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Trent F.
Republican AZ 8

About Rep. Trent
  • A Sunset Memorial in Memory of the Victims of Roe V. Wade

    by Representative Trent Franks

    Posted on 2014-01-15

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    FRANKS of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, in the coming days, we will have the anniversary of ROE v. WADE upon us. It will be the 41st anniversary of abortion on demand in this country. Now, Mr. Speaker, just to be clear, ROE v. WADE was a Supreme Court decision that was handed down that no one voted on except the Supreme Court, themselves. This was not something that went through the Congress. This was not something that the people supported. In fact, every State in the Union at that time protected innocent unborn children. When ROE v. WADE and DOE v. BOLTON were handed down January 22, 1973, America was plunged into the crimson tragedy of abortion on demand, and since then, 56 million little unborn Americans have lost their lives.

    In fact, it was this year, Mr. Speaker, that the world learned of the gruesome acts committed by Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist in Philadelphia currently serving a life prison term for murdering three babies that survived his attempts to abort them. When these babies survived Gosnell's attempts to kill them before they were born, he would sever their spinal cords with a pair of scissors. Testimony from former Gosnell employees described the babies screaming in pain as their lives were taken moments after they were born.

    Mr. Speaker, born or unborn, we now know that these babies feel pain. It is an incontrovertible scientific fact that an unborn child can feel pain by at least the start of the sixth month after fertilization, and, Mr. Speaker, very credible research shows that they feel pain much sooner than that.

    The graphic accounts from Gosnell's trial remind us that abortion is a brutal, torturous tragedy, yet such gruesome acts happen daily in abortion clinics all across this country. Perhaps the most astonishing thing about learning about the torture chamber that Kermit Gosnell presided over was the tragic reality that it happens all over America, even as we speak.

    Now, I know, Mr. Speaker, that historically, great intensity has surrounded debates over protecting the lives of those who, through no fault of their own, find themselves obscured in the shadows of humanity, but it encourages me greatly that in nearly all of those cases, the collective conscience of this Nation eventually shifted. When we focused on the humanity of the victim and the inhumanity of what was being done to them, our hearts began to change. Mr. Speaker, that same thing is beginning to happen in America in this debate.

    I don't know what happens when we finally wake up and see something for the tragic reality that it is. I don't know what changed our mind in all of the other great genocides of the past, but it did happen, and that gives me great hope, and today in America, we are finally considering the real question, and the real question is simply this: Does abortion take the life of a child? We are finally beginning, Mr. Speaker, we are finally beginning to realize, as a Nation, that it does.

    {time} 1845 We are finally beginning to realize that the brutal killing of innocent, unborn children liberates no one and that 50 million little lost American lives--56 million now--Mr. Speaker, is enough.

    Now, Mr. Speaker, this legislative day has come to an end, and sunset approaches fast in Washington. I stand here one more night, and I offer this House what I call a sunset memorial to remember the victims of ROE v. WADE. Because you see, Mr. Speaker, before the sun sets today in America, almost 4,000 more defenseless, unborn children will have been killed by abortion on demand in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    Mr. Speaker, that is more than the number of innocent lives lost on September 11 in this country, and it happens every day. It has now been 41 years since the tragedy called ROE v. WADE was first handed down. Since then, Mr. Speaker, the very foundation of this Nation has been stained by the blood of almost 56 million of its own unborn children. Some of them, Mr. Speaker, many of them cried and screamed as they died. But because it was amniotic fluid going over the vocal cords instead of air, we couldn't hear them.

    Now, all of them, Mr. Speaker, had four things in common: first and foremost, they were just little babies that had done nothing wrong to anyone. Each of them died a tragic and profoundly lonely death. Each one of their mothers, whether she realizes it or not, will never be the same. And each one of their mothers is a victim, and this society can't see that either sometimes. All of the gifts that these children might have brought to humanity are now lost forever, Mr. Speaker. No one knows which one of them might have found a cure for cancer. Or who knows, maybe they would have just loved flowers.

    Yet even in the glare of such tragedy, this generation still clings to a blind, invincible ignorance while history repeats itself over and over again, and our own silent genocide mercilessly annihilates the most helpless of all victims--those yet born.

    Now, ironically, I have heard President Barack Obama speak such poignant words that whether he knows it or not apply so profoundly to this tragedy of abortion on demand in America. And if I could, Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote excerpted portions of his comments, because his words move me very deeply.

    He said: This is our first task, caring for our children. It is our first job. If we don't get that right, we don't get anything right. That is how, as a society, we will be judged.

