has expired. >> we are all trying to stick to the five minute rule. >> i would just ask that members refrain -- you make sure members refrain from telling you when that is and we follow procedure so you can manage the time. thank you. >> thank you. the gentleman from south carolina is now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. first of all, i want to thank everybody who testified today. our witnesses come up with your medical background, i know many of us are passionate about many issues. there are many women today that testified before us about their own struggles with rape, sexual
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assault and the lifelong pain and trauma it brings to us, both physically, emotionally and mentally. but the stories this morning that we heard a remarkable and painful. i told my rape story two or three years ago as a state lawmaker in south carolina, when they were doing their own fetal heart beat bill. today, i believe we are still one of the only states in the country that has a fetal heartbeat built with exceptions for women who have been raped and for victims of incest, because i told that story. i am pro-life, regardless of the circumstances, when you are right, it is traumatic. we have a right to make that decision for ourselves, at some point, these cells become a human, a child. inside a woman's woman. the other thing i think about
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this morning, it pains me to hear the stories, too often, too many women have the same stories. it is offensive, as i sit here, as a woman, is a victim of rape and hear some of my colleagues, -- question one of our physicians here today about what she would do if her daughter was raped. i cannot even tell you the unimaginable anger and pain i have as a woman when someone wants to make that hypothetical example. this isn't something to toy with , we should not be having this hearing for political pr purposes for the next fundraising scheme on social media. this is a serious issue. it affects women who are republican and democrat alike. this is not a joke. there are kids out there that are victims of incest, women out
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there dealing with this for a lifetime. i do not want to hear any of my colleagues, republican or democrat, sit there and have a hypothetical question two women were here today, asking them what they would do if your child was raped. i find it offensive and disgusting. the second thing i want to say is that gay marriage has nothing to do with abortion or the right to life in this country. it has already been decided by the supreme court. we are all adults in the room, i hope all the support the right, if you want to be married, like anybody else, you have the right to do that. third, and finally, i sit here today, as lieutenant colonel scheller is sitting in a braid, he is the only person that has been put away without a charge or sentence or conviction on afghanistan for exercising a right to speak out and
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potentially be a whistleblower and expressing his frustrations as a soldier. i saw yesterday and tuesday in the senate and house hearings the blame game going on, we have billions of dollars of equipment we just left to the taliban, were selling it to iran and who knows who else. we have a cabinet was saying one thing and present saying another. i then as i am sitting here in email across my desk that says reportedly the department of homeland security, secretary mayorkas is wondering if we can accommodate between 350000 and 400,000 immigrants at the border . if we can account for those illegal apprehensions, if we do away with title 42, meanwhile our border patrol agents are being right -- threatened at being fired if they don't have vaccination. what the hell is going on here
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today. we don't have oversight over state abortion rights. this is not the purpose of this committee, i yield back. thank you. >> the gentlelady yields back. the gentle woman from new york is recognized for five minutes. >> i need to correct and address an assertion that was made, not too long ago. this idea that first of all, that this law provides ample time for a victim of abuse to seek abortion care, because once again, we are in a room of legislators for attempting to legislate reproductive systems that they know nothing about.
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six weeks pregnant, and it is shameful that this needs to happen, this conversation should not be held in a legislative body. six weeks pregnant is two weeks late for one period. when you are raped, you don't always know what happened to you. i speak about this is a survivor. you are in so much shock, and by the way, people who commit abuse and victims and survivors of sexual assault are overwhelmingly assaulted by someone they know. this myth that some person lurking on a street or in a parking lot, waiting to sexually assault you, that myth only benefits the abusers in power at why you to think that is how it happens. it is your friend, a boyfriend,
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a boy -- a boss, a legislator. you are in so much shock at what happened to you, sometimes it takes years to realize what actually went on. who's idea the victims know in the two weeks they might be late for their. -- might be late for their period. i am about 15. 115 pounds. you look at me weird i miss my period. that makes you two weeks late, whether you're pregnant or lot -- pregnant or not. unbelievable. that the republican side would call a witness so irresponsible
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and hurtful to survivors across this country. honestly. your constituents deserve in a policy. professor, is it possible for us an abuser to sabotage their partner's birth control? turn on >> turn on your bike. >> yes, i hear all the time. i have heard from women, particularly when they are in control or power of their abuser , all the time we are seeing people forced to continue pregnancy and we have seen people were coerced and dabbing abortions. that is why it has to beat the woman's choice, not the people with power over her. >> thank you, professor.
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as you said, it is a common tactic for eight -- four and abuser to sabotage a woman's control. would you say abusers often do this to intentionally if there partners pregnant without their knowledge. >> yes, that happen. i don't think my rapist wanted me to be pregnant, but i do hear women's stories all the time. there are many circumstances, you can't come up with one story , different circumstances. >> as we can see, abusers will sabotage their partner's birth control in an effort to exert power and control over them. dr. moayedi, when we see that the tactics of abusers on a personal level, the attempts of control can sabotage victims --
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victims reproductive care over themselves, then becomes mass adopted by overwhelmingly cisgender mail state legislatures, do you see a connection between these abuse dynamics and how they inform a culture in which we could be affirmed or which these laws could potentially help or assist abusers in this dynamic? >> unfortunately, our country is actually founded on reproductive control and coercion of enslaved africans and other indigent people. this is a historical tactic and a method of upholding white supremacy. >> thank>> the gentleman from gs recognized for five minutes. rep. clyde: it is evident this hearing is strategically placed
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to distract from the massive $4.3 trillion spending bill the democrats want to hide from the american people, that will further bankrupt our country, saddle us with trillions more in debt and create federman -- federal programs that change america into a socialist nation. that's because the democrats passed their bill that pertains to today's topic last week. we hold hearings together on bills before they pass, not after they are passed. unless it is for messaging purposes only and that is what we are doing. we are here attending a hearing called examining the urgent need to expand abortion rights and access. let's be clear, abortion is neither health care nor is it a constitutional right. life is a constitutional right. an abortion procedure ends alive, it ends the heartbeat of a precious child in the womb, and sexual violence is never acceptable or protected in our
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constitution. dr. skop, if you want an opportunity to respond to that personal attack, i will give you one. dr. skop: thank you for that opportunity but i am not offended. there is a so much pain on both sides of this issue. if we all come away from one point of this hearing, it is that we are not going to legislate, we are not going to find a solution that makes everybody happy, and we need to -- our country needs to improve its behavior. we need to stop allowing rapists to run amok. we need to provide effective contraception, which by the way, there is long acting reversible contraception that is extruded nearly effective and has been proven and i am sure you would agree with me, in large-scale studies to prevent abortion by preventing women from getting pregnant.
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we need to prioritize relationships. most women who seek abortions, if they tell the father of the baby about their pregnancy, i have seen this time and again, what they are secretly hoping for is they will say i love you, i will marry you, the circumstances may not be good and we may not have much money, but we will make it work. that is what women want. what they are getting instead is here is a $600 and planned parenthood is down the street. all of this has to change. rep. clyde: wow, wow, wow. thank you for being here today. you mentioned in your testimony you have delivered over 5000 babies in the last 29 years. i am sure you have seen technology come along -- a long way the beginning. can you describe briefly the impact technology has had on improving the viability of unborn children for those born prematurely? dr. skop: it is amazing.
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these babies, i believe one of the witnesses earlier today was discussing her child she could hold in her hand. they are perfectly formed. they feel pain, they many times at 22 weeks, half of these babies can survive and many have an intact survival. that's not to say there isn't pain involved in that. how horrible to have a child if you don't know if they will live or die, or maybe they have a life of struggle. it is amazing we can do what we can do, but at the same time, maybe we can start looking into some of the things that cause these young babies to be born, and in any cases it is cervical damage because abortion is so common. rep. clyde: thank you, previously you expounded on the risks of abortions, especially at home chemical abortions.
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with the recent push to eliminate protocols, do you believe women in rural areas are at high risk for serious complications? dr. skop: certainly the complications don't occur when the woman is given the pill in the clinic. the reason for in person requirements is to make sure they desire the abortion, they have been counseled appropriately, that they are not -- that they are at low risk to have a complication from the abortion. if they think they are eight weeks and they are really 12 weeks, there is a higher failure rate. that is the reason for the in person requirements. the tail end of the abortion is many women bleed for a week or two, have a lot of clots and pain, 80% lead for more than a month. the tail end is the complications occur long after she has left the abortion facility, which may be five hours from her home. when she is in a rural area and
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does not have access to emergency care conveniently, those are the women that will suffer. if that woman really understood, i think most of them would opt for a surgical abortion in the clinic so it is done and they do not have to worry they will be one of the 5%-8% that will require a surgery, often in emergent conditions, overrunning the er, in the time we are concerned about the covid pandemic, using the pandemic as an excuse to tell women to self manage their abortion remote from the clinic in rural areas, it is an absolute -- it shows me the women -- >> time is expired, you may tie it up. dr. skop: i don't think it is good care for women. it is not showing we value those women to put them in that dangerous situation. >> the gentleman's time is expired.
