tv U.S. Senate Republican Senators on Abortion Policy CSPAN December 1, 2021 8:48am-10:17am EST
podcast all for free. download c-span now today. >> the supreme court has a case today challenging the constitutionality of a mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. you can follow the oral argument like the canadian eastern on on c-span3, online at c-span3, online at c-span.org or on our free mobile lab c-span networks several senators spoke about the case yesterday on the senate floor and. shared her own views on abortion. >> mr. president, tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. supreme court of the united states will hear oral arguments on a case out of mississippi commonly known now as the dobbs case. that case of mississippi law where mississippi passed a law saying at 15 weeks a child in
development in the womb can be protected after that time period. it strikes right at the heart of roe v. wade where in the arbitrary ruling for the supreme court in 1973 they made up a new rule saying when a child is viable, not something that is in law in any spot, created that out of whole cloth. tomorrow morning the supreme court will reopen that conversation about viability. it's an important discussion for us to be able to have as a nation and its vital that we talk about it here as well. it is being discussed across the street of the supreme court and there are laws we should discuss your you as well. so for the next few moments there are multiple different senators are going to speak on this one issue. when is a child a child, and when should states have the right to protect their own citizens lives? supreme court made that murky
and has the option tomorrow to be able to make that clear. this conversation though will circle around what should the legal standard be and how should we protecten the lives of every citizen, no matter how small they are. there will be multiple senators speaking on this one, first will be senator steve dainesle who leads the pro-life caucus in the united states senate. >> senator paul montana. >> mr. president, i rise today ahead of one of the most important moments in our decade-long battle to protect life. when our founding fathers laid up the declaration of independence they talked about life, they talked about liberty and the pursuit of happiness. they called them certain unalienable rights endowed by our creator. the reality is you can have
liberty in the pursuit of happiness without first having that i'm in usable right given by god, and that is the right to life. tomorrow the united states supreme courthe will hear oral arguments on the mississippi late-term abortionas case, dobb v. jackson women's health organization. this puts our nation at the crossroads of history. our nation has a moment to finally modernize our lives. we've got the opportunity to catch up with the great advance weeks in science, technology and medicine that indisputably shows the humanity of unborn children here we have the opportunity to end an extreme judicially imposed abortion regime that is aligned with nations such as
china and north korea. the united states is just one of seven nations that allows late-term abortions. we have the opportunity to write a new chapter of american history where the people's elected representatives did you decideor abortion policy in this country. the supreme court ofat the unitd states has a chance to write the story injustice and finally overturn roe v. wade. our courts nine justices have the opportunity to reconsider a wrongly decided case. and by the way, that wrongly decided case that became case law, it was nine man in black robes that really have overruled the will of the people. wasn't a state legislature. it wasn't the u.s. house. it wasn't the u.s. senate. it was nine man in black robes
1973 that had since resulted in the death of over 62 million innocent babies, 62 million. we have had the opportunito reverse this horrific decision that impose abortion on demand until the moment of birth across the united states. they have the opportunity recognize that roe was based on flawed and outdated science. and it's a right to abortion which roe invented has the support in the text, the history, or the structure of the constitution. the supreme court has an opportunity to restore the constitution and defend our most fundamental right, and that is a right to life. let's go back to 1973 when roe was decided. many things were different than they are today. why?
well, one reason is because science and technology certainly fashions have advanced greatly. our phones in the 1970s went from large brick like devices with antennas. in fact, the first cell phone call was placed in 1973, the very year that roe v. wade was decided. they were called bricks. they were about two and a half pounds. compare that to the thin touch screen smartphones that we fit in our pockets today that are less than six ounces of weight in the 1970s computers with the size of an entire desk. and now we have laptops that can be thin as literally a child's toy. now when we droven in the '70s, compare that to what we drive
today. i'm thankful that's changed. and in the '70s if you were a woman of a doctor getting an ultrasound after 15 weeks into the pregnancy youu would have seen something like this. that's hard to recognize, but that was the technology that some ultrasounds had the best back in the '70s. but today, an ultrasound of a baby at 15 weeks when they are using the latest 4g technology looks like this. you literally can see this little one here 15 weeks sticking her tongue out. 15 weeks. a baby this size is who mississippi's historic life-saving law would protect
from thenc brutal violence of te late-term abortion. that d is a 15 week baby. and if you don't believe me, take out the smart phone, google 15 week baby, and click on images. casey made it illegal for states like mississippi to enforce laws that protect babies like this one on the grounds that this baby cannot survive outside the womb. there was a play called viability. roe and casey viability line is arbitrary. it's on scientific. it is morally repugnant. because in 1973 babies could survive outside the womb at 28 weeks of pregnancy. today, babies are surviving outside the womb as early as 21 weeks but not yet as early as 15
weeks. it is barbaric to deny lifesaving protections to a helpless pre-born child like this one simply because she cannot survive outside the womb. the reality is even a full term for the week old baby needs nurturing care and medicalde assistance to survive outside the womb. a full term baby delivered at 40 or 41 weeks still requires the nurturing and the care of parents to survive outside the womb. they've got to be said. they've got to be kept warm. they have got to be taken care. they can't do it on their own. martin luther king once said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. this is also true in the case of the supreme court's prior unjust decision on abortion. in fact, the logic of roe and casey viability test undermines
the moral civil rights protections for everyone who is unable to survive without assistance from others. that include young children, the elderly, and persons with w disabilities. a pre-born child is is not a quote potential life as roe so wrongly concluded. this precious child and all children inside the womb in any stage of development are whole,, fisting, living human beings. they are fully human and fully living. they are beautifully living children made in the image of god who should be protected by the law. we have come a long way but becs
