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Christopher S.
Republican NJ 4

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  • Forty Years of Victims’ Legacy of Abortion

    by Representative Christopher H. Smith

    Posted on 2013-01-22

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    SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the subject of my Special Order.



    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey? There was no objection.

    Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, 40 years ago today marks the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous, reckless, and inhumane abandonment of women and babies to abortionists. Forty years of victims, dead babies, wounded women, shattered families. Forty years of government-sanctioned violence against women and children. Since 1973, more than 55 million children have been killed by abortion, a staggering loss of children's precious lives, a death toll that equates to the entire population of England.

    The passage of time hasn't changed the fact that abortion is a serious, lethal violation of fundamental human rights; and that women and children deserve better, much better; and that the demands of justice, generosity, and compassion require that the right to life be guaranteed to everyone, regardless of age, sex, race, condition of dependency, disability, or stage of development.

    Rather than obscure or dull our consciousness to the unmitigated violence of abortion, the passage of time has only enabled us to see and better understand the innate cruelty of abortion and its horrific legacy--victims--while making us more determined than ever to protect the weakest and most vulnerable and end the mass deception by the abortion industry.

    Earlier today, Linda Shrewsbury, an academic and an African American with a degree from Harvard, who had an abortion, told a 40 Years Of Victims press conference: The lies that brought me to that day and its sorrowful aftermath are crystal clear in my mind: falsehoods and deceptions that concealed the truth about abortion. Lies planted in my thinking by clever marketing, media campaigns, and endless repetition led to a tragic, irreversible decision--the death of my first child.

    She goes on to say: It's past time to lance the national wound of abortion with truth. The high culture--thought leaders, media, celebrities--that brought us abortion seem vested beyond extraction.

    She said she ``dreamed of the volcano of abortion truth that could erupt one day from the grass-roots--women and men and their relatives witnessing to their suppressed emotion, unspoken trauma, and lived pain. With abortion denial ended, we as a society could then reconnect with reality and life.'' Clearly, Mr. Speaker, there are seemingly ominous present-day signs that hinder ending abortion denial and a reconnection with reality and life. Certainly the re-election of the abortion President Barack Obama, public funding for abortion in the ObamaCare health exchanges that come online in 2014, a massive increase of public funding for abortion, the use of coercion to compel religious believers and entrepreneurs to violate their consciences, slick advertising, and the export of abortion worldwide.

    And it is deeply troubling that despite the fact that Planned Parenthood claims direct responsibility for killing over 6 million unborn babies in their clinics, including a record 333,964 abortions in 2011 alone, Planned Parenthood remains President Obama's favorite organization.

    Despite these and many obstacles, however, we will never quit. In adversity, our faith and trust in God is tested, but it also deepens and overcomes and forges an indomitable, yet humble, spirit.

    The pro-life movement--and I've been in it for 41 years--is comprised of some of the noblest, caring, smart, and selfless people I have ever met. They make up an extraordinarily powerful, nonviolent, faith-filled human rights struggle that is growing in public support, intensity, commitment, and hope.

    The compassionate women and men who staff thousands of pregnancy care centers, many of the women being post-abortive themselves who try to save women from that irreversible decision, help women who are experiencing unexpected pregnancies, and they provide tangible assistance and an enormous amount of love and emotional support both before and after the birth of a child.

    The pro-life movement is not only on the side of compassion, justice, and inclusion. We are on the right side of responsible science and of history.

    Someday future generations will look back on America and wonder how and why such a seemingly enlightened society, so blessed and endowed with education, advanced science, information, wealth, and opportunity, could have failed to protect the innocent and the inconvenient. They will wonder how and why a Nobel Peace Prize-winning President could also simultaneously have been the abortion President.