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the gentlewoman for michigan is represented for five minutes. rep. tlaib: thank you for taking a deeper dive and what happened in texas and across the country. i grew up in the most beautiful, blackest city in the country well 85% of the city of detroit is black and beautiful and black mothers told my mother to raise her boys when she had that accident at parent meetings, and i am listening to people pretending, disingenuous, that they care about the lives of my black neighbors. i get emotional about this because i cannot believe that my colleagues who did not vote for the george floyd justice in policing act, are talking about the fact that planned parenthood, which i believe is one of the only health care places and institutions in cities like mine, the fact that we have some of the worst infant
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mortality rates in the country amongst black children. we cannot even get them to one-year-old. why aren't we expending the same energy, doctor, and getting them to one year? how -- why when i was in the michigan legislature, they spent so much time on this but they did not want to talk about the single mother, so she could have wraparound services because she made that choice? we abandoned those mothers. every corner, we vilify and dehumanize. i have watched them force mothers to do drug testing before they could even get any assistance. when are we going to actually call this out for what it is? this is about controlling women in our country, period. stop pretending it is anything but. you know what is so distressful about all of this is the fact it is not just texas, chairwoman,
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you know this. this is literally opening the floodgates for the possibility that we are actually going to see our country punish and criminalize abortion, criminalize women making a very difficult decision. i want to know, dr. skop, what are you doing about infant mortality rates among black children? have you testified in a committee about it? dr. skop: thank you for your question. i am very interested in the topic, i have applied to be a member of the texas maternal morbidity committee three times and have not been expect -- accepted. i think it may be because of my stance on life. i am terribly concerned by the lack of support that so many of those women have. rep. tlaib: the same people that voted for the bill you are championing today are people that would leave them completely
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homeless and with no safeguards at all. i want you to believe me when i say that to you. because black lives matter should be at the forefront of every policy we do it this can -- in this country. it can't just be you being on a commission, it is standing up and saying -- i want to tell you something. over 40% of the deaths of covid in my state are my black neighbors. even though they make up less than 14% of the total population of michigan. because of environmental racism, because they don't have access to health care, and you all are punishing planned parenthood, sometimes the only option they have. because people are investing and saying this is how we can get access to health care. i am really just incredibly frustrated of the gas lighting, misleading and trying to say you're speaking on behalf of my black neighbors. you are not. you are not. i'm going to leave with ms. ross. i saw the pain on your face i
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have to tell you, as you were listening to them, i could see you had a lot to say, and i'm going to leave you with the last minute to tell me how you felt you heard them talk about this is killing black folks. tell them about what is really killing black folks in this country. tell them the truth. prof. ross: i am tired of white saviors saying black women are not smart enough to make our own decisions about our lives. that's what i am tired of. that is the ultimate in racism, to accuse of being less smart, less human, and less caring about our children than you do, when you vote against children having lunches, getting good schools, hitting rid of guns so they can survive. you vote against everything about our children once they are here, and yet you want to say you are a better savior of lack children then we are? get over yourself, this white
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saviorism does not convince us to have our interest at heart. rep. tlaib: i hope you hurt her, because a mentor of mine told me, people will not see the same way icu, but i hope you felt what she was saying. you want to save lives, tear down racism in our country. >> the gentleman from kansas -- knowing >> point of order from the ranking member, point of order. >> the gentleman is recognized. what is your point of order? >> i've never seen a hearing there a witness has been battered and treated the way our witness has been treated today and i would encourage your members to treat this witness
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with respect, i can't believe i'm having to say this. in congress, we are very frustrated that 99% of your witnesses are in this congress but we treat them with respect. all i ask is the democrats treat our witness with respect. she is answering the questions and doing a tremendous job, handling herself well and i don't think she deserves to be treated the way she has been treated by your side. i yield back. rep. maloney: i know members have strong feelings about this issue but i would encourage members to treat everyone in this hearing, members and witnesses with respect. with that, can we continue with our hearing? i now call on the gentleman from kansas. >> this committee has many
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opportunities for much-needed and long oversight, including the growing security crisis on our southern border, the deadly disaster that was our humiliating troop withdrawal from afghanistan. the true origin of covid, and runaway inflation. however, we are taking time today to instead focus on the legislation the house passed last friday. the abortion on demand until birth act. this past january march the 48th anniversary of the infamous roe ruling, that struck down any laws protecting unborn children from abortion in every state of the union. since that horrible decision, an estimated 60 million unborn american lives have been cut short by the abortion industry. it is estimated as many as 2000 unborn american lives are tragically ended every day. fortunately, notwithstanding efforts like hr 3755, that
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number is on the decline in america, inc.'s in no small part to science. -- thanks in no small part to science. science that proved at six weeks and unborn child has a heartbeat. that proves that at 10 weeks and unborn child has arms, legs, fingers and toes, and capable of feeling pain. science, that proves a 15 weeks, and unborn child has a fully developed heart, beating 26 quarts of blood per day. as more and more americans have seen this evidence, states have enacted over 1250 laws since roe , and 500 in the last decade alone, to protect the lives of the unborn child and pregnant mother. today, two thirds of americans believe states should make laws regarding the abortion industry and that abortion should be illegal in the second trimester. four out of five americans believe abortions should be illegal in the third trimester.
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congress must stand with these americans to reject the abortion politics of the left and continue to find a way to work together to protect the unborn. dr. skop, i appreciate you being here and i would echo the comments of the ranking member that you have been treated terribly today. the work you have done is incredibly impressive, compassionate, and i want to ask you a couple of questions, but first, earlier you tried to speak on margaret sanger and planned parenthood and things like this and if you would like, i wanted to give you an opportunity to talk about that if you want. dr. skop: thank you. it is a little more complicated than what congresswoman fox stated. margaret sanger, there is a lot of documentation that she was a eugenicist, eugenics was popular at the time and she made
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statements talking about the types of people she did not want to be born. recently, the manhattan planned parenthood took her name off of their building as they acknowledged she had made statements that were not in line with what we believe today. alan guttmacher was the second head of planned parenthood, around the time that abortions became legal. that is when it made its foray into abortion provision and i think everyone is aware that they provide more than half the abortions in the country today. she was not in favor of abortion, abortion was illegal and dangerous at the time she did her work, but she was in favor of keeping certain ethnic groups and financial groups from having children. rep. laturner: i think one of the things -- when we look at these laws, i was in the kansas city legislature and worked on
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banning sex selection abortions, for example, and these laws we see across the country, i am so supportive of and we have to continue to fight on this front. i also think the pro-life movement needs to do a better job of showing compassion for the mothers that find themselves in this terrible circumstance. i think you are one of the people doing that great work. could you talk specifically about the work your pregnancy centers do to support pregnant women and their loved ones? dr. skop: thank you for that question. my passion for this, as i said earlier, women never have to address this horrible decision. no matter how they choose. you can see from our witnesses earlier today, even though they feel like the decision they made allowed them to succeed in life, it is still painful. and i have to say, dr. ross, your story of bearing the child
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of a rape, that hurts my heart that you went through that. we need to acknowledge children do not have to be a barrier to success in life as women. gloria steinem, i appreciate the groundwork as a feminist that she laid so that we, women, are extraordinarily successful. i have three children and i love them all dearly. i worked until the day i gave birth for all three children and it did not stop me from succeeding in my chosen profession. we must i think as a country get past the partisanship that says you have to have it available for everybody in every circumstance or we have to totally limit it entirely. we are all concerned about human trafficking. letting medical abortion pills readily available over the
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internet by mail order -- how does that help trafficked women? interactions with the medical system are one of the ways they can be identified and helped, but these pregnant women, many trafficked women, probably most must-have unintended -- probably most, have unintended pregnancies and abortions, and if we are allowing these traffickers have these pills to end those pregnancies so they never see the health-care system, that is wrong. as i said, in the work i do, i want to provide women -- rep. maloney: can you sum up, your time is expired. dr. skop: healthy relationships so if they get pregnant, it is a couple together who can raise a child. sex education so that children understand the importance of abstinence, and which contraception works well and what doesn't. rep. maloney: thank you.
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the gentleman from illinois is recognized, mr. davis, you are recognized for five minutes. rep. davis: thank you madame chairman and i want to thank you for calling this important hearing. i also want to thank all of the witnesses for their compelling testimonies, and especially i want to thank my sisters for their revelations and sharing their experiences. i want to thank you for sharing with the committee and the world. i speak for many of my colleagues in saying that we are better for having your voice here today. with your permission, i would like to ask you about some of the experiences you shared in your testimony, including some of you identified as being
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traumatic. is that ok with you? >> absolutely. rep. davis: thank you. in your powerful written testimony, you note that unlicensed clinicians were pressuring you to continue carrying your unwanted pregnancy , and they misinformed you about your ability to pursue a medication abortion. is that true? >> yes. rep. davis: let me ask you. how did you feel when you were told you could not receive a medication abortion treatment? >> thank you for your question. i want to start i saying i do not regret either of my abortions. i do regret my experience at the crisis pregnancy center. the most traumatic part of my experience was at the centers and how i was treated, and i hope they all shut down because they exist to manipulate and
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prey on vulnerable pregnant people. a lot of people are being left out of the conversation today, because we know that people get pregnant and not just women. i hear people over and over again say women get pregnant, but that is excluding people that should be part of this conversation. as for the crisis pregnancy center, i let them know i am a survivor of sexual assault and i developed a medical condition as a result, which makes any sort of penetration very difficult. naturally, i had anxiety about a trans vaginal ultrasound. there were two ladies who were trying to imitate doctors in lab coats, clearly not professors -- professionals. i told them and the stenographer that i was scared, and one said you are pregnant, you should learn to deal with pain.