growing baby. if i took b this image and we hd the american people say what is that? they say that's a baby. at 15 weeks a baby has arms and legs, can pick up, kenyatta, the heart is fully develop. at 15 weeks heart has already beaten 15 million times. the baby has distinct facial expressions. he can hear the voice of the mother and respond. it can taste, can suck her thumb as you can see that other image ahead, even stick out her tongue. i'm a father format, grandfather of two. we have another grandchild coming in a day. our daughter due date is december 3, friday. and my wife and i who i marriage now 35 years have our favorite way of tracking our grandbabies growth. this didn't happen in 1973 but today we have on our phones. i've been using an app called
sprout. there several out there. downloaded it. i can see how my little grandson is doing in each week of it's remarkable, remarkable. we follow this little baby now week eight. we were in week 40 now this weekend. this cutting edge technology is at the tip of our fingers, something we couldn't imagine 50 years ago. we had that at the tip of our fingers. .. clear what overturning roe could mean for the country. there's a lot of misinformation out there. let me state this as clearly as i can. overturning roe will not -- let me say that again -- will not ban abortion nationwide as >> as many on the left like to claim in an attempt to mislead americans. it's absolutely false, it will not ban abortions nationwide. instead, it returns the power
to the states. it returns the power to federal lawmakers allowing them to protect the most vulnerable and act on behalf of the people they're elected to represent. because today under roe, state lawmakers are robbed of their ability to represent the values of their constituents. yet, because of roe, the will of the people of mississippi to protect life is obstructed. according to a recent maris poll 80% of americans are opposed to abortion after the first three months, 12 weeks of pregnancy. that's an overwhelming majority of the american people. but because of roe, those voices are silenced. it's time for the supreme court to allow the states and federal lawmakers, those of us who are elected, who are held directly accountable by the people to
protect the most vulnerable among us. it's time that we as the united states of america, a nation supposed to be a leader in the world on human rights recognize that innocent babies in the womb deserve equal protection under our laws. i'm sure many of my colleagues and most americans would agree that nations like communist china and north korea egregiously violate human reports, sadly with abortion, america stands with them. just seven countries, m earthquake is an outlier on abortions. we're one of seven nations that allows abortion past the point where a baby feels pain all the way up to birth. and in china, disgraceful place
for the country in the world to be. i'd like to thank fitch and the team and we stand with you, millions of americans are praying for this momentum moment, young and old. that will occur before the courts tomorrow and hours away from a pivotal point in our nation's history. i pray that we'll remember tomorrow as a turning point. it closes a really dark chapter of our nation's history and herald a dawning day in america for those who have no voice finally have a voice. one that honors the human dignity, the god-given potential of all life. one of the positions of the united states as a leader in the world puts an end to the horrific violence of abortion,
especially painful late term abortions. i pray that we see the supreme court of the united states correct a historic injustice, that they would uphold mississippi's 15-week abortion law and send roe versus wade to the ash heap of history. for the pro-life movement, overturning roe is not the end, but just the beginning. as i stated earlier, this does not ban abortions nationwide. what it does, it will return the decision making back to the states. no matter how the court rules, we'll continue to fight at the state and federal level to pass laws to end the violence of abortion, will not rest until the day that every life is protected under laws from conception until natural death. i want to thank am i colleagues for being here today to talk about the importance of the dobbs case and thank my friend senator lankford who is helping lead to fight for life and
grateful for the two senators from mississippi where this case originated, this law originated, grateful for senator, and he has comments to share. i yield back my time. >> the senator from mississippi. >> i congratulate my friend from montana for his passionate and analytical and in my view, correct assessment of this issue. i rise this afternoon in support and in encouragement of the public officials and the attorneys who will bring this case before the supreme court in argument tomorrow. i rise as does my colleagues from mississippi, senator hyde-smith in appreciation for the state legislature where she and i both served before coming before congress. and in appreciation for the
governor and the legislature enacting the gestational age act, which is the subject of this dobbs case, which will be argued tomorrow. this is a serious issue. it's an issue that will determine whether millions of american children have an opportunity to be born. and to enjoy the good life in this, the greatest system of representative government that the world has ever seen. so it's a serious issue, but, mr. president, i'm happy today. i'm encouraged and hopeful today and one of the reasons that i'm so encouraged is that the american people steadily, over the decades, have been moving in the direction of
protecting life. this has not always been the case and as my friend from montana so accurately pointed out. we just know so much more. science knows so much more today in 2021 than signs knew and that americans knew and the world knew back in 1973. so we see more and more people becoming pro-life. now, since 1995, the share of americans who identify themselves as pro-life, has jumped to 47% from 33. well, you say, well, that's not that great. of course, it leaves some folks undecided, but when you sort it out and become more specific, two out of three americans support a ban on second trimester abortion. this is what the mississippi law does. this is the law that will be
allowed to stay in effect if the supreme court rules inform favor of mississippi based on the argument tomorrow. four out of five americans oppose late term abortions and my friend, the distinguished senator from montana encourage people within the sound of his voice to take their smart phones out and type in 15 week old baby and i did that. i don't know if the rules quite permit that yet, mr. president, on the floor, but i dare say it's not the first time that's been done and so i did that, i clicked on 15-year-old baby and that very picture along with other photographs came up and as the gentleman says, it is every much-- ever bit a human baby, no question about it. so i'm encouraged that the american people are moving in
the direction of life because they've seen these pictures. because they listen to the science, and we know more than we did in 1973. the supreme court knows more than it did in 1973. after 15 weeks an unborn baby has more than 90% of its body parts that it will ever have. they've been formed and almost every organ is functional at the is a 15-week period. that's a baby, that's a human, american baby. the child's heart is pumping 26 quarts of blood per day at 15 weeks. and has already beaten approximately 15.8 million times by 15 weeks. that's a human. that's a baby.