    Dr. Alveda King, niece of the late Dr. Martin King, who had two abortions but is now solidly pro-life, said in one of her speeches: My Uncle Martin had a dream. He dreamt that we would live out that which is self-evident, that all men are created equal. He called on America to admit our wrongs and turn from them. Today, I call on all of us, regardless of nationality, race, or religion, to admit our wrongs and turn from them. I believe that the denial of the right to life is the greatest injustice we face in the world today. There is no compassion in killing. There is no justice in writing people out of the human race.

    {time} 1540 History, Mr. Speaker, will not look favorably on today's abortion culture. We must, indeed and instead, work tirelessly to replace it with a culture of life.

    Mr. Speaker, forty years ago today marks the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous, reckless and inhumane abandonment of women and babies to abortionists.

    Forty years of victims--dead babies, wounded women, shattered families.

    Forty years of government sanctioned violence against women and children.

    Since 1973, more than 55 million children have been killed by abortion--a staggering loss of children's precious lives--a death toll that equates to the entire population of England.

    The passage of time hasn't changed the fact that abortion is a serious, lethal violation of fundamental human rights. And that women and children deserve better--much better. And that the demands of justice, generosity and [[Page H207]] compassion require that the right to life be guaranteed to everyone, regardless of age, sex, race, condition of dependency, disability, or stage of development.

    Rather than obscure or dull our consciences to the unmitigated violence of abortion, the passage of time has only enabled us to see and better understand the innate cruelty of abortion--and its horrific legacy victims--while making us more determined than ever to protect the weakest and most vulnerable, and end mass deception by the abortion industry.

    Earlier today, Linda Shrewsbury, an academic and African American with a degree from Harvard who had an abortion told a ``40 Years of Victims'' press conference that: ``the lies that brought me to that day and its sorrowful aftermath are crystal clear in my mind--falsehoods and deceptions that concealed the truth about abortion. Lies planted in my thinking by clever marketing, media campaigns and endless repetition led to a tragic irreversible decision--the death of my first child.

    I didn't really understand back then. At age 20, I had no inkling of the mental and emotional darkness I was about to enter. I couldn't have grasped the immense psychological toll abortion would take for years into the future--unrelenting tears, guilt, shame, and depression. After spending many years in denial, I did eventually find healing. When I understood and rejected distortions about fetal development, doublespeak about choice, rights, planned and wanted children; I understood the reality and victimhood of my aborted child. I understood the absence of moral bases for choosing to ``dis-entitle'' an innocent human being of life. When I embraced truth, truth set me free and I finally gained inner peace.

    It's past time to lance the national wound of abortion with truth. The high culture--thought leaders, media, celebrities--that brought us abortion seem vested beyond extraction. I dreamed of the volcano of abortion truth that could erupt one day from the grassroots--women and men and their relatives witnessing to their suppressed emotion, unspoken trauma, and lived pain. With abortion denial ended, we as a society could then reconnect with reality and life.'' Clearly there are seemingly ominous present-day signs that hinder ending abortion denial and a reconnection with reality and life--the reelection of the abortion President Barack Obama, public funding for abortion in the Obamacare health exchanges that come on-line in 2014, the use of coercion to compel religious believers and entrepreneurs to violate their conscience, and the export of abortion worldwide.

    And, it is deeply troubling that despite the fact that Planned Parenthood claims direct responsibility for killing over 6 million unborn babies, including a record 333,964 abortions in 2011 alone, Planned Parenthood remains President Obama's favorite organization.

    Despite these and any obstacles, we will never quit. In adversity our faith and trust in God is tested, but it also deepens and overcomes and forges an indomitable yet humble spirit.

    The pro-life movement is comprised of some of the noblest, caring, smart and selfless people I have ever met. They make up an extraordinarily powerful, non-violent, faith-filled human rights struggle that is growing in public support, intensity, commitment and hope.

    The compassionate women and men who staff thousands of pregnancy care centers throughout America provide women who are experiencing unexpected pregnancies tangible assistance, love and emotional support both before and after the birth of her child.

    With malice towards none, even President Obama for whom we must pray, we believe that the nightmare that is abortion on demand will end.