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as someone who has been an advocate for sexual assault survivors and as a survivor, that is disgusting, and i don't know why crisis pregnancy centers are allowed to exist and prey on people. i think they should all shut down and none should exist because they don't help pregnant people, they prey on pregnant people. rep. davis: you mentioned in your written testimony that you actually had a relative who assisted you when you were in need. that made me remember the times when i have driven young, would be mothers to the emergency room of hospitals after they had attempted an abortion with a coat hanger. had not your family been able to help you financially, what do you think your experiences would have been like? ms. aziz: i just want to say,
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sb8 worries me about unsafe alternatives, but as someone who has had two medication abortions, it is very safe and not as has been described. i had to travel to colorado springs and spend $2000 i did not have, that a relative paid for me to have access to my abortion, but all i really did was go to another state, navigate all of these numerous barriers for a provider to give me a pill i could've taken at home in texas. that's what i should have been able to do. medication abortions are safe. they are very safe and a great way to have an abortion if that is what somebody chooses. it is a pregnant person's choice. if i was to get pregnant again and i did not want to carry the pregnancy to term, my choice would be a third medication abortion. rep. davis: thank you for
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sharing your experiences with us. madam chairman, let me thank you again. this has indeed been a very informative hearing, and i could not thank you more. i yield back. rep. maloney: thank you. the gentleman yields back, the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized for five minutes. rep. grossman: sure. if this bill would ever become law, i kind of think, how is this going to affect america? of course i was in the state legislature for a long giving of time and we had a variety of bills where we would like to ban abortion and had a variety of ills -- hills -- bills to hopefully change the way people looked at them. one of them was the 24 hour period bill. researching at, we talked about all of the women who were being
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pushed into having an abortion and we also, after the bill passed, it came out in court, i can't remember if it was 1/7 or 1/10 of women who showed up the first i did not show up the second day, which would indicate without the bill, abortion providers just wanted to get the abortion done and get their cash and not have to worry someone might not come back for the second appointment. can you comment on why anybody would want to put somebody through an abortion 45 minutes, an hour after they walked in the door without letting them go home and collect their thoughts and see what they really felt? dr. skop: i don't know the
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mindset of what would encourage that, but i think if all of us leaf -- and believe in choice, we should make sure -- this is a type of decision that admittedly some women can make the decision and move on but i have seen any women who have made the decision and regretted it intensely. this is the type of decision that should allow time for reflection. i would think that anybody who cares about joyce -- about choice would want the woman to have all the information at her disposal, she knows how far along she is, potential complications, she understands the development of her child, and then she has time to reflect. i think waiting period's, many women don't come back after the waiting period, and i think those women have reflected and said this is not the choice i want to make, carrying my baby is the choice i want to make. if we are not motivated by a
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thought that every abortion is a good abortion, which i think all of us intuitively realize that is not the case -- you know, perhaps population control motivations, perhaps eugenic motivations may consider every abortion is a good abortion, but those of us thinking -- you are thinking individuals and understand the complexity of people's lives must recognize there are some people who may move on from an abortion without much effect and there are others who will be dramatically changed, and we need to make sure both of those people have the information they need in order to make the right choice. rep. grothman: also, it is an opportunity for some of these children's lives to be saved, and if you talk to anybody who has been adopted or people who have adopted children, you
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realize these women don't come back after 24 hours, a fortunate thing has happened. i will make one final comment before i let you go. i have in my political life run into several pro-planned parenthood people, and they do focus, they really do like to highlight the black population. i will give you one more question. if states may prohibit abortion with exceptions for viability and health, do you believe it is much clearer that we have a human life today than 30 years ago? dr. skop: absolutely. the ultrasound technology, intrauterine surgery on these 18
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week babies. even shortly after the time of roe, a doctor was instrumental in the roe decision, he was an abortionist, and as he saw more ultrasound technology and recognized the humanity of the fetus, he wrote a later in the new england journal of medicine where he said i am increasingly convinced i have presided over 60,000 deaths. he became pro-life because of the ultrasound technology. rep. maloney: the gentleman's time is expired. the gentlelady from florida is recognized for five minutes. rep. wasserman schultz: our twins, who were conceived in in
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vitro fertilization 22 years ago , after they were born, we were told the only way we conceive a child was through ivf. four years later, i missed a period, but learned i was pregnant with our very much wanted daughter at eight weeks. that's because millions of women have irregular menstrual cycles and often times by the time you realize you have missed your period, you are past the safe limitation in the texas law. this is comic. so your commentary to suggest women have plenty of time within the six week limitation is divorced from reality, biology, and science, and you know it. moving on to the extremism and the texas law, we heard the pain and confusion and challenges that some have gone through as a result of being forced to share custody with her attacker, i cannot imagine.
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but men should be aware that 34 states require a conviction of rape to terminate the parental rights of the attacker. forcing women to give birth from a pregnancy conceived from rape is forcing women to repeatedly be re-victimized by their rate does -- by their rapist. that is unacceptable. the supreme court allowed texas's six-week abortion ban to take effect, there are similar abortion bans in other states. these pose some of the greatest risk -- greatest threats to abortion access in u.s. history. one allows citizens to become bounty hunters. this is the vigilantism of cuba
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that my constituents have fled. they consume any patient accessing abortion. that includes anyone who drives the patient to an apartment, even uber or lyft drivers. what does this mean for people accessing abortions and texas, and what would it mean for florida is a copycat bill was signed into law? and can you provide more detail about the nefarious nature of this bounty system? do you believe the goal was to have private citizens actually file lawsuits or just create an intimidation culture of fear that will prevent women from receiving abortion care? >> thank you for the question, i am delighted to set the record straight. sb8, texas's flagrantly unconstitutional ban on abortion, the law was perfectly crafted to avoid additional review, typically when abortion bands are put into law they are immediately enjoined because
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they violate the constitution and federal courts stop them from going into effect how constitutionality is being litigated. in order to avoid that, jonathan mitchell, the architect of sb8 into the author of the bill previously referenced, he crafted the law for the purpose of taking the state out of the enforcement mechanism and delegating enforcement of private individuals. the purpose is twofold, one is to dismantle any system of support a pregnant person might rely upon in seeking abortion care, and two, to ensure a federal court cannot stop the law from going into effect. those are the procedural irregularities the supreme court sided, and it is -- cited, and it is why there are people in texas without constitutional rights the rest of us enjoy. rep. wasserman schultz: thank you. professor ross, i want to turn to you. i'm concerned extreme is will
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use social media companies like twitter and facebook to coordinate harassment and bounty hunting of women seeking abortions. we know that black women will likely suffer the brunt of this harm, and while some companies have stepped in to prevent this behavior, others have failed to act, a clear violation of community guidelines. do technology companies also have an obligation to stop abortion antihunting on their platforms to ensure community safety? prof. ross: i think technology companies need to be regulated simply because they have been acting like a utility and they have our privacy information. they don't seem to have a moral center about how their platforms get used to challenge democracy, and they don't seem to care because they monetize hatred and outrage, and laugh all the way to the bank while those of us that are vulnerable are targeted. i think that is a real discussion we need to have. i want to raise one point, and
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that is talk about how many people think that black women are threatened by planned parenthood. i have never worked for planned parenthood and i am not an employee but i will speak up on behalf of lack women, who are constantly told we are not smart enough to determine for our lives the decisions we need to make, and i really think these white saviors need to stop acting like racists. if you don't want to be called a racist, stop mouthing those racist talking points against black women. we see you for what you are doing, not the mealy words you are saying. you don't care about our lives, you don't care about our children, and we don't care to have you denigrating a planned parenthood which does work to save our lives because you think we don't see through your hypocrisy. rep. wasserman schultz: thank you, i yield back. rep. maloney: from south
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carolina, mr. norman is recognized for five minutes. rep. norman: as i think was jens, this is a sad day, with the atrocities going across this country, from afghanistan, where people are getting slaughtered, to the border, where you talk about woman's rights, women's freedoms, women getting raped, children getting raped, drugs coming across the border, and we are talking today, spending the taxpayers dollars talking about a state issue right now that really with ongoing tragedies happening all of the world self inflicted by pennsylvania avenue, it is amazing we are doing this. anyway, as i am listening, i have heard the word to describe the killing of a child -- let me just read them. a woman's legal right to choose,
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woman's right, women's choice, fertilized egg -- this is the taking of a life. i know my family has experienced it with a daughter having a child after 25 weeks. i think the representative mentioned her child was his biggest hand. we went through decisions that could affect the life of the mother and the long-term health of the child and she chose to have the child. the child is up and running and we celebrated his second birthday. as we talk about this, i would just ask, dr. skop, the people you have counseled about abortion, in my case, the people i am talking to, anybody that has had an abortion that i talked with has had a tear behind their description of what they went through.
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what is your experience? dr. skop: i would say it is mixed. some women will not talk to me about it. i believe we hear that one out of four american women have had abortions, but when i do new patient evaluations, it is not nearly one out of four that will report that on their history. there was some discussion earlier today about shame and stigma, and it is true that women experience shame from their abortions, but it is not because of republican lawmakers, it is because they know they have ended the life of their child. when counseling a woman, if they do give me the history of an abortion, i try to look into that a little bit. how do you feel? many times just asking dental questions, and 20 years later tears will come to their eyes. they still feel regret and sadness in many cases.
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perhaps if they have had multiple surgical abortions, i will do a proactive monitoring, measuring cervical length, making sure if they are beginning to have an incompetent cervix, we can treat that and be proactive. it wasn't really brought up in this hearing but i want to make the point, many times we hear about abortion for the life of the mother. as an ob/gyn caring for many women, i've never had to refer a patient for an abortion to save her life. in the rare event a fetus doesn't pose a risk to his mother's life, i can deliver that baby by c-section or induced labor. many times he can be saved. if he can't, his mother can hold him and love him until he passes away. there is a very -- we can deal with these hard cases in a humane way.
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rep. norman: i agree. ms. aziz, you are familiar that if someone is accused of a double homicide, killing a mother that is pregnant, are you in favor of redoing those laws? would you change the laws in the state? ms. aziz: i'm in favor of everyone having equitable and fair access to health care, what i believe abortion is rep. norman: i'm talking about double homicides. ms. aziz: i believe that abortion is health care, i don't see it as you do. i don't see abortion as homicide i see it as health care. to me, there cannot be limits on health care, there cannot be circumstances, restrictions, health care should be free, equable, and everyone should have access. rep. norman: if you could take the life of a child, why is it a
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crime if you shoot a mother and the child in the womb, why is it a crime and do you think the crime should be changed so it is not double homicide? ms aziz: i think that -- rep. norman: you are not asking -- answering my question. rep. maloney: the gentleman from vermont is recognized for five minutes. >> i want to thank the witnesses and my colleagues who spoke this morning and told their deeply personal situations. i applaud them for coming forward. i am appalled by the texas decision as a fundamental infringement on the white -- the rights of women. i am appalled by the aspect of that law that turns citizens into vigilante bounty hunters. it is chaos for our country, totally erodes personal respect and the rule of law. in vermont, i am very proud of our legislature and our governor
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, who have passed into law a bill which recognizes that a and reproductive care is a fundamental right and prohibits the state and local government from interfering with the right, restricting abortion, it upholds the rights of women. it will be considered by the people of vermont as a constitutional amendment. i am totally in support of representative chu's law that i am a cosponsor of peer one of the challenges we have -- which i am a cosponsor of. one of the challenges we have in vermont, it is a very rural state, and it is difficult for women in rural areas to get access that is convenient. my question, people living in rural communities where
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providers can be few and far between, women already faced challenges to get abortion care. in your experience, how do abortion bans and severe restrictions such as in texas affect patients seeking abortion care in rural communities? ms. moayedi: abortion restrictions are devastating to the rural communities i serve, in dallas on any day providing abortion care prior to this law being enacted, i might see several patients who have driven 300-500 miles to get to dallas for care. that is completely unethical and unconscionable that someone has to drive that far to get pregnancy care. rep. welch: thank you. ms. aziz, thank you for your work, and how does the texas equal access fund support rule patients in need of abortion care? there are real, practical challenges that have to be met.
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i would like you to explain how you help folks in your area. ms. aziz: thank you for your question. as was said, rural folks face challenges to comes to accessing abortion. there are not many abortion clinics left in texas and people have to travel really far. before sb8, people had to travel really far, and it is practically a logistical nightmare even if someone were to know they were pregnant by six weeks. by the time they might be able to come up with the money or find a clinic and make an appointment, they could be over that limit. what we really need to focus on is how people are not able to access care. people in rural communities especially, they are not able to access care they deserve. rep. welch: sometimes it gets abstract here because the very real financial pressures on a young person that is in need of an abortion, even with the job.