babies at this stage respond to touch and taste, and a dominant hand begins to emerge. we know at that point, 15 weeks, whether that baby is right-handed or left-handed and of course, we know that that baby can feel pain. that baby deserves the constitutional rights that the gentleman from montana mentioned of life and the pursuit of happiness as an american. and i do want to congratulate our friends across the sea for actually being ahead of us on this. we like to think that sometimes we know best and we're ahead of the curve, but it happens that almost every european country has legislation in place, rules in place that are very much like the mississippi law that will be in question tomorrow in the hearing. germany and belgium have banned
elective abortions after 14 weeks. now, this law in mississippi has set that at 15 weeks, but germany and belgium. 14 weeks. denmark, norway, france, a very live and let live country if ever i've heard of it, draws the line at 12 weeks. 12 weeks. so when the supreme court hears this case tomorrow, they will have an opportunity to decide to place the united states of america in the broad mainstream of international thought on this. there are -- there are so many, so many reasons why i'm happy today and encouraged today that we have this opportunity to make a case based on the facts. and mr. president, i will -- i
will say this. my heart and my thanks go out to the millions of americans right this minute who are doing what some think is a great thing. performing an act that many people are skeptical about at this point, but i stand with those millions and millions of americans who are right at this moment praying for the supreme court, praying for wisdom in these nine appointed and confirmed figures. they're praying for the right words to be said by the attorneys, and they're praying for the future of our great country. this is our opportunity and we have every reason to believe that we're on the right side of history and i stand with the
people who are bringing this case and i stand with the people of mississippi and the millions upon millions of americans who are praying for the right decision. and that i yield to my good friend from across the river, the junior senator from louisiana and i know that my friend from mississippi is also waiting to speak. >> mr. president. >> senator from louisiana. >> thank you. mr. president, we talk a lot in this chamber, as well we should, about the least among us. about how we can protect and lift up the powerless. and that's a good thing.
i can't think of any person who has less power than a potential human life than an unborn baby. now, roe vs wade is, of course, about abortion, we know that. but it's also about something else. roe vs wade is also about -- it's about federalism. roe vs wade is also about the american people. roe vs wade is about whether a group of the managerial elite and about the managerial elite, i mean the entrenched politicians, the bureaucracy, the media, the academics, the
corporate phonies all of whom think they're smarter and more virtous than the american people have the right to make a decision for the american people instead of the american people making those decisions for themselves. that's really what roe vs wade is about. now, mr. president, i am-- i'm pro-life and i am anti-roe vs wade. so i want to say upfront, i do have an opinion. but, mr. president, even-- even pro choice legal scholars who believe in legalized abortion on demand understand, as does every fair-minded
person who knows a law book from a j. crew catalog, that roe vs wade is one of the most arbitrary, is one of the hifrts of the united states. in roe v wade, that a generallylized right to privacy, not explicit in the constitution, means that a woman has the virtually unfettered discretion to terminate a human life, some would be fair to say, a potential human life before viability. what's viability?
as my colleagues talked about, that's a really, really good question. but i digress. anyone, mr. president, who knows a law book from a j. crew catalog also knows that there's absolutely no foundation, not in the text, not in the structure, not in the history, not in the tradition of the constitution for a constitutional right to abortion, and certainly not on the basis of some unmoored general right to privacy that's not enunciated in the constitution. and don't even get me started, mr. president, on the -- on roe vs wade's trimester analysis in the ruling. try to find trimester in the
united states constitution. you won't. you can't. the truth is, and people on both sides of this issue who are fair minded and reasonably objective. and by that, i mean can see the other point of view, the truth is that roe vs wade's constitutional right to an abortion is a 48-year-old judge-invented rule that represents the united states supreme court winging it. now, i know what we were told. we were told back in the 1970's, we've got to have a national rule to settle this issue. only washington d.c. can settle this issue. we have to have a rational rule. we need so many peace in the
land. we need concensus. how is that working out for us, mr. president? roe vs wade didn't settle anything. now in the dodd case, whiches united states supreme court is about to hear, the united states supreme court has a really rare opportunity to say, as justice scalia wrote in one of his opinions, that value judgments made on behalf of people should be voted on by those people and not dictated from washington d.c. in the dodd case, the united states supreme court, mr. president, has the rare opportunity to say what we all know and that is that america is this big, wide open diverse, sometimes messy, sometimes
dysfunctional, sometimes imperfect, but always trying to get better group of good people. that's what america is. and we don't always agree. especially not on value judgments. especially not on the ultimate value judgment. like when it is appropriate to take a human life. that's why we get to vote. that's why we get to vote. and that's why we have elected representatives who often times vote on our behalf. the elected representatives who also can be unelected if we don't like how they vote. and finally, mr. president, in dodd, the united states supreme court has the rare opportunity to defederalize and deconstitutionalize abortion and return the issue to the
states where it was before roe vs wade. the united states supreme court and dodd does not have the opportunities and this is important, to say no right to an abortion in america. and let me say that again because some of the proponents of roe vs wade, i think, have shaded the truth on this. at issue about of the supreme court in dodd is not the right to have an abortion. it's the right -- the issue before the supreme court in dodd is what's the appropriate political forum to make these value judgments. is it the government? or is it the people? and i hope, mr. president, that the united states supreme court takes advantage of this rare opportunity before it.