    The President went on to say: And by that measure can we truly say as a Nation that we are meeting our obligations. Can we honestly say that we are doing enough to keep our children--all of them-- And I'm quoting, Mr. Speaker: --all of them safe from harm? Can we say that we are truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose? I have been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we are honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We are not doing enough, and we will have to change.

    Oh, how true the President's words are, Mr. Speaker.

    The President also said: [[Page H468]] We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change.

    And then the President asked: Are we really prepared to say that we are powerless in the face of such carnage that the politics are too hard? Are we really prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of freedom? Mr. Speaker, is this not the most relevant question we should all be asking in the midst of this genocidal murder of thousands of unborn children in America every day? The President has said: Our journey is not complete until all our children are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm. That is our generation's task, to make these words, these rights, these values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American.

    Mr. Speaker, never have I so deeply agreed with any words ever spoken by President Barack Obama as those I have just quoted. Yet this President in the most merciless distortion of logic, reason, and humanity itself refuses to apply these majestic words to helpless, unborn babies. Oh, how I wish that somehow Mr. Obama would open his heart and his ears to his own words and ask himself in the core of his soul why his words that should apply to all children cannot include the most helpless and vulnerable of all children.

    When Barack Obama took his oath of office no more than 200 yards from this well, he put his hand down on the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln placed his hand upon when he was sworn in to take his Presidential oath. Mr. Speaker, we should remember that we honor Abraham Lincoln most because he found the courage as President of the United States--in the days of slavery, he found the humanity within himself to recognize the image of God stamped on the soul of slaves that the Supreme Court said were not human and that the tide of public opinion didn't recognize as protectable under the law.

    Could it be--could it be, Mr. Speaker, that President Barack Obama might consider that perspective as well as his own legacy, and even eternity itself, Mr. Speaker, and recognize that these little, unborn children look so desperately to him now for help? Could it be that the President might finally remember that on the pages of the Bible on which he laid his hand were written the words in red: Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me.

    Whether he does or does not, it is time for those of us in this Chamber to remind ourselves of why we are really here. Thomas Jefferson said: The care of human life and its happiness and not its destruction is the chief and only object of good government.

    Let me say that again, Mr. Speaker.

    Thomas Jefferson said: The care of human life and its happiness and not its destruction is the chief and only object of good government.

    The phrase in the 14th Amendment capsulizes our entire Constitution. It says: No State shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

    Mr. Speaker, protecting the lives of all Americans and their constitutional rights is why we are all here. The bedrock foundation of this Republic is that clarion declaration of the self-evident truth that all human beings are created equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights: the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Every conflict, every battle our Nation has ever faced can be traced to our commitment to this core self-evident truth. It has made us the beacon of hope for the entire world, Mr. Speaker. It is who we are.

    Yet, today, another day has passed, and we in this body have failed again to honor that foundational commitment. We have failed our sworn oath and our God-given responsibility as we broke faith with nearly 4,000 more innocent American little babies who died today without the protection that we should have given them.

    So, Mr. Speaker, let me conclude this sunset memorial in the hopes that perhaps someone new who heard it tonight will finally embrace the truth that abortion really does kill little babies, that it hurts mothers in ways that we can never express or understand or even fathom, and that it is time we stood up together again and looked up to the Declaration of Independence and that we remember that we are the same America that rejected human slavery and we marched into Europe to arrest the Nazi Holocaust and we are still the courageous and compassionate Nation that can find a better way for mothers and their unborn children than abortion on demand.

    It is still not too late for us to make a better world and for America to be the one that leads the rest of the planet, just as we did in the days of slavery from this tragic genocide of murdering nearly 4,000 of our own children every day.

    So, now, Mr. Speaker, as we consider the plight of the unborn after 41 years under ROE v. WADE, maybe we can each remind ourselves that our own days in this sunshine of life are all numbered, and that all too soon each of us will also walk from these Chambers for the very last time. And if it should be that this Congress is allowed to convene on yet another day, may that be the day--may that be the day--when we will finally hear the cries of these innocent, unborn babies. Maybe that will be the day we can find the humanity, the courage, and the will to embrace together our human and our constitutional duty to protect these, the least of our tiny little American brothers and sisters from this murderous scourge upon our Nation called abortion on demand.

    Mr. Speaker, the sun is now setting. It is now 41 years, almost to the day, since ROE v. WADE first stained the foundations of this Nation with the blood of its own children, this, in the land of the free and the home of the brave.


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