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the gas money, the childcare money, and taking time off from work, which they may not be able to do. can you comment a little bit on those really practical, real-world challenges a young woman would face? ms. aziz: absolutely, and i can talk about my personal experience. when i had my first abortion, i was that young woman in college, new to a country, a new immigrant, new to the legal system. i did not know much about the u.s. where i come from, abortion is not treated way it is in the u.s.. the culture shock to add to all of that. i had to travel, as i said, to colorado springs, because of the misinformation provided to me by the crisis pregnancy center. i wish i didn't have to because clearly i did not have the money. if i did not have a relative who stepped in, i would not be sitting before you today at all, i would not have my daughter i
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love with my whole heart today, i would not be married to my husband. for a flight alone, last minute when you're trying to scramble and make sure you can get your procedure when you needed, a last-minute flight was nearly $400. a lot of people may disagree, but as someone who has had that experience, a support person in a new state is also important. for that support person to also buy a flight, you're looking at $800. my procedure was $680, that i also needed a shot to protect a future pregnancy because of my blood type. that was over $120. i was extremely sick and forced to travel, travel to another state. i needed pain medication and nausea medication because i would throw up 13 or 14 times a day. i was dehydrated and i could not keep my head straight but i was forced to tech -- to travel from texas to colorado for health care. it was ridiculous.
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not to mention, i love my family and my friends who came through for me, but there are other costs such as food. i worked a $10 per hour job at a time, and i was only able to make it work because of my family member who paid for everything. otherwise you are talking about the loss of wages for two weeks. i quoted it at around nearly $2000 for me. if you just imagine, that is not a cost -- rep. welch: my time is up, but that is very graphic and real. i yelled back. rep. maloney: the gentleman from arizona is recognized for five minutes. rep. biggs: i am deeply opposed to the premise of this hearing and sincerely disappointed you chose to use the committees's time and resources on this topic rather than conducting legitimate oversight of president biden's administration and disastrous policies. we are discussing the democrats
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assertion we must expand access to a procedure that has killed an estimated 62 million babies since roe v. wade was decided. this past week, the house passed legislated -- legislation that would codify roe v. wade and would make every state a late term abortion say. last week, the democrats voted not to preserve the life of a baby born alive after an abortion. i am really disturbed by this, the premise of this hearing. but dr. skop, i'm going to read some statements with regard -- in certain findings in an article i will submit to the record later, madam chair. this is from the journal of medical ethics, they wrote, current scientific evidence supports the possibility of fetal pain before the consensus cutoff of 24 weeks, and they
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conclude that a baby in utero may feel pain as early as 12 weeks. your comments, please. dr. skop: that article is very interesting because dr. jerry sure -- derbyshire is well known in the field. the american college of gynecologists say that fetal pain does not occur until the third trimester, and they quoted that doctor. the other doctor they quoted was susan lee, a very biased paper by an abortion provider. nonetheless, the doctor is a pro-choice man but willing to follow the science where it goes, and he has become convinced with his research that there is compelling evidence that pain exists as early as 12 weeks. his previous statements, he said i was wrong.
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i wish we could all do that, that we could all re-examine our biases and look at the current evidence and decide in some ways we had been wrong. rep. gibbs: from another piece, i'm going to quote from it -- today during a fetal surgery, a specialist in fetal anesthesia is present to administer an anesthetic to the baby and a paralytic and an opioid. is that accurate? dr. skop: that is accurate, that is the standard of care for fetal surgery. rep. gibbs: why would you provide fetal anesthesia and a paralytic agent and even an opioid to a fetus receiving surgery? dr. skop: because in that case, the fetus is the patient, he is desired. the cognitive dissonance that applies to abortion does not apply to him, and he is treated with care and respect. rep. gibbs: i was struck by your earlier testimony that your training was when you are
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treating someone who is pregnant, you are treating two patients. expand on that please. dr. skop: well, i entered the field of ob/gyn because i love -- the moment a new baby is born is the most fabulous thing. if you haven't seen it, you just have to be there to recognize the miracle of life. i love women as well as the fetuses. i don't want you to think, and i think the allegation has been made that somehow i have taken the fetuses's side -- i think women have suffered from having this choice so readily available, socially, mentally in many cases. i wanted to say something related to the accessibility, which kind of relates to what you just said. i am a provider in san antonio and we have any rural women who
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live around us. we are about two and half hours from the border. i have patients who come to see me early in pregnancy, once a month, later every two weeks, the final month of pregnancy weekly, and from those border see these -- cities, driving 2.5 hours each way so i can care for their baby. people are concerned that people might have to make two trips to abort a baby but people who desire a baby many times make that trip multiple times, which speaks to maybe we should be expanding access to hospitals and prenatal care in rural areas instead of just prioritizing abortion. rep. gibbs: my time has expired. i would like without objection to submit a couple of articles to the record. rep. maloney: without objection. the gentlelady from california, ms. jackie spear, is recognized
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for five minutes. rep. speier: thank you, madam chair. doctor, can you tell me what the american college of obstetricians says about abortion? dr. moayedi: i can't tell you what the overall statement is, but all physicians, all ob/gyns should offer nonbiased, evidence-based care, and abortion as part of the spectrum of health care. ms. speier: in testimony today, have you heard nonbiased statements being made about the procedure being made by your colleague? dr. moayedi: i have not. rep. speier: can you elucidate on that?
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dr. moayedi: i've heard several racist statements, white people discussing what black people should do with the press -- pregnancies. i've also heard several pieces of misinformation around what medication abortion does or does not. these are not chemicals. i think i heard very strange terminology used. they are two medications, the first blocks a hormone, progesterone, it is not a magic toxin. it is a simple hormone blogger and it prevents the pregnancy from continuing to grow. it can also be used to induce birth later in pregnancy. it is safe to take throughout pregnancy. the second medications both of us used to induce labor. we use it to prepare a cervix prior to gynecologic surgery and it is used in abortion care.
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these two medications are incredibly safe. rep. speier: according to a 2018 report by the national academies of sciences, engineering, and medicine, abortion is safer than childbirth, colonoscopy, dental procedures, lasix surgery, and tonsillectomy's. facilities that provide abortion care are more likely to be subjected to medically unnecessary, politically motivated regulations that only make it more difficult to provide abortion services. have you encountered such targeted regulations of abortion providers where you practice, and if so, how has it affected you? dr. moayedi: i experience targeted legislations every day i provide abortion care, from where i have to go to provide care, and setting -- instead of being able to provide at my private practice. i have to perform it at all specially license clinic in our state. from the ways i have to counsel
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patients, the state requires i like to patients about risks associated with the medications or the abortion. top to bottom, everything about the care we provide is regulated by the state. we also have state clinics across the state that lie to people, that perform ultrasounds without medical supervision. i have taken care of people that have been told that there pregnancy is six weeks when they are 18 weeks, they have been told 18 weeks when they are six weeks. and the intention is to lie to them, deceive them, and coerce them out of their abortion decision. rep. speier: isn't uncommon in your practice that a woman comes to you not even knowing she is pregnant and she is 16 weeks? dr. moayedi: um, there are people that present not knowing how many weeks they are. that is not very common, but
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overwhelming scientific evidence shows that people are pretty good at knowing how pregnant they are. although it might take them a while to find out. of course you have to miss your period first. rep. speier: may be more than once. dr. moayedi: exactly. rep. speier: i think what we forget and certainly our male colleagues would not have any experience with it, but often times you will miss your period because of a stress related occasion and you just kind of file it away. and then another month. and sometimes it's not until the third month without your period that you think maybe i am pregnant. does that happen? dr. moayedi: it does. the other thing i want to make clear is abortion is not just for people that forgot to take contraception or the contraception failed. it is false to say that if we just got everyone an iud, we would not have abortion anymore. people choose abortion with
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highly desired pregnancies because things in their lives change. it is false to say this is just a contraception issue. rep. speier: thank you. one last question. how much does it cost. -- cost? insurance cannot cause -- cover and abortion in texas? dr. moayedi: that is true. rep. speier: how much does it cost? if you could provide the answer for the record. i yield back. rep. maloney: ms. harrell is recognized from new mexico for five minutes. rep. harrell: thank you, i know it has been a long day and i understand this is an important topic, i wish we were having hearings on the threats to our food supply, the crisis on our border, the afghan evacuee vetting crisis, and even the administration's withdrawal from afghanistan. but we are not.
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i know we don't have a lot of time so i will go through these questions. i come from the state of new mexico, where obviously late-term abortion is still alive and well. i don't support that, but what i want to ask you is specific questions about the procedure as a whole. is it true that abortion procedures change based on the gestational age and size of the unborn child? >> if i could finish answering my question from before. >> no thank you. please answer my question. is it true abortion procedures change based on the gestational age and size of the unborn child? >> abortion procedures are individualized to the person, where they are at and the pregnancy, their unique medical circumstances and the setting in which we are providing the care. >> which procedures are typically used in early pregnancy? >> as far as procedural abortion, typically early pregnancy what is offered is
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either with the medications are the procedure is called a dilation or aspiration abortion. >> thank you. why is this procedure not used later in pregnancy? >> this procedure is also used later in pregnancy, we just also use other instruments to help us remove the pregnancy. >> ok. i thought it was because the tissues grow firmer, so it's a more difficult abortion process. and i might be wrong. >> that's exactly what i just explained. i use the same technique but add additional instruments. >> great. what abortion procedures are typically used after 15 weeks gestation? >> the same abortion procedure i just described. we use a combination of gently dilating the cervix using medications and dilators, and then removing the pregnancy using suction and instruments. >> so these are more along the line of the dismemberment abortion? >> that is not a medical term.