mr. president, i yield to the senator from mississippi. >> mr. president. >> senator from mississippi. >> i join my colleagues today highlighting the momentous occasion for not only my home state of mississippi bye r, but for our entire nation. senator wicker and i could not be prouder of our state. tomorrow the supreme court will hear oral arguments in dodd versus jackson women's health organization, a challenge to mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks. this law, the gestational age act, was introduced from my friend, mississippi state representative becky curry, and was signed into law by mississippi governor phil bryant in 2018. this case presents a once in a
generation opportunity for the court to reconsider decades of misguided abortion law that began with roe versus wade and has continued under planned parenthood versus casey. there is no doubt that this case is the most significant pro-life, legal opening in half a century and certainly in my lifetime. i am very proud that my state of mississippi has been the center of this. in the 48 years since the decision in roe versus wade, 62 million unborn babies have lost their lives. this is a terrible, moral stain on our nation that we have a chance to reverse at long last. there are many reasons for the supreme court to reconsider its course. for one, medical technology has
made significant advances, especially with ultrasound technology, making clear what those of us in the pro-life movement already knew, that unborn children are human beings. thanks in large part to the ultrasound technology we now know that by 15 weeks an unborn baby has a fully developed heart with a strong heartbeat, response to touch and can make facial expressions, yawn, hiccup and suck their thumbs. for another, the united states is a real outliner in the world when it comes to the abortion issue. we're one of only seven countries that allow abortions on demand up until the moment of birth, along with the likes of china, and north korea. the supreme court should uphold mississippi's law, bringing our nation closer to the
international concensus on t th of the world has already figured out, that life exists before birth, and it needs to be protected. the only difference in a fetus and a first grader is six years. since the supreme court announced it would take up the dobbs case, i have been earnestly praying for this case. i've prayed for the members of the supreme court to be open to the legal and moral arguments against roe versus wade. may god grant them the wisdom for the task and grace for the unborn. i've also been praying for my friend mississippi attorney general lynn fitz. our state solicitor general, scott stewart and the many others in the ag's office who have worked tirelessly to represent our state so well in
this case. with the oral arguments scheduled for tomorrow morning, i pray that god would grant them all competence and courage as well as the right words to say in the court. and most of all, i've been praying for all the unborn children whose right to life hangs in the balance of this case. throughout this time i've kept the words first samuel 27 close to my heart for this child i have prayed and the lord have given me my petition i ask of him so today, tonight, tomorrow morning i'll be praying without ceasing. i hope each of you will join me in prayer of in historic court decision that started in mississippi. may the dobbs case resore the sanctity of life and reverse the moral stain of roe versus wade. thank you, mr. president. >>
>> mr. president. >> 16 million lives have been lost to abortion and our politics have been distorted by a ruling that deprived the american citizen the voter, the right to determine questions of which there's constitutional ambiguity. the senate confirms the judicial branch to be judges, they're to judge not to legislate. and legislate is our job in the capital and state legislatures
in all 50 states. yet, previous iterations of the supreme court have seen fit to usurp this legislative power particularly to abortion. unelected judges and justices have relied on specious jurisprudence to eviscerate laws of the unborn. you don't need to take the word of a conservative senator from kansas. route bader ginsburg, it seemed entirely to remove the ball from the legislator's court and one professor acknowledged that roe short circuited these assessments, the fallout of roe as affirmed by planned
parenthood and casy, it's become a cage match, a fight here in the united states senate. someone as emminantly qualified as amy coney barrett should have been confirmed unanimously. and they believed that the court would block their agenda. nearly half a century, every state effort to provide protection to unborn babies has been foiled by the judicial branch. something terrible wrong has happened to our democracy when so much energy is focused on the court and in an attempt to put the roe to bed, the court's heavy handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved conflict. and in 1993, declared that the ruling, quote, prolonged
divisiveness and deferred stable settlement of the issue. given these examples of our polluted discourse, no one can reasonable say that the politics of abortion have improved since then and in fact, it's only gotten much worse. what has improved, however, is our understanding of the science of embembreology, and t moment of conception to receive protection, but we know when unborn babies feel pain, when they can survive outside the womb and a remarkable 4-d ultrasound proves what we knew, that they're formed, and in america, a baby can be terminated up to the moment of birth. that places the u.s. with china
and north korea. certain everyone has unalienable rights, long them, the right to the pursuit of happiness, more than the brutal communist regimes. tomorrow's mississippi case will test that proposition, however, the reversal of roe will not reverse abortion. and there are several states even on roe's demise. the effort of my colleagues and millions of americans to defend life will continue regardless how the supreme court rules in the coming months, my state of kansas, civil persuasion of our neighbors and responsive states and federal legislators, will need legislation to protect the unborn and assist new families in caring for their child. tomorrow the supreme court will hear the mo he is significant
abortion case in the last 30 years. dobbs versus jackson women's health organization. to relinquish the legislative power it has assumed and return it to the people and their rements. the court will be better for it and so will our politics. and most importantly of all, millions of future voices will get to have their say in the process, too. i now yield the floor to my colleague, the senator from nebraska, senator fisher. >> mr. president. >> senator from nebraska. >> mr. president, dobbs versus jackson women's health organization, the case that will come before our nation's highest court on december 1st, is truly a historic case. it's about a law the state of mississippi passed in 2018, to ban almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. when i was a member of the state legislature in nebraska
in 2010 we passed the pain capable unborn child protection act. nebraska's bill banned most abortions after 20 weeks. the point when science at that time told us that unborn babies start to be able to feel pain. we were the first state in the country to pass a law of this kind and in our nebraska camera we passed with 44 yes votes and just five no votes. nebraska has a uni-calmeral, one house, pro-life, pro choice, republicans ab democrats that voted for this bill. we had pro choice republicans, we had a number of pro-life democrats. in fact, we had a former
democratic national committeeman vote for this bill. all we cared about was protecting the most vulnerable people in our society. unborn children. i was proud to support nebraska's bill. i was proud that pro-life democrats, pro-choice republicans put that aside to vote for it and proud to stand with mississippi as their law comes before the united states supreme court. back in july i joined more than 200 of my colleagues in the senate and the house of representatives in filing an amicus brief supporting mississippi's bill. in our brief we argue that the residence, the supreme court sets in roe vs wade and a later case, planned parenthood v casey are outdated.