    The pro-life movement is not only on the side of compassion, justice, and inclusion; we are on the right side of responsible science and of history.

    Someday future generations will look back on America and wonder how and why such a seemingly enlightened society, so blessed and endowed with education, advanced science, information, wealth and opportunity could have failed to protect the innocent and inconvenient. They will wonder how and why a Nobel Peace Prize winning President could also simultaneously have been the Abortion President.

    Dr. Alveda King, niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, had two abortions but is now pro-life. She said in one speech: ``My Uncle Martin had a dream. He dreamt that we would live out that which is self-evident--that all men are created equal. He called on America to admit our wrongs and turn from them. Today, I call on all of us, regardless of nationality, race or religion, to admit our wrongs and turn from them. I believe that the denial of the right to life is the greatest injustice we face in the world today. There is no compassion in killing. There is no justice in writing people out of the human race.'' History will not look favorably on today's abortion culture. We must instead work tirelessly to replace it with a culture of life.

    Pro-lifers celebrate the sanctity of life. Unborn babies are not disposable commodities. We recognize that unborn children, like their older brothers and sisters, have inherent worth, value, and dignity. They are children too. If left alone to grow and mature, they too will become older brothers and sisters--and perhaps parents themselves someday.

    Modern medicine and scientific breakthrough--especially the widespread use of ultrasound--have shattered the pernicious myth that unborn children are mere blobs of tissue. It's time to recognize birth merely as a celebratory event in the life of a person--not the beginning of life. And we've got to step up our efforts to educate and persuade. Far too many politicians, judges, journalists and others choose denial and deceptive speech over truth.

    Today doctors diagnose illness and disability before birth. New and exciting breakthrough health care interventions for the unborn-- including microsurgeries--are leading to an ever expanding array of successful treatments and cures of sick or disabled unborn babies in need of help. Unborn children are society's littlest patients who like any one of us might need health care.

    In stark contrast, abortion methods rip, tear and dismember or chemically poison the fragile bodies of babies and abortion pills cause premature expulsion from the womb and death. There is nothing benign, compassionate, or just about an act that utterly destroys the life of a child and often physically, psychologically, and emotionally harms women. And despite the near total absence of any meaningful reporting by the media, women get hurt and some even die from legal abortions.

    According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report, from 1973 to 2008 at least 403 women tragically died in the United States from legal abortion. And that sad fact is almost certainly a significant undercount because the methodology employed by CDC is passive and voluntary and likely to miss instances of both mortality and morbidity.

    In the years since CDC's ``most recent report,'' many more women have surely died. Like Tonya Reaves, a 24-year-old woman who died last July from a botched second trimester dismemberment abortion--a D&E--at a Chicago area Planned Parenthood abortion mill.

    The abortion industry excels at surface appeal argument and propaganda. Indeed the misleading term ``safe abortion'' purposely misses the point that no abortion--legal or illegal--is ever safe for the baby and that all are fraught with negative health consequences for the mother.

    Today, at least 104 credible studies show significant psychological harm, major depression and/or elevated suicide risk in women who abort.

    The Times of London reported that, ``[S]enior . . . psychiatrists say that new evidence has uncovered a clear link between abortion and mental illness in women with no previous history of psychological problems.'' They found ``that women who have had abortions have twice the level of psychological problems and three times the level of depression as women who have given birth or who have never been pregnant.'' In 2006, a comprehensive New Zealand study found that 78.6% of the 15-18-year-olds who had abortions displayed symptoms of major depression as compared to 31% of their peers. The study also found that 27% of the 21-25-year-old women who had abortions had suicidal ideations compared to 8% of those who did not have an abortion.

    At this morning's ``40 Years of Victims'' press conference courageous post-abortive women, as well as the mother of a minor girl who was transported across state lines to New Jersey to evade Pennsylvania's parental involvement laws spoke eloquently of the anguish of abortion.