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>> but it is used? >> that is not a medical term. the procedure is called a dilation and evacuation. >> so equal to dismemberment? i just want to make sure the public can understand what we are talking about. we are talking about dismembering a baby. i'm not here either to lie to the public but i want to speak truth to the public so let's call it what it is. i'm going to say dismemberment. we all know that's exactly what it is. people need to understand what we are talking about when we are dismembering arms and legs, a beating heart baby from a mother. thank you for those answers. i would now like to move over to the witness, the republican witness. i believe we have a moral crisis on our hands in the country. i think if we start teaching children in elementary school how to put condoms on bananas, how to stop thinking that having
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sex with no consequences, making personal choices that would not relate to having to make a tough decision like this is part of our problem. help me understand if you think the education in terms of sexual education and the morality of what we are doing to our youth, what is your thought on that? >> i think that there is a concern that, for whatever reason, we are attempting to normalize sexual behavior in young children. i mean, history has shown us that people do have sex. before roe, obviously, there were many women who painfully gave up their babies for adoption, which was a very sad thing, and women who did seek illegal abortions. we are promoting activity that will be followed through. i mean, the more you entry children by talking about sexuality, the more of that
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behavior you will get. i don't think there's any surprise there. the more social intercourse that occurs, even if there are contraceptives available, the more unintended pregnancies you will see. so i agree, we are sexualizing children. i'm not sure why that is being promoted. but it is being -- the consequences that we are having more young children pregnant and i agree, it is a problem. >> thank you. i wish we would all stepped to the plate and have our moral compasses re-examined and help our children make sound decisions. thank you, madam chair. i yield back. >> the gentlelady from california, miss porter, is recognized for five in its. rep. porter: thank you very much. do you believe all the black lives matter? >> of course i do. rep. porter: you have written that widespread abortion in the
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black population has become unacceptable form of racism in the united states today. you wrote clearly, "clearly abortion has disproportionately affected the black community, leading to a decrease in their population numbers, as well as many adverse consequences to women and children. many of the pathologies affecting the black community can be at least partially attributed to the breakdown in families and the absence of paternal involvement facilitated by abortion, mental health complications in black women can be caused by abortion." could you explain to me what your expertise and familiarity is with black families? >> well, i have a niece and a nephew that are both black. rep. porter: wonderful. thank you very much.
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how would you respond to this argument? >> thank you so much for the question. the purported links between abortion and the eugenics movement is a subject of my own scholarship. i recently published a paper outlining the ways in which this narrative of abortion as eugenics is being used to advance race-based grounds for overly roe v. wade. justice clarence thomas's 2019 concurrence, justice thomas attempted to -- abortion to the history of the eugenics movement in the united states. the history upon which you relied to do so was woefully incomplete. in the 1920's and 1930's, the united states was in the grips of eugenics forever, and its interest in racial purity and white supremacy. and advancing those interests, the eugenicists did not rely on abortion. their efforts were channeled
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into bans on interracial marriage, immigration laws that kept certain minorities out of this country, and most important, for our purposes, forcible and coercive sterilization for those with so-called weak genes. these laws were later repurposed and redirected in the 1960's towards poor women receiving public assistance. sterilization rather than abortion would be the eugenicists' preferred means of reproductive control. to the extent that eugenics -- abortion figured into these eugenics forever at all, it was to compel women to reproduce in greater numbers. following the civil war, there was considerable anxiety about the changing demographic character of this country. white middle-class women were using contraception and abortion, while immigrant women were having babies in record numbers. fearing the replacement of nativeborn whites by immigrants, policymakers sought to reverse the trend among white women.
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i will just note that some of the members of this community -- committee are among the 14 house republicans who voted against making juneteenth a federal holiday. when you fail to take this modest step to acknowledge the black experience in this country, it's difficult to take seriously your claims that your support of flagrantly unconstitutional abortion researchers are animated by concern for black women and our children. rep. porter: thank you very much. i yield back. >> the gentleman from texas, mr. fallon, is recognized for five minutes. rep. fallon: no audio -- rep. fallon: can you hear me?
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thank you very much. i don't understand why we now are feeling compelled to oversee state governments, and completely advocate our responsibility with the federal government. we have already considered hr- 3755. this is actually, the hell, the horse is already in the barn. i don't see why we are having a hearing after the fact. there are some and other things we should be talking about. i kind of take issue with my colleague with the questioning. i thought it was incredibly bush league. you asked a witness a question and then cut the witness off after about four seconds. i wouldn't like it if a republican member did that. doctor, i would like to give you a chance to answer that question that you asked a minute ago. >> i believe it was related to
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what i had written about my concerns about abortion in the black community. and again, this is not my lived experience. i am not in any way trying to say that i understand the circumstances, but i do know, as i stated earlier, that 67% of black children are born to unmarried mothers. we all know that poverty is much, much higher for an unmarried mother, and it's not unique to black men. there are many men across the country will allow a woman the option of abortion, and if they choose to have the child, they let them be the single mother to raise the child. it's just the breakdown of the family, and i think this can -- we can probably chase the subject around all day, like what has happened that families don't stay together? but hopefully, we can all
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acknowledge that for the sake of the children, having two parents in the home to help each other out and to model wise behavior for the children, and in many cases, to bring in an income sufficient to keep the family out of poverty are all things i would think we would all aspire to. the article that was quoted was just my attempt to explore some of these issues and how they might be linked to abortion. like i mentioned earlier, i am terribly concerned that black women have a maternal mortality three times that of white women. i think there is a number of factors we could look at, including, again, poverty, genetic factors, lack of support. i mean, it's a very nuanced conversation. and i wish that people in the halls of power that have the
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ability to change things were able to look into some of these nuances and give some consideration to whether the policies that their particular party promotes are always in the best interest of women, children, families, men. it's a big discussion, clearly. >> absolutely. have you ever come across any kind of studies or that could shed light on what the african-american population of this country would be if there wasn't abortion in this country? >> well, i have seen a figure that probably 18 million to 20 million black babies have been aborted. clearly, many of those, have they gone to term, i know, i don't think we can say necessarily that that would be the increase in the population.
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i think that clearly we would have a much larger population if these children were being born. >> sure. sure. in a perfect world, i would think and hope that everyone could agree that there wouldn't be abortion. i know that's hyperbolic, but that would be the way i want to go. furthermore, in the last few seconds that i have, i just simply wish that this committee would do more of what it's supposed to do. we have a crisis on the border. and we have the origins of covid. did it come out of a lab in china? all evidence points to it, other than a smoking gun that it is not only the preponderance of the evidence but beyond a shadow of a doubt that it probably did. this is exactly what this committee should be doing, and looking at the border. why do we let 1.5 million people that we don't know into the country if covid is a threat? i yield back. >> thank you, mr. fallon.
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the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, for five minutes. rep. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. i've been waiting for my opportunity to speak and i want to thank the chair for holding this very important hearing, which is very timely as well. i also want to thank each of the 11 witnesses for their testimony today. there is a reason why there were no men testifying today, it's because this topic is about women's freedom at a time when we have republicans putting forward the proposition that individual freedom is at risk because of covid-19 mask and vaccine mandates. those very same republicans talking out of the other side of their mouths, those other same republicans, the majority of whom are men, what deny women to make -- the freedom to make medical decisions over their own body. how duplicitous and hypocritical
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is that? my opinion is that abortion is a medical issue, not a political issue. a woman should have the freedom to choose whether to obtain this medical procedure, subject to certain projections for a viable fetus that has grown from a fertilized egg. i believe that roe v. wade provides a thoughtful framework, the trimester analysis, to this human rights issue. pregnancy is a medical issue that is female centric. in an ideal world, it would be only women who get to decided the nation's policies on this uniquely female medical procedure. or at least women would make up the majority of those who seek to control whether this medical procedure would be available to them. but unfortunately, men have turned the issue of abortion into a political issue, and men make up 73% of the deciders hearing congress -- here in congress.
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and republican deciders in congress, who are the main drivers politicizing abortion, are 86% male. so much for women's freedom among republicans. it's beyond hypocritical for my republican colleagues who profess to carry a philosophy of limited government to support laws that insert the government into the most private of women's health care decisions. and that's why was proud to vote for the women's health protection act legislation that would codify roe v. wade. we must act now to protect the freedoms women have to make their own health care decisions over their own bodies. can you explain where abortion restrictions and bans sit in the history of state control of the bodies and reproductive autonomy of black women? >> thank you, congressman. i live in georgia, so i am very proud of you.
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rep. johnson: thank you. >> i first have to remark on something i couldn't believe i heard out of somebody's mouth, and that is that they won 18 more million black people in america, when we got a few hundred thousand at the border that they won't let in. but that's just me that notice is the hypocrisy and the ridiculousness of trying to make race-based arguments out of the people, out of the mouths of people who only enact race-based policies against black people. so, i will just let that go. i think that it's very important for us to understand the intersection of racial justice policies and gender justice policies and reproductive justice policies. because you don't understand why these bans on abortion are not about having more black and brown babies born, they want
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more white babies to be born. because if they can restrict abortion to black and brown women, they would send limousines to take us to the clinic. i know that for a fact. and whether or not you believe me, look at the disparate treatment that our children get once they are born. whether they go through a school to prison pipeline, or have a property tax funded school system where, by definition, the poorer neighborhoods have poor schools -- poorer schools. the way we want to address gun violence, environmental problems, lack of clean drinking water. when you put it all together, you can't separate this fight for abortion from the fight for civil rights, voting rights, environment of justice. one thing that infuriates me is that think -- they think we are
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too simplistic who can't do an analysis of what they are really saying when they talk out of both sides of their mouths. there should be masks, by the way. they won't wear a mask to protect public health, but they want to be in my bedroom and in my body telling me what to do with it? with that most private decision about whether to commit my life to another person's life. rep. johnson: it's inconsistent. >> your time has expired. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. johnson. the gentleman from florida, mr. donald's, is recognized for five minutes. rep. donalds: first and foremost, i do want to establish something. abortion and a decision any woman has to make with respect to abortion is probably one of the most emotional decisions that they will ever encounter. i've had an opportunity to talk
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with and meet with many women who have both gone to that decision and have actually executed it and had the abortion, and those who went up to the line and chose not to have the abortion, and it's heart wrenching. it is gut wrenching. but we have a problem. the oversight committee has no jurisdiction over what the state of texas has done, zero. this is the second time in this committee that we have listened to an open hearing amongst this full committee about something that the state of texas has done through their legislative capacity in their state. you see, the oversight committee's jurisdiction, we are the main investigative committee for all of the committees that exist here on capitol hill dealing with the executive branch with the united states government, the federal government. while we are talking about what's happened in texas with respect to their abortion law are what we did several months ago with the state of texas with respect to their election law, instead of actually covering,
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you know, covid-19 and the american rescue plan, which are on the tabs for this committee's website. the committee has not had one full hearing dealing with either of those two issues. the committee has not addressed to the growing concern and some of the growing scientific data that is coming up with respect to natural immunity versus accident immunity. the committee has -- vaccinated unity. the committee has not heard anything dealing with. the committee has not discussed the fact that there are american citizens who are being compelled to vaccinate or they will lose their job. whether they actually have immunities from covid-19 or not. the oversight committee has not brought that up once. we are not even discussing it. it's not even something that the chair one -- chairwoman is even thinking about bringing. we have not discussed the american rescue plan and a very clear data that exists that the american rescue plan has put downward pressure on small business owners to be able to hire people to come back to work
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in their businesses all across the country. we have definitely not discussed in southern border and the over 1.5 million people who have entered the country illegally this candle -- calendar year. we are not talking about the children being traffic i coyotes. we are not talking about the billions of dollars that drug cartels are making allowing people to cross our southern border illegally. last but not least, we have not talked about afghanistan in an open hearing. i want to acknowledge what the chairwoman said earlier today. yes, the committee has had a classified briefing on afghanistan. that briefing was a joke. there was nothing that was disseminated in that briefing that you couldn't find out on fox, cnn or msnbc. there was nothing in that briefing that if you go and read other classified reports, the classified briefing was not as detailed as the classified reports. and band -- afghanistan blew up in the face of the american people in the world.