when roe was decided nearly 50 years ago, babies born before 28 weeks, they were not expected to survive. today the maracles of modern medicine have allowed babies formed much earlier to not only survive, but to go on to live full and happy lives. just last year, a little boy was born right next door to mississippi in alabama, 21 weeks. he was 132 days premature. and he weighed just 14.8 ounces. 50 years ago it would have been unthinkable, unthinkable for him to live beyond a few days. but this july, he's celebrated his first birthday. 50 years ago ultrasounds and
sonograms were not widely available. today they are an essential part of prenatal care. the pictures that these technologies enable families to see of their unborn children, even at the early stages of pregnancy, are often nearly identical to the newborns they will soon become. the advancements of the last 50 years have left no doubt about the humanity of the unborn. and as science continues to progress over the next 50 years, new developments are going to keep allowing babies born earlier and earlier to survive and to thrive. the laws of just about ever developed country have kept up with this rapid progress, but here in the united states our
laws are stuck in the past. the u.s. is one of only four nations on earth where certain states allow abortions up to the day of birth. that puts us in the uncomfortable company of china, north korea, vietnam. 90% of countries around the world limit abortion at 15 weeks, the same point as mississippi's law and some even earlier. in europe alone, there are eight countries with laws that are stricter than mississippi's, that includes germany, where abortion is illegal in most cases just after 12 weeks. women seeking abortions before 12 weeks in germany also have to go through a three-day waiting period and a mandatory
counseling session. mississippi's law isn't that different from germany's. in some ways it's even more lenient, but it's still being challenged in our court system based on legal decisions from decades ago. our laws are outdated and america's unborn children are paying the price. since 1973, more than 60 million abortions have taken the lives of more than 60 million american children, many of whom could have survived outside the womb. it is past time for the united states to move into the 21st century. the supreme court has a chance to help us do that by upholding mississippi's law in the dobbs case and i hope they will.
with that, i would yield to my colleague from kansas, senator who is also an obstetrician, gynecologist. >> senator from kansas. >> i'd like to think my colleague from nebraska to bring significance to the dobbs supreme court case. and i had the privilege of delivering a baby almost every day of my life. 5,000 babies in residency and 5,000 in private practice. some days i delivered none, other days it was one or two, there were days when i delivered 10, 11, 12 babies a day. some of those babies i could fit in the palm of my hand. other babies i delivered several babies over 15 pounds.
it's now been almost four years since i delivered my last baby, but i'm often asked do i miss obstetrics and let me tell you, boy, do i miss it. my favorite part of the whole process as i recall though was after a hard, long labor, is seeing that baby emerge from the mother, holding that baby in my hands and waiting for it to cry. sometimes it was crying as it entered into this world and other times it took five seconds, sometimes 30 seconds, sometimes a minute or two would go by as we worked on the baby, but my favorite part of every pregnancy was taking that crying baby and handing it over to a new mom and dad. it was absolutely the most spiritual moment of my life, the closest i ever got to see what god was truly like, to see a newborn baby in the hands of its mom and dad, which is just
total love, this unconditional love. it was just the honor of my life to experience that almost on a daily basis. but today i want to talk about my favorite ob visit which came at 15 weeks typically. at about 15 weeks after conception, moms would come in for maybe their third or fourth visit my first question was always, are you feeling the baby move? and the mom's eyes would light up and maybe she had had a miscarriage before, maybe she was an infertile company or maybe this was her third or fourth baby, but everyone when i asked them, are you feeling the baby move yet, their eyes would light up and mom would lay down on the bed and i would put my hands on her abdomen and feel the size of her uterus to assess how big the baby was and so often as i put my hands on her skin, i could feel the baby pushing back or kicking back. and then we'd put the doppler
on the mom's abdomen and listen to the baby's heartbeat. and usually, if there was a brother or sister in the room, that baby's big brother, big sister would squeal, mommy what's that noise? what's that noise? and almost every time as i heard the sibling ask mom that question, you could hear the baby's heart rate increase with excitement. that was-- that baby inside the womb knew it was a brother or sister there talking and excite today hear that voice. and the mom would respond, darling, that's your little baby brother or sister and as mom spoke, the baby's heart rate would slow back down to what it was before, that calming voice. so that brings me to the dobbs case. the mississippi dobbs case
protects life after 15 weeks. i believe that life begins at conception maybe not all america agrees with that, i believe with my heart that a huge part of america agrees we should not allow abortions on babies that can feel pain or can respond to mom or siblings voices. roux right? ask, a baby that can hear its moms voice and feel pain should that baby be denied life outside the womb. and i struggle when i see america is one of seven nations that permits abortion after 15 weeks. and most of them are agnostic for the most part and when mom or dads lose a baby at 15 weeks, 23 weeks, i recall their
mourning, i recall their tears. i recall that how in our hospital, we might be struggling to preserve a pregnancy, to save a baby's life, to be resuscitating a baby while in a nearby town. the abortion industry is claiming another life at this same gestational age. i struggle to think that we live in a society that allows this barbaric treatment. unborn. we hope and pray that this landmark supreme court case will result in a decision that reflects the values of most americans and protects life after 15 weeks. unfortunately because of a 2019 kansas supreme court case my home state of kansas has become an abortion destination. an an abortion destination. paved the way for unlimited abortions paid for by tax dollars and i'll be fighting for an amendment that values
the mom and the baby. look, america does not want unregulated unlimited abortion industry. this is not consistent with our values. i believe most americans value them both. we value both the mom and the baby. i fought my whole life for moms and babies, and i'm going to keep fighting for them both. mr. president, i'd like to yield the floor then to my friend and mentor from texas who has been leading the fight up here in d.c. for years and look forward to him sharing with us what texans are talking about, about the significance of this dobbs supreme court case. thank you. >> senator from texas. >> mr. president, i'm going to start by thanking my colleagues for being willing to stand up and defend innocent human life.