    Irene Beltran said: ``My entire being was overcome by terror, and I felt deep anguish in the core of my soul when I ended the life of my own child for the sake of convenience. At the clinic I was treated like livestock being herded from one step to the next . . . When the abortionist administered the poison in my stomach I was mortified and shocked because I felt my child kick and turn very hastily. Years later I found out she was being burned and could feel the pain. Since I was 6 months pregnant this would be a two-day process. The second day consisted of the abortionist tearing my daughter out of me--limb from limb, piece by piece. But I did not go back. After feeling my daughter fight for her life I went straight to my mother's home crying for help. She drove me to the Labor and Delivery Department at a local hospital. I arrived at the hospital grasping on the slim chance they could save my daughter, but there was nothing the doctors could do. The effects of the toxin were irreversible.'' Marcia Carroll said even though ``my daughter chose to have the baby, raise it . . .. The father's family arranged a taxi, a train, and subway rides to sneak her across state lines [[Page H208]] to New Jersey where his family met them in front of the abortion clinic. . .. They planned, financed, harassed, and ultimately threatened my daughter into having the abortion . . .. As a result of the legal abortion that was completed unbeknownst to me, my daughter suffered years of depression, intense grief, post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, and thoughts and even attempts of suicide.'' Kellie Stauffer spoke of her abortion at the age of 14: ``We all thought abortion would erase the situation I had gotten myself in and we would go on living life the way it was. That was not the case. . . . life sadly was never the same. I hated myself. I tried to numb my pain in any way I could find, drugs, alcohol, food, meaningless relationships, but nothing took away the deep darkness that overwhelmed my soul. . . . She persuaded me to go to a Rachel's vineyard retreat and that weekend saved my life. I allowed myself to feel the forgiveness God had been showing me all along. . . . I will never forget what I did to my first child. I am still brought to my knees in tears at times when I remember the pain I caused her. In response to God's grace and for my daughter's spirit I will be silent no more.'' Olivia Gans Turner said: ``I was not told vital information about the child I was carrying. Including the medical fact that by the time I had an abortion at 12 weeks, my baby already had a beating heart and brain waves! . . . I have not forgotten one moment of that day, and never will. That single day changed my life forever.'' Abortion not only has deleterious effects on women but on children born subsequently to women who have had a previous abortion.

    At least 115 studies show a significant association between abortion and subsequent premature births. Researchers Shah and Zao showed a 36% increased risk for preterm birth after one abortion and a staggering 93% increased risk after two.

    Similarly, the risk of subsequent children being born with low birth weight increases by 35% after one and 72% after two or more abortions. Another study shows the risk increases 9 times after a woman has had three abortions.

    What does this mean for her children? Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant mortality in the industrialized world after congenital anomalies. Preterm infants have a greater risk of suffering from chronic lung disease, sensory deficits, cerebral palsy, cognitive impairments and behavior problems. Low birth weight is similarly associated with neonatal mortality and morbidity.

    The extremism of the pro-abortion industry is shocking.

    Last spring, the House of Representatives took up a bill to ban sex- selection abortion. The bill garnered a solid majority--246 to 168--in the House. President Obama, however, made it absolutely clear that he would veto the sex-selection abortion prohibition should it be sent to the White House.

    While sex-selection abortion almost exclusively targets girls for extermination--simply because they are little girls--the egregious practice remains legal in most states. In fact, only four states-- Illinois, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Arizona--and several countries including the United Kingdom proscribe it.

    And if that's not shocking enough, many remain unaware of the fact that sex-selection abortion is part of a deliberate plan of population control--a war on women. In other words, abort the girls so they can't grow up someday and have children of their own.

    In her book ``Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men,'' Mara Hvistendahl traces the sordid history of sex-selection abortion as a means of population control.