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instead of holding afghanistan hearings in open session, where members of this committee, who are the main investigative arm of the united states house of representatives, i found to be laughable. we have not discussed, and i hope the chairwoman would actually hold a hearing on the fact that marine lieutenant colonel schiller is currently being held in the brig for expressing his viewpoint on social media that there must be accountability for what happened in afghanistan. yet at the same time, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral millie, is walking around capitol hill while at the meantime having conversations with bob woodward. the oversight committee is not discussing that. what happens in the life of a woman is very personal, very personal. but what the state of texas does with the state of california does are state of new york does is what happens in those state legislatures and what those governors assigned. the purpose of this committee is not to go back and second-guess what states are doing with respect to their legislative power. because that is actually
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indirect contradiction to the principle of federalism upon which the united states government was actually created, and the united states constitution was signed. the framers of the constitution would have never signed a constitution if it allowed this body and any other bodies to go and second-guess legislation signed in several states. never would have happened. adam check -- madam chair, we have broad authority to do so many things. i only laid out a few today. but that's what she -- we should be investigating. we should not be going into the state of texas. we should not be using the committee's time to create, frankly, political sidetracks over the other issues that are existing in the united states today that the american people want resolution to and they do want people to be held accountable for. with that, i yelled back. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentleman is aware that we have a subcommittee on this committee that focuses only on
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covid-19, and has had a hearing yesterday, and many others on every aspect that you mentioned. and you may not have thought that the classified briefing should have been classified, but there were many government officials there giving information about what was happening in afghanistan, and the procedures and the process of helping our allies be removed from afghanistan and other custody status of the machinery that was left there. also very important. and the gentleman may not think that the fate of half the population of america is very important, i think it's very important. we have efforts trying to nationalize a woman's body, to make decisions about how their bodies are going to be used and whether or not they can make decisions about their own health care and their own reproductive rights. i find it extremely important.
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you may not think it's important. i would think that certainly half of america thinks it's important. certainly, every woman is very concerned about her ability to make decisions about her own health care. with that, i now call on the -- i am calling on the gentleman from maryland. the time is late and we have many more people who want to testify and ask questions. you are now recognized. >> i appreciate the opportunity. i want to echo what you just said about, first of all, the committee's capacity to keep an eye on all of the other issues that you just mentioned, but certainly the appropriateness of our taking up this issue today. and i want to salute the witnesses. i thank them for their time. it has been a long day. but the testimony has been powerful. i also want to thank our colleagues who spoke on the first panel for their very
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moving testimony and their leadership here in congress on this issue and many others. i also want to thank the abortion care providers in maryland that i had a chance to work with when i was an attorney in private practice. i spent many years representing the. -- them, and was able to see up close, firsthand, personally the amount of attention, diligence, professionalism, compassion that they brought to their jobs and their responsibilities. and that helped shape my perspective and commitment on this issue. i want to come back and emphasize something we've heard today. it's been sort of alluded to. i'm going to put a punctuation mark on it.
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we know that the wealthy, the white, the privileged, in many instances, will find their way around abortion restrictions like the ones we are seeing in texas. that's just the way of the world. and marginalized communities, people of color, will bear the brunt of these restrictions typically. that's, sadly, the story of the struggle of people from the beginning of time until now, and probably a good way into the future. but we can do something about that. and if you connect the dots, you recognize that it is the same communities that suffer from lack of access to health care, to environmental justice, to racial justice at the hands of police, to economic opportunity,
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and now to abortion care, are communities that lack political power. it's no accident that in texas, not only are we seeing these restrictions on abortion care, but we are seeing restrictions in the form of extreme partisan gerrymandering that's been undertaken by republicans in that state, voter suppression efforts which are designed to diminish the voices of certain communities. so, this is all connected. and we have to acknowledge that, be candid about, and find out ways to fight back against that agenda. we talk about choice. but there is an asymmetry here, because i've heard my colleagues on the other site talk about how
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a choice was made to take a child to term, to have a baby. choice is ok, as long as, for my colleagues on the other side, choice is ok as long as the choice is one that they agree you should make. but if you make a different choice, the agenda is to restrict that, limit that, ban that choice. choice is about agency, it's about a voice, justice, power. it's about mutual respect. so, i would like to come back to you. your comments have been most direct, i think the most powerful on the topic of power, agency, respect, and i'd like you to just comment on that one more time in the context of this idea of a woman's right to choose.
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>> i like the fact that we are now bringing attention to the overlooked power of women to make the choices that make sense for them and their family. because that's what people like to overlook, that we are not just talking about people capable of becoming pregnant as if we are vessels. we are citizens, human beings with full human rights. and there are people who are dedicated to thinking that we become less human or less citizen or less capable of thinking clearly when we become pregnant. by every one of these people came from a mother who was able to think, i was able to actually, you know -- who was able to actually, you know, have her rights protected. if she didn't have her rights
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protected, they should have been. so i'm fighting for myself, but i'm fighting for my family, my children, my grandchild, and everybody else, because we are not going to be subhuman citizens just because somebody thinks that they have the right to tell me what i should do in my bedroom -- could do in my bedroom and with my families in a way that doesn't have my family's best interest in mind. >>. thank you. >> thank you. the gentleman yields back. >> [indiscernible] >> mr. keller is back. ok. the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. keller, is recognized for five minutes. rep. keller: today's hearing, it's not about health care and it's not about protecting women or their children. today's hearing is about
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weaponizing a radical, pro-abortion agenda against states that seek to protect women and the unborn. when two healthy people enter a doctor's office and only one comes out, that's not health care. when roe v. wade was decided, the scientific consensus was that a baby had to be 24 weeks old to experience pain. however, we know that this is not true. that babies can feel pain as early as 12 weeks. unfortunately, this is why the u.s. had -- is only one of the very few countries that allow elective abortion as 20 weeks after life begins -- past 20 weeks after life begins. dr. scott, modern-day science and research have changed our knowledge on the true point of viability. do you believe the laws surrounding viability should be updated as well?
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dr. scott: absolutely. i think we need to acknowledge the signs that we have expensed since -- experienced since roe and amend our abortion legislation accordingly. rep. keller: thank you. and also, we've heard in today's hearing that abortions have gotten safer over the years. i can't imagine how that's possible when the baby doesn't come out of the procedure. but when we are talking about the procedure having gotten safer over the years, is that true, that it's gotten safer for the mother? dr. skop: it has gotten safer. along the way, our surgical skills have improved, are antistatic skills have improved, antibiotic, we just have evidence-based medicine that's more advanced than it was back at the time of roe.
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but it should be noted that, although it's commonly stated that 5000 to 10,000 women died from septic abortions yearly before roe, that number is not reflected in any of the medical literature at the time. the american medical association, the cdc document one or a couple hundred deaths, which is still way too many, but it was not as dangerous, even prior to roe, but that was just used as a talking point in order to get the procedure legalized. rep. keller: can you explain if there are any physical risks associated with chemical abortions? dr. skop: the biggest immediate risk is not passing the tissue completely, having a hemorrhage requiring a surgery. there was a large chinese study i believe that looked at women who had medical abortions who failed, who needed surgery, and in that small group, they found
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a 361% increased risk of preterm birth and a subsequent -- in a subsequent pregnancy. additionally, studies have shown us that independent of what the rat thinks about the abortion, missile crist on increases the rat behaviors that are reflective of anxiety and depression. many of the deaths that have occurred after this have been from an unusual type of sepsis from an organism. both impair the immune system of a woman. and so, put them at a higher risk of infections. rep. keller: if i can just ask another question. on top of the series physical risks associated with medical abortions, we know that the process is long and can be emotionally traumatizing for expecting mothers.
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can you speak on the emotional impact this process can have on mothers? dr. skop: sure. one thing that's not really discussed is an eight week fetus is about the size and shape of a gummy bear. it is clearly human. you can see arms, you can see legs and you can see a head. women are passing those in their toilet, and they are seeing their unborn baby. they are not going to tell anybody that they saw that, but can you imagine the emotional trauma of seeing your own child? rep. keller: i cannot imagine that. i think it's clear, now more than ever, that every life is precious and worth protecting. i would just urge my colleagues to stand for life. thank you and i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from illinois, miss kelly, is recognized for five minutes. rep. kelly: thank you. i want to thank the witnesses for their powerful testimony today.