i remember recently watching a young woman walk across one of the downtown bridges in austin, texas carrying a sign. it said, abortion, anytime, any reason. that's what she was advocating for. i was shocked when i saw it because i thought even the most ardent advocates of abortion would not take that position, denying the humanity of this unborn child. but apparently that's what has become here 48 years after the supreme court first created a right to abortion out of whole cloth as a constitutional right. you look in vain in the
constitution of the united states as well as the constitution for any reference at all to abortion. what you will find, if you read the declaration of independence, is a familiar statement to all of us. july the 4th, 1776, 13 states, then made up america. said we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they're endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. by the way, there's no asterisk, there's no footnote that said if you are an unborn
human life, that you are denied this unalienable right to life. such noteworthy figures as ruth bader ginsburg, who was probably one of the most advocate, most aggressive advocates for abortion rights in the united states supreme court, later in life decried the fact that by the supreme court holding a right to abortion as a constitutional right, denied the very sort of give and take and debate by which our differences are resolved in the states and at the national level. and i'd just like to point out some of the misinformation that you hear and read about roe versus wade. if roe versus wade is no longer the precedent by which abortion
rights are decided, it will not mean that abortion will not be available in many, if not all of the states. what it will mean, it will be decided under our federal system on a state by state basis according to the decisions made by elected state leadership, including the legislature. 1948 was when richard nixon was inaugurated for the second time as president of the united states. suffice to say that a lot has happened since then, a lot. and i think it's entirely appropriate that the united states supreme court revisit its precedents, including roe versus wade decided in 1973 and decide if that precedent has
stood the test of time. by the way, serving on the judiciary committee, we frequently have supreme court nominees come before the committee and many of my pro choice colleagues will stay do you agree, judge, or future judge, that roe versus wade is the precedent of the united states supreme court? and of course, that is, along with casey and the other decisions that have been decided since then. but they act as if the united states supreme court cannot revisit bad decisions and correct those bad decisions. to act as though supreme court precedent is somehow sacrosanct would still leave us with the likes of dread scott, which
treated african-americans as less than fully human. obviously, we've fought a civil war. 600,000 americans died, that would be the equivalent of three million people today, in a bloody civil war that tore our country apart. so being able to revisit those precedents, especially in light of the passage of time and over long experience is entirely within the purview and entirely appropriate for the supreme court to do. well, we've heard from my other colleagues that since roe was decided in 1973, more than 60 million abortions have been performed in the united states. as originally was decided, justice black wrote an opinion
and established an event he called viability. abortion was basically the argument is, by the opponents of-- or the proponents of roe that somehow this decision by justice blackmon saying that abortion should be widely available pre-viability, that we should not be able to reconsider or take a look at that. the truth is just blackmon admitted, this is an arbitrary standard. what does viability mean? we've heard seven countries around the world have more permissive or equally permissive abortion laws as the united states. i frankly don't want to be in the same company as north korea or the people's republic of
china governed by the communist party. i would hope that america would aspire to something different than better and more humane. more in line with our fundamental statement about the unalienable right to life. but the fact that one of only-- america's only one of seven countries that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks puts us in the same category as i said of communist china or north korea, you would think that that would raise a huge red flag and say something is terribly wrong here. how is it that we're in the same category as communist north korea, communist china when it comes to the value we place on unborn life? well, unfortunately, we've seen
the right to life become a partisan issue in the united states congress. when you take a look at the pro-life legislation, which has been introduced over the last years, we saw last year, for example, our democratic colleagues, filibustered legislation outlaw elective abortion after 20 weeks which is when science tells us an infant can feel pain. and then there's life saving care to infants who survive abortions. this is care that any other newborn baby would receive. and yet, our colleagues, so concerned about the backlash among their pro-abortion constituents blocked it, denying a child born alive after a botched abortion the same sort of care that any other newborn would be entitled to and they blocked it.
and the latest attack on unborn babies right to life is women's health protection act. this bill would undermine state laws limiting abortion and even after viability and the state's courts kept our current definition of viability. what does viability mean? even at 20 weeks can an unborn child live without medical attention and support from their mother or medical personnel? of course not. this is no arbitrary line drawn by the supreme court in 1973. and as we've heard from my colleagues, medicine has advanced considerably since that time. well, even though the united states congress seems to be stuck when it comes to the issue of abortion, and respecting the light to life of
unborn babies, thankfully the states have taken the issue up, which is why states like mississippi have passed their own legislation to protect unborn babies. pro-abortion advocates say, well, 15 weeks, which is the mississippi law says, that a right to abortion only for the first 15 weeks of a pregnancy, that that violates constitutional rights. but it's interesting. it's no less arbitrary than this notion of viability which suggests that a child can live, which they cannot, outside the mother's womb even if they're 20 weeks or 24 weeks of gestational age. interestingly, a number of states like massachusetts and nevada, abortions are restricted after 24 weeks.