    ``By August 1969, when the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Population Council convened another workshop on population control, sex selection had become a pet scheme,'' Hvistendahl writes. ``If a reliable sex-determination technology could be made available to a mass market,'' there was ``rough consensus'' that sex-selection abortion ``would be an effective, uncontroversial and ethical way of reducing the global population.'' Many of you might recall the undercover sting operation by Live Action that exposed several Planned Parenthood affiliates who were eager, ready and willing to facilitate secret abortions for underage sex-trafficking victims--some as young or younger than 14. As the prime sponsor of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act--the landmark law to combat human trafficking--I found the willingness of Planned Parenthood personnel to exploit young girls and partner with sex traffickers to be absolutely appalling.

    Now, Live Action has released sting-operation videos--part of a series, ``Gendercide in America''--that show Planned Parenthood personnel advising undercover female investigators how to procure a sex-selection abortion. Caught on tape, one staffer tells an investigator to wait until her baby is 5 months along to get an ultrasound that reveals the sex of the child. Then, if it's a girl, kill it.

    For most of us, ``it's a girl'' is cause for enormous joy, happiness and celebration. But far too often, this phrase can be a death sentence.

    These cruel, anti-woman policies have had horrible consequences everywhere, especially in China (and India as well).

    China's one child per couple policy in effect since 1979 constitutes massive crimes against humanity. The Nuremberg Nazi war crimes tribunal properly construed forced abortion as a crime against humanity--nothing in human history compares to the magnitude of China's 34-year assault on women and children.

    In China, brothers and sisters are illegal in most instances.

    The price for failing to conform to the one child per couple policy is unbearably high. A Chinese woman who becomes pregnant without a permit will be put under mind-bending pressure to abort. She knows that ``out-of-plan'' illegal children are denied education, health care, and marriage, and that fines for bearing a child without a birth permit can be 10 times the average annual income of two parents, and those families that can't or won't pay are jailed and their homes smashed in.

    If the brave woman still refuses to submit, she may be held in a punishment cell, or, if she flees, her relatives may be held and, very often, beaten. Group punishments will be used to socially ostracize her. And her colleagues and neighbors will be denied birth permits. If the woman is by some miracle still able to resist this pressure, she may be physically dragged to the operating table and forced to undergo an abortion.

    Over the years, I have chaired 43 congressional human rights hearings focused in whole or in part on China's one child policy. At one, the principal witness, Wuijan, a Chinese student attending a U.S. university, testified about how her child was forcibly murdered by the government. She said, ``[T]he room was full of moms who had just gone through a forced abortion. Some moms were crying. Some moms were mourning. Some moms were screaming. And one mom was rolling on the floor with unbearable pain.'' Then Wuijan said it was her turn, and through her tears she described what she called her journey in hell.'' Not only has the Obama Administration turned a blind eye to the atrocities being committed under the one child policy, but continues to provide financial support--contrary to U.S. law--to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an organization that supports, plans, implements, defends and whitewashes the Chinese government's brutal program.

    Twenty nine years ago--on May 9, 1984--I authored the first amendment ever to a foreign aid bill to deny funding to organizations such as the UNFPA that are complicit with China's forced abortion and involuntary sterilization policy. It passed. After all these years, it is astonishing that policy makers--including and especially the Obama Administration--remain indifferent or worse, supportive, of these massive crimes against women and children. The Obama Administration has long enabled this cruel policy by its silence and financial support to the tune of $50 million a year to the UNFPA.

    The result of this policy is a nightmarish ``brave new world'' with no precedent in human history, where women are psychologically wounded, girls fall victim to sex-selective abortion (in some provinces 140 boys are born for every 100 girls), and most children grow up without brothers or sisters, aunts or uncles or cousins.

    Women bear the major brunt of the one child policy not only as victimized mothers. Due to the male preference in China's society and the limitation of the family size to one child, the policy has directly contributed to what is accurately described as gendercide--the deliberate extermination of a girl--born or unborn--simply because she happens to be a girl.

    As a result of the Chinese government's barbaric attack on mothers and their children, there are some 100 million missing daughters in China today.

    Because of the missing girls--China today has become the human sex trafficking magnate of the world. Women and young girls from outside the country are being sold as commodities throughout China--a direct consequence of the one child policy. Several prominent people including Ted Turner have suggested that the United States--indeed the world-- needs to follow China's example and promulgate a one child per couple policy.

    Mr Speaker, despite the best and slickest market branding money can buy, the stubborn fact remains that Planned Parenthood clinics are among the most dangerous places on Earth for a child. Planned Parenthood's own personnel are now taking a second look and, thanks to ultrasound, are clearly seeing what is being done to millions of children in the womb.

    One of those abortion providers who took a second look and walked away is Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood abortion [[Page H209]] clinic director. In her book ''Unplanned,'' Abby Johnson exposes the duplicity and cruelty of what really goes on behind closed doors at a Planned Parenthood clinic. In it she writes how she witnessed and assisted in an abortion of a 13-week-old baby by holding the ultrasound probe, and as she pointed out in the book, it was the first ultrasound- guided abortion at that facility.

    She writes in the book: ``The details startled me. At 13 weeks you could clearly see the profile of the head, both arms, legs, and even tiny fingers and toes. With my eyes glued to the image of this perfectly formed baby, I watched as a new image emerged on the video screen. The cannula, a straw-shaped instrument attached to the end of the suction tube, had been inserted into the uterus and was nearing the baby's side. It looked like an invader on the screen: out of place, wrong. It just looked wrong.'' She goes on to write: ``My heart sped up; time slowed. I didn't want to look, but I didn't want to stop looking either. At first, the baby didn't seem aware of the cannula. It gently probed the baby's side, and for a quick second I felt relief But I couldn't shake an inner disquiet that was quickly mounting to horror as I watched the screen.'' Remember, this is an abortion clinic director saying this.

    ``The next movement was a sudden jerk of a tiny foot of the baby as he started kicking, as if trying to move away from the probing invader.'' ``As the cannula pressed in, the baby began struggling to turn and twist away. It seemed clear to me that the fetus could feel the cannula, and it did not like the feeling. And then the doctor's voice broke through, startling me: `Beam me up, Scotty,' the abortionist said lightheartedly to the nurse. He was telling her to turn on the suction, in an abortion the suction isn't turned on until the doctor feels he has the cannula in exactly the right place.

    Abbey Johnson, abortion clinic director, went on to write: ``I had a sudden urge to yell, Stop; to shake the woman and say, Look at what's happening to your baby. Wake up; hurry. Stop them. But even as I was thinking those words, I thought of my own hand and saw my own hand holding the probe. I was one of them performing this act'' of abortion.

    ``My eyes shot back to the screen. The cannula was already being rotated by the doctor and now I could see the tiny body violently twisting with it. For the briefest moment it looked as if the baby was being wrung like a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed. And then the little body crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula before my eyes. The last thing I saw was the tiny perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube. And then everything was gone. The image of that tiny dead baby mangled and sucked away kept replaying in my mind. What was in this woman's womb just a moment ago was alive. It wasn't tissue. It wasn't cells. This was a human baby, fighting for life. A battle was lost in the blink of an eye.

    ``What I have told people for years''--8 years as a clinic director at a Planned Parenthood clinic-- ``what I have told people for years,'' Abby Johnson continues, ``what I believed and taught and defended is a lie.'' Abby Johnson is now an amazing pro-life leader.

    Mr. Speaker, as we stand here on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this afternoon marking 40 years since seven members of the U.S. Supreme Court imposed abortion on demand for all nine months on the United States of America, the legacy of Roe v Wade--dead babies and injured women, shattered families--begs reappraisal. And courageous women like Abby Johnson are showing the way.

    Mr. Speaker, we have a duty to protect. The struggle to re-establish durable protections for the most discriminated minority in America today--unborn babies-- is worth any personal sacrifice, inconvenience or pain.

    We cannot allow the violence against women and their children to continue.

    I would like now to yield to my good friend and colleague, Marsha Blackburn.

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