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i have been on this hearing from the beginning and it's just interesting some of the stuff i've heard. one thing, the conversation about how the witness has been treated, i've been on this committee for nine years and i've seen horrendous treatment of democratic witnesses. i don't know if the person saying it is very new but there's been her in this treatment. i do agree that witnesses should be treated with respect. when we talk about science and scientific advancement, we use it as a convenient, but when we want to talk about climate change and vaccinations, we don't talk about what the signs is sank -- science is saying. along with the ciccone and state law, harmful restrictions have left too many individuals without equal access to abortion care. nearly 29 million women covered by federal health insurance plans or treated by federal
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providers lack insurance coverage for abortion services. this includes almost 14 million low income women who access health care through medicaid, half of whom are women of color. how do federal abortion coverage restrictions disproportionately harm people with lower income? thank you for being honest and straightforward and speaking truth to power. >> thank you for your question. i was fortunate enough to be in washington, d.c. in 1970 when i needed an abortion as a student at howard university. washington, d.c. legalized abortion in 1970, three years before roe v. wade. i was able to go to have a perfectly safe late-term abortion, by the way. three years later, roe was passed, and then a few years later, the height amendment,
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which restricts the use of several funds for abortion services for people whose abortion care -- health care -- is provided by the federal government and that's women in the military, women who get their services through the indian health services, poor women and all those things. ever since the amendment was enacted, people whose health care was provided by the federal government have been treated as second-class citizens. and they are discriminated because of how their health care is provided, not their medical condition, but because they are either serving our country in the military, on a reservation where they have to use the ihs, or poor women, or in the peace corps and those kind of things. i should be a constitutional violation to set up a second-class citizenship for
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people simply through a regulation. this is something that we, as black women, have been fighting since it was proposed, since it was enacted. our above all campaign is fighting to remove that amended. -- amendment. we really should not have it legal to set up a class of people as second-class citizens. >> i am proud to cosponsor the each act, a bill that will reverse the amendment and other related federal abortion coverage restrictions. how would the each act impact their communities -- the communities? >> thank you for your question. but i would like to say i think it's a question better answered by a legal expert that we are fortunate to have on the spinal, if that's ok -- on this panel, if that's ok? >> sure. >> it is my understanding that
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the texas law would basically make it, would provide a cause of action against any individual who aids someone in performing an abortion or seeking an abortion. it is written incredibly broadly. this could mean that the barista who overhears you speaking about your abortion could take a cause of action, file suit against you. anyone who provides age through these abortion funds or even donates to planned parenthood and you are in the country could ostensibly be a defendant in a lawsuit. because the law is so broadly written and that is purposeful to dismantle that network of support for a pregnant person. >> thank you. i would submit to documents and the record we are presenting indisputable evidence that abortion is safe, common and essential component of health care.
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-- on behalf of 25 medical organizations demonstrating a concrete medical consensus of opposition to abortion restrictions. the second is a statement with more than 62,000 members. acog's as the nations's explorative body in the development of standards of care for women's health. it has evidence-based clinical guidelines developed by experts in the field. safe, legal abortion is a necessary component of comp rents of health care and government imposed obstacles marginalize abortion services, from routine clinical care that are harmful to people's health and well-being. any statement to the contrary in today's hearings are not based on science or medical evidence. i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from michigan is now recognized for five minutes. rep. lawrence:, thank you, madam chair. i just want to start off my short period fo time here to put it simply, antiabortion policies
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do not stop abortion. what it does is stops safe and legal abortions, were a woman can go and get an abortion safely in a medical, safe medical procedure. let's be clear, when we talk about abortion, there has always been abortion for a number of reasons. and i'd like to preface my comments, god blessed me with two pregnancies. i was married, i had resources and i was healthy, and i gave birth to two healthy children. but i will never step down from the fact that if i were a victim of rape, insist or if i had to look my husband in the eye and say it's the baby or me, that i would have a choice. and the ability for a woman to make a decision about the care or the ability to bring a child
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in this world is something i do not feel rests with the government. and it is interesting to me when i hear the debate about what the care and the stress level i heard the witness talk about. have you ever examined and looked at the impact of children that are born three -- into a situation where there was no care? we know that foster children, the rate of foster children are growing, children born addicted, all of these things that, unfortunately, many people call themselves antichoice are not pro-life for those who are living and walking on earth. i have a question, and it is, we know that ms. ross, i will ask
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you, how has the aca helped improve access and health outcomes for women? >> when i was working at the national reproductive -- national women of color reproductive -- we work interested in passing the affordable care act because it widely expanded health care options for the american public and immediately had an impact of providing health care for many people who otherwise could not afford it. and unfortunately, it took us from the 1930's until now to even do that modest health care reform. and we still are not through because we know that every human being has a human right to health care. and one of our pathways is going to be to achieve universal health care. once we do, we will make sure that people who need the health care, who've made does who may
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be afraid to access it because they don't have sedition -- citizenship papers or are afraid to reveal to their abusers that they need prenatal care, we will cover everybody. we are going to expand the universal health care system for which the affordable care act is on its [indiscernible] i'm sorry, that is my airline trying to reach me. i am here already. it has been a real benefit and a human right that is too long overdue, but we need more and we are not going to stop asking for more. >> thank you. i want the record to reflect that approximately 700 women, mostly of color, die each year from childbirth-related cases. however, when we bring forth maternal mortality bills and laws, i don't see my colleagues on the others of the aisle with
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the same passion that they have for women who are dying in childbirth. when we talk about programs like snap, so once a baby is born, how do we feed them, and how do we use the title x family planning program that would allow women to have access to medical resources to allow them to plan their families so that they can give birth at a time where they are mentally, physically, and economically ready to care for that child? we hear insults on our social network over how we are taking care of people. well, you know what? if we had more family planning, not abortion, family planning, we could reduce the amount of money that we spend in the social network. with that, i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields back.
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the vice chair of the committee, mr. gomez, representative gomez from california, is recognized for five-minute. rep. gomez: thank you, madam chair. i want to also just add to what my colleague, miss lawrence, just said. the republicans, the other side of the aisle, they love to talk about life. but they talk about life, what i call the bookends of a person's life, there birth and death. they don't really pay much attention to the life that occurs in between. and every single time that they are given an opportunity to choose life, of how somebody is going to live their life, they vote no. when they have an opportunity to expand medicaid, which 50% of all births are paid through medicaid, they vote no.
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and what does that do? well, it has a disproportionate and discriminatory effect on people of color, mostly black women, who are four times as likely as a white woman to die of childbirth than their white counterparts. but you know what? they are the party of life. but yet, when they have an opportunity to choose life of a black woman, to expand medicaid and postpartum care, they vote no. so, their hypocrisy that they choose life is astounding at best, and cynical at worst. if they want to choose life, they should care about how that person is living. they should vote to make the child tax credit that we helped expand and make it refundable, they should vote yes, because then you are lifting 50% of the children out of poverty.
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we should choose life, not just at the bookends, but in between. this is what the republicans have always done. when you are born, after that, it is up to you, you are on your own. pull yourself up by the bootstraps, even though you might not even have baby shoes or boots to pull yourself up by. and that's if your mother survived the birth. i find it always offensive when they talk about that. so, let's go on to sb-8. and we know that sb-8 is not the only way the texas state government has sought to undermine abortion access. long before sb-8, texas and many other states deployed targeted restrictions on providers, or travel laws, to curtail access -- trap laws, to curtail access. how have these laws affecting
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your ability to deliver abortion care? >> as i stated previously, these laws affect every single aspect of my care. i did want to speak, if it's ok, about a conversation that happened early relating to black maternal mortality that i can't let go. that conversation between the good doctor and i believe representative fallon discussed how black maternal mortality as a result of genetic factors in poverty. this is an incredibly disturbing to hear from a physician. we know that race is a social construct. it is not genetically coded. to say that genetic factors lead to increased rates of black maternal mortality is actually a direct extension of the eugenics movement, which the other side seems to be very much against, but continues to use their talking points. rep. gomez: thank you. it's interesting, i always talk about the randomness of birth. that god doesn't give, you know, anyone population, he doesn't
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make them smarter, he doesn't make them more talented, he doesn't give all the attributes of what it means a healthy and successful life to one population versus another. that it is within the law of nature to be distributed, right. but, for some reason, they believe that that's not the case. and if it is randomized, if people all have talents and abilities, then why do we see the disparities that we actually see? >> the reason black maternal mortality rates are so high are a result of white supremacist systems in our medical institutions. if we work together, all of us, to dismantle white supremacy, we would actually be seeing better
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health outcomes for black people, indigenous people and immigrants. rep. gomez: that's exactly the point. that all these health outcomes that are met -- negative for black women, minorities and indigenous people are a result of policy decisions that have been made for generation upon generation. and if we actually have different decisions made, we can change the outcomes. not because somebody's genetics, not because of where they live, it's because of how we make different policy decisions to get different results. my time is up and i yield back, messenger. -- madam chair. >> the gentleman yields back. i now recognize the gentleman from kentucky, who is recognized for five. >> thank you, madam chair. i would like to begin by asking unanimous consent to submit for the record a few letters. first letter is from the students for life action
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expressing support for life. secondly, madam chair, i would like to submit to the record all of the letters that we have sent to you requesting hearings on various topics that republicans on the oversight committee feel are of the utmost importance. and lastly, madam chair, i would like to submit to the record all these letters that republicans on the oversight committee have sent to the biden administration requesting information, none of which have been responded from the administration. and again, that's the role of this committee, to provide oversight for the executive branch. so without objection, i ask for unanimous consent to some into the record. >> without objection. rep. comier: dr. skop, thank you
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so much for being here today. let me apologize for how some on the others of the aisle, in particular the men, have treated you during the hearing. i would like to remind everyone that you are an ob/gyn, nonattorney -- not an attorney. you are not an expert on amicus briefs or any of the other questioning that they were asking you. i would like to give you my time to respond to anything that you feel hasn't been adequately addressed or any information that you perhaps disagreed with that was stated by anyone else in this hearing. and with that, i will turn it over to you. dr. skop: there's two statements i want to make. one was this recent discussion and that i think, maybe i misunderstood, were you trying to say that there are not genetic differences amongst
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different ethnic groups? because i think the cdc would probably beg to differ, because there is quite easy to locate evidence that there are some groups that have a higher incidence of obesity, some that have higher incidence of diabetes, some that have higher incidence of hypertension. are you saying that you don't think that that's the case? >> i mean -- race is not genetically coded in the way that you are saying. are of those -- all of those are conditions of white supremacy, not of someone's inferior genetic capacity. dr .skop: i thought we were here to discuss science. >> white supremacy comes up a lot in this hearing. in this committee. dr. skop: i would love to hear how that works. >> it is climate change and
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everything around here but go ahead. dr. skop: i think i might have forgotten the other thought i had. i appreciate you guys have given me a lot of opportunities to talk today and thank you for hearing me. >> madam chair, i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. i just want to really say that everyone has given incredible testimony today. and i need to read something in. who else? is there still someone? no, this hearing has been going on since 3:00, we still haven't heard from everyone? and that gentle lady from massachusetts is a leader on this issue in the women's caucus and on this committee. ms. presley, you are now recognized. rep. presley: thank you.