in california, washington, illinois, those are among states that explicitly restrict abortions after viability. the american people clearly stand behind protection of unborn life. this summer, a poll found that 65% of americans believe that abortions should be illegal in the second trimester. that's the second three-month period of a nine-month pregnancy. opposition to third trimester abortion is even stronger. 80% of americans are opposed to a third trimester abortion. and indeed, the supreme court of the united states upheld a nebraska law banning late term abortion which is essentially producing a delivery while the child is still alive, killing the fetus and then completing
that abortion. the supreme court of the united states upheld a ban on that third trimester, late term abortion, that brutal and barbaric practice that even the supreme court could not abide. last june, a baby born at 21 weeks and two days, just last summer, that baby celebrated its first birthday. that's what's at stake here when you're dealing with more than just one person, or you're dealing with more than just one person. the question is how do you balance and deal with the rights not only of the woman seeking the abortion, but also the unborn child? right now under its current jurisprudence, that unborn child is not even considered a human. america cannot be its best if
we devalue lives of the most vulnerable among us. i believe that babies with heartbeats, fingerprints and taste buds deserve some protection under the law. i'm proud of the efforts led by our colleague senator lankford and others to make sure that we actually have a discussion about this issue and don't just sweep it under the rug. and we don't just let the pro-abortion lobby mischaracterize what we're talking about. as if eliminating roe would eliminate abortions in america. it would just allow the states to do it on a state by state basis. actually, roe was a made up right created a constitutional right that's not even stated in the constitution itself and it created an arbitrary time limit
in which abortions could be performed or not as a matter of constitutional rights. so i join the rest this have body in this country in awaiting the supreme court's ruling. i believe that it's more than appropriate for the supreme court to revisit its precedents, that essentially disparaged and denigrated the right to life of an unborn child. ... my friend from oklahoma. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. lankford: in december of 1952, again in december of 1953, the supreme court was packed. fs there was lines out into the hallway with people waiting to get in to hear oral arguments. in december the court would hear
arguments on the legality of segregation brought by thurgood marshall representing the brown marshall representing the brown by thurgood marshall represented brown family of topeka,6 kansas. just 56 years before brown v. board of education segregation was protected by the supreme court and plessy v. ferguson. they ruled separate but equal facilities were constitutional, thus intron in the national disgrace of segregation into america. an absolutely terrible decision by the supreme court that haunted our nation for decades. it took 56 years before the supreme court directed its wrong. wrong. for more than a century, the nation still celebrates the court that decided the brown v. board of education case as justices righted a great wrong against millions of people. there was a simple lesson in that decision. when the court made a mistake, it should fix its mistake.
in an lesser-known case that affects just about every american now, , in o 2018 the supreme court overturn by fi for decision 51 years of precedent on the collection of taxes for businesses call the physical presence rule. many people now know it as the internet tax will be to change the way taxes were collected on the internet when they made that decision in 2018 that was great. statement that would be impossible to implement and it would bring certain destruction to internet commerce. in fact, in the dissent in that decision the minority in the courts stated this. e-commerce is grown into significant and vibrant part of our national economy against the backdrop of these established rules including the physical presence i rule. any alteration of thoseve rules have the potential to destruct a critical segment of our economy, it should be undertaken only by congress. the court should not act on this important question of current
economic c policy solely to correct a mistake it made over 50 years ago. it was handwringing by the court, the minority there, that they opposedre correcting the obvious mistake of the court from 51 years before because it could hurt the cyber economy. in other words, doing the right thing involved a risk. well, yesterday was cyber monday. it was one of the largest single day of purchasing online in history. the court did the right thing. the economy kept going. it was a simple lesson in that decision. when the court made a mistake it should fix its mistake, even if it was 50 years later. tomorrow, the supreme court of the united states will hear oral arguments in what could potentially be the most consequential case for human rights in 48 years. tomorrow, at at 10 a.m., nine
justices will a hear arguments n escalations of the attorney general of the state of mississippiis and counsel representing an abortion clinic in mississippi. tomorrow morning the court will consider whether all three viability prohibitions on elective abortions are constitutional. tomorrow, this court has he opportunity to uphold the self-evident truth to personhood. the facts of science and our declaration, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. simply stated, the court as an opportunity to correct its mistake from 1973, 48 years ago. in 2018, mississippi legislature enacted the gestational age act which limits abortion to 15 weeks of gestation except in a medical emergency in cases of severe fetal abnormality. jackson women's health organization sued.
federal courts held that the law was in violation ofpi the court president in planned parenthood v. casey. now it is known as the dobbs case. stands before the supreme court at 10 a.m. tomorrow. this case presents an opportunity for the court to reconsider roe v. wade and turn the role of legislating on the issue of life back to the states where it was pre-roe v. wade. roe v. wade as this body knows extremely well, supreme court decided the constitution guarantees the right to have an abortion until the viability of a child. very little understanding ofar e term viability. yearshe later in planned parenthood v. casey the court said theue government couldn't place an undue burden on access to abortion which has been used to block many laws it into protect women and children, both decisions were completely arbitrary and not based in constitutional law. viability quite frankly is impossible to define because children develop at different
speeds. one child like curtis who just left the university of alabama at birmingham regional neonatal intensive care unit after he was prematurely delivered at 21 weeks one day. the youngest child to be born ever. another child though may not survive if they were even delivered at 32 weeks. viability was completely invented by the court in 1973 as the standard and is impossible to actually track. america has not forgotten about these children get we have not moved on and we have not just accepted roe v. wade. because when we see a child as this one is at 15 weeks, we actually see a baby. shockingly enough. 48 years ago the supreme court may have decided that a woman has a right to an abortion, but we never lost track of humanity. abortion is not just a medical procedure. it's the taking of a human life.
