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Trent F.
Republican AZ 8

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  • Sunset Memorial

    by Representative Trent Franks

    Posted on 2015-01-22

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    FRANKS of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, another legislative day has come to an end, and sunset approaches fast in Washington, DC. And as I have so many years, I stand before you in this House with what I call a Sunset Memorial, because, you see, Mr. Speaker, before the sun sets today in America, almost 4,000 more defenseless unborn children will be killed by abortion on demand in the land of the free and the home of the brave. That is more than the number of innocent lives lost on September 11 in this country by a multitude of thousands. And it happens every day.

    It has now been 42 years since the tragedy called Roe v. Wade was first handed down. Since then, 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, 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.

    All of them had at least four things in common, Mr. Speaker. First, they were just little babies who had never done anything wrong to anyone. Each one of them died a nameless and lonely death. And each one of their mothers, whether she realizes it or not, will never quite be the same. All the gifts that these children might have brought for humanity and to humanity are now lost forever.

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

    We should remember the quotes of President Abraham Lincoln when he said: Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not themselves, and under a just God, cannot long retain it.

    Mr. Lincoln called upon all of us to remember America's Founding Fathers when he said: Their enlightened belief was that nothing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on or degraded and imbruted by its fellows.

    He reminded those he called posterity--and that is us, Mr. Speaker: When in the distant future some man, some factions, some interests should set up a doctrine that some were not entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that their posterity--again, Mr. Speaker, that is us--might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began.

    Mr. Speaker, when authorities entered the clinic of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, they found a torture chamber for little babies that defies description within the constraints of the English language.

    According to the grand jury report: Dr. Kermit Gosnell had a simple solution for unwanted babies: he killed them. Now, he didn't call it that. He called it ``ensuring fetal demise.'' And the way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors in the back of the baby's neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called it snipping. Over the years there were hundreds of snippings.

    Mr. Speaker, Ashley Baldwin, one of Dr. Gosnell's employees, said she saw babies breathing, and she described one as 2 feet long that no longer had eyes or a mouth, but, in her words, was making like this screeching noise. She said: ``It sounded like a little alien.'' For God's sake, Mr. Speaker, is this who we really are? Kermit Gosnell now rightfully sits in prison for killing a mother and murdering innocent, pain-capable children like the one I just described. Yet if he had killed them only 5 minutes earlier and before they had passed through the birth canal, it would have all been perfectly legal in many of the United States of America, including here in the District of Columbia.

    If there is one thing we must not miss about this unspeakably evil episode it is that Kermit Gosnell is not