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the right to abortion guaranteed by roe v. wade has only been a wreck in name only. abortion ban, including coverage bans, keep abortion out of reach for millions, specifically low income, black, indigenous, communities of color who already face systemic barriers to health care. professor ross, i will afford you the opportunity to elaborate on the roots and the impacts of white supremacy and how abortion bans like this are rooted in patriarchy, white supremacy and perpetuate systemic racism. could you speak to that? the ways in which abortion bans are rooted in patriarchy, white supremacy and perpetuates
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systemic racism? ok. >> is that -- i don't know if that's directed towards me. >> actually, you know what, since you started with that, doctor, will you pick up on that? >> i'm sure. and i would like to hear from professor ross. yes, from the founding of this country, reproductive cohersion is to create more people to be slaved. children were separated from indian families and sent to indian boarding schools as a method of genocide and control over those families. and that history continues to today. we see that history time and time time in how our medical structures are created and how we actually think about race and medicine, how we actually have physicians that think that high blood pressure is because of
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your race and not because of the stress of racism in our country. >> thank you very much. mrs. ease in your caps frk the texas equal access fund, you're on the front lines in the fight to insure abortion access for all. we know that there are some common financial challenges that your clients face as they attempt to access abortion care including childcare, transportation, housing, people being forced to travel out of state. can you speak to how the hyde amendment pushes those already out of reach further out of reach when it comes to access? speak to the racism and discriminatory implications of it, please. >> thank you for your question. absolutely. the hyde amendment is in place as a tool to discriminate against minorities because people that are wealthy will
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always have access to abortions. even in their case, i think their access should be easier because abortion should be easy to access no matter what. but the wealthy will always be able to access abortion. they can afford to lose wages for two weeks or so -- there are things that people that have more money are able to do. however, for minorities, for people in rural areas for minor, for trans folks, for any sort of vulnerable community i want to remind people it's not just that women are having abortion, we're aclueding a lot of people from the conversation. i want to bring it back to that. >> i'm sorry. thank you. thank you. and so again, given these cost prohibitive barriers here and the impact of things like the hyde amendment which push care further and further out of reach, abortion funds have been standing in the gap of that. but it's long past time that
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congress eliminate the hyde amendment. they passed a budget without hyde but the senate needs to follow suit and this moment demands it. doctor, are they limbed to those residing in the state where they're in effect. can you share how the ripple effects may be impacting broad what abortion access across the nation? >> yes, thank you so much for asking that. this week i was in oklahoma city providing care not only for people in oklahoma but for people from as far as san antonio, texas that's over eight hours to drive for care. ordinarily when i provide care in oklahoma city, maybe 7% to 10% are from the texas area and specifically the north texas area this week, 70% of the people i took care of were from texas that means also that those clinic spaces and appointments are moving outs side of the state as well. i would also like to remind
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people that prior to s.b.a. texas was a place where people would come for abortion specifically from louisiana that is pushing that care from louisiana outside of texas as well. >> thank you. gentlelady's time has expired. without objection. ms. frier is asked to participate in today's hearing and she is now recognized. >> thank you, madam chair and thank you to our witnesses. thank you for allowing me to wave on to the committee today. as a mom and a pediatrician and a woman, this issue is very important to me. i'm really glad that we had a couple of physicians here today to discuss this critical personal and medical matter. and i wanted to just start with a little level setting some of a quick yes or no. doctor, thank you for coming
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today. you are a practicing ob/gyn in texas. >> yes. >> and a little bit of in oklahoma? >> yes. and doctor when you were gettering medical degree, i presume you and dr. scott both took an oath to take care of your patients, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> in a typical ob/gyn practice ha has full scope of care, how many of those patients who are newly patient show up before six weeks? >> in a typical ob/gyn practice, the typical entry is at around 14 weeks. >> and that makes sense because many people don't know they're pregnant. thank you for clarifying that. you know, i'd like to talk about my perspective on again, as a doctor like you who has taken an oath to protect my patients and all three of us have take than oath. can i just clarify.
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who is the patient that you take an oath to protect? >> any patient that seeks care from me. the woman. >> the person who seeks care from you. i was going to ask dr. scott the same thing so that it is the woman she's taken care of. and in my view abortion exists in many ways to protect women, healthcare decision that a woman makes with her doctor. and frankly if women can be trusted to raise children, teach children, doctor children, they can certainly be trusted to make or we can be tested to make our own healthcare decisions and we certainly deserve the the autonomy to makes those decisions. pregnancy and childbirth make no mistake prevent -- present really big risks, risk to the woman's health, to her life, to her independence, perhaps to her education, her ability to feed her other children, to keep a job, to make ends meet. and frankly, even sadly safety
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from abuse from a partner or -- or a parent. and as a doctor, i am horrified by this new law in texas and others like it which essentially babb abortions but this one creates a system of modern day bounty hunters, neighbor, ex-boyfriends anyone with a grudge to enforce state law and profit from it to the tune of $10,000 or more each. and these laws undermine the oath that we take to our patients and that trust. and it criminalizes doctors in the process. you know, these are politicians and baiting the exam room and telling doctors how to do our jobs and frankly encouraging us, making us violate an oath that we have taken. finally, i just wanted to mention, let let's not kid ourself, abortion will continue but with laws like these it will not be safe and it will not be legal and make no mistake this puts women's leaves at risk just like 50 years ago when women
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would die from this. and it takes away women's freedom chart the course of their leaves, which we all deserve to have. so as the only pro-choice woman doctor in in congress, i just want you to know thatly always stand with women against draconian nonmedically justified barriers to women's access to abortion. and i sure hope that others like you will as well. >> thank you. >> thank you. i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields back. ms. escobar is asked to participate in this hearing. con congresswoman, you are now recognized. >> chairwoman maloney, thank you so much for the privilege of waving on to your committee. i'm so grateful for being here today. i also want to express my deepest gratitude to our witnesses especially those who have hung through the entire hearing, a very lengthy hearing with so much to discuss. madam chairings i asked for
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unanimous con consent to enter the record a number of statement from texas women, from providors, from nonprofits and organizations who will be impacted by this draconian law? >> without objection and thank you for submitting them. >> thank you, madam chair. i respect el paso, texas, a community on the safe and secure beautiful u.s.-mexico border. and i want to say a couple of things about the state that i live in and where you -- where we live in. in texas the very republicans who have pushed this draconian piece of legislation have the audacity to call themselves pro-life. however, their actions don't connote any respect or reverence for life whatsoever in texas we have an unacceptably high maternal morbidity rate,
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absolutely unacceptable. and republicans who have been in charge have been sitting on their hands as women continue -- pregnant women continue to die. children, texas children live in generational equity and poverty because in texas, the level of education a child gets depends on the zip code that they live in. and we live in a state that not only limits children's access to healthcare and their family's access to healthcare but we live in a state that is trying to eliminate access to healthcare all together through its lawsuits against the affordable care act we live in a state with a governor who prohibits mask mandates in texas schools in order to protect the leaves of texas children. we live in a state that was essentially -- with republican they're is essentially silent as the prior administration
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separated children from their parents under some of the most heinous, anti-immigrant poll says that we've ever seen in our generation. we -- we live in a state where republicans oppose access to sex education and contraception in order to prevent unwanted pregnancy. here in congress, so the problem is not just texas republicans. here in congress, the same republicans who support sb-8 and this draconian legislation unanimously and frequently and repeatedly oppose pro child pro-family legislation such as the child tax credit access to childcare, access to housing, and a number of other democratic-led policies that help enrich and save and -- and create healthy families. they oppose these policies. this is not what i would call
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pro-life. we should not allow them to get away with calling themselves pro-life. pro-birth, maybe in some cases, but certainly not pro-life. doctor, we know that these draconian laws do not end abortion. in fact, we heard earlier, the first panel, we heard from my colleague congresswoman barbara lee what she had to do in order to have access to a choice that she was forced to make, a very personal choice that she had to disclose here in front of all all of congress and in front rough the american public. but she talked about the way her pierce, were dying because they could not have access to safe, legal abortions. can you tell me as republicans seek to turn back the clock by decades on women and women's access to care, what will it do to women who will take their
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reproductive health care into their own hands? >> thank you for that question. i trained in el paso for four years and my child was born there as well. so thankfully today, that's we have safe medications that people can access. it can be safely taken. and you don't need a physician to take them so the concern with laws that criminalize or legalize abortion today is not so much around the safety because some people will be able to access safe medications but around what happens to people that do access those medicines. we know already that black and brown bodies are overcriminallized and overpoliced in this country. and we know that people who seek those medications when they are illegal or not legally available going suffer the consequences through the criminal legal system. i do want to tale story, though, about two years ago, three, in our last legislative session in texas action bill was introduced that would make providing
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abortion care a felony and give the physician and the patient the person seeking an abortion the death penalty the very week that it was being discussed, a patient came and saw me and said doc t i know i'm going to get the death penalty for this but i need this abortion. i -- you know, i provide this care and i'm trusted by my neighbors to provide this care and i do it out of a duty to care for my neighbors. but that really as a mom hit me very hard that people know, or you know, might be confused about what the law is but still want to come in for that care no matter what the consequences it's importance to understand that abortion and birth are not separate. they're part of a continuum. and as as long that people have had birth, they're going to have abortions. we're not going to end them through laws. >> out of time, i yield back
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jim: time is expired and in closing, i -- i want to thank all of the panelists for their incredible mark -- remarks and insights and i want to commend my colleagues for participatingin this important conversation. votes have been called. so we will be adjourning. but before we adjourn, i want to take care of one piece of administrative business. at the request of ms. mace will now serve as the ranking member of the committee of civil rights and civil little bit thes, and civil liberties. without objection, so ordered. withje that and without objectin all members will have five legislative days within which to submit extraneous materials and to submit additional written questions for the witnesses to the chair, which will be forwarded to the witnesses for their response. all right, ask our witnesses to please respond as popular as they are able. and with that, this important hearing is adjourned.
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>> senate democrats and republicans have been at a standoff over raising the federal debt ceiling as the deadline approaches. the senate returns at 10 a.m. eastern. majority leader chuck schumer is scheduled another vote to try and advance a suspension bill which it needs 60 votes. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell told reporters that republicans will not vote to raise the debt ceiling. the government will exhaust its borrowing ability by october 18 if congress doesn't act. according to treasure secretary janet yellen. follow live senate, john c-span2. >> saturday night former president donald trump speaks at a rally held at the iowa state fair grounds in the state capital of them went. he won the state of file in 2020 and is considered a top contender for the 2024 gop presidential nomination. live coverage beginning at 8 p.m. eastern on


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