i talked this morning with an abortion survivor, and yes, they do exist by the thousands. she's ins. her 40s are just children of her own now. she survived a botched abortion and was actually delivered alive during an abortion procedure. she was taken by a nurse to the nicu unit of that hospital, and she is still alive and thriving today. i satha there with that abortion survivor, thinking that abortion is not about random tissue. it's about a person. quite frankly, this morning the person who was sitting right in front of me. now i understand full well of a pastor who is now a senator. i'm fully aware that i've a biblical worldviewot and my dedication to children is not just because i'm a follower of jesus and believe that every person is created in the image of god. i also firmly can look at the
science, the science is clear to anyone who's willing to get past the talking points and actually look into the womb. at the moment of fertilization a new distinct human being comes intoer existence. it's not just a fertilized egg. it's a new human. this new cell which is called a zygote shows behavior that's unlike the behavior of any other cell around itth if it's in the woman's body. the t dna inside that cell is different than the dna inside anyl other cell in the mom's body. that cell has everything that he or she needs to become a fully developed human being. everyone listening to me right now, everyone, was once a single cell zygote, completely depend on your mom for nutrition. that's why we encourage mom's to eat good food, take prenatal vitamins, stopse smoking in all those things because we want to protect the developers of her child.
why? because we all recognize that that is a child and what imam does now will affect the future for that child. as the baby grows in his or her mother's womb will continuo develop. at 15 weeks as of this baby is and that is what the mississippi was law is all about is a baby that looks just like that. at 15 weeks i baby has a heart, lungs, skin, ayes, nervous by 15 weeks or little over three months of pregnancy is pre-born babies moving around in response to touch. all of her organs are formed and she just needs more time for them to grow and develop. her heart already has four chamber states already beaten millions of times to more than six quarts of blood per day. she cannot breathe outside the womb that she is breathing inside the womb. she is arms and legs, ten fingers and ten toes and normally by this point already shows a preference for being right-handed or left-handed.
she has ayes, lips and nose, fingernails, eyebrows and even taste buds. she can feel pain. this decision is both ethical and moral and medical. look in the mirror for anyone in this room. you've got fingers and toes and lips and nose and fingernails and eyebrows and taste buds. you can feel your heart beating. the only difference between you right now and this child is time. that's it. for some, it's easy to just close their ayes and ignore the self-evident fact because it's easy to talk about court precedent or choice. because if we look at each child and recognized this child for who she i is, it's hard to procs that in the last 48 years,
62 million children have died by abortion in america. and for some they can't allow themselves to acknowledge what is self evident. because it would be too painful to think about 62 million children.ou 62 million v children is a combined population of vermont, alaska, north dakota, south dakota, delaware, montana, rhode island, maine, new hampshire, hawaii, west virginia, idaho, nebraska, new mexico, kansas, mississippi, arkansas, nevada, iowa, utah, connecticut, oregon, kentucky, louisiana, alabama and oklahoma combined.
the decision to lead to the death of 62 million children is a court precedent that needs to be discarded. prior to 1973, each state had its own laws on abortion. that's what would happen again if the court overturns roe v. wade. we will have a patchwork of laws about abortion just likeom we do right now a on homicide. in some states like mine if a pregnant mother and her child or killed the c perpetrator faces o charges of murder, one for the mom, one for the child. in other states the perpetrator would only faced one charge of murder because that state doesn't recognize that child's existence at all. i think that's absurd. but that's the law in one state and it changes from state to state. people can speak their own state legislators about changing that law interstate and about recognizing the value of every child can even a child in the womb. but until they do that child is
a non-entity in some states. that kind of difference in homicide law is allowed by the supreme court already. this court should give that same right every state every pre-born child, not just for some. the law being debated in the supreme court or reflects the will of the people of mississippi, just as many pro-life laws and oklahoma and in our legislature have reflected the will of the people of oklahoma.li the arbiter outdated viability standard established by the court makes it harder for states to protecte- women from physical risk that a company late-term abortions. makes it difficult to allow states to protect pre-born babies in the second trimester i can't experience pain. the viability standard prevents states from banning dismemberment abortion. viability standard deters states from protecting children diagnosed with down syndrome, developmental disabilities and children being aborted because they are male or female. also prevents states from
protectingf the lives of their own citizens at any stage of development. i don't't understand how infants have become a partisan issue. i really don't. there are some issues as i talked to my colleagues on the side of the aisle, i can see their perspective and her point of view. i may not agree but i can understand their point of view here but on this issue i do not understand how some people see a baby sucking their thumb in the womb and they see them only as medical waste. i don't understand how some people have support an abortion in one moment but when they talk to a woman that's had an abortion -- had a miscarriage, they immediately respond with oh, i'm so sorry. the miscarriage is a loss of a child, then what is an abortion? i don't understand how the same person who fights to protect the right to abortts children also brings a gift to a baby shower
and celebrates a mom and baby. how can one shall be worth celebrating and other child be medical waste? i just don't understand that compartmentalization. wrinkly, i don't understand also people that are -- >> anything you watch here on c-span2 is available to view online at c-span.org. we take you live now to a confirmation hearing about to get underway for fcc nominee gigi sohn and other nominees for the commerce department. live coverage here on c-span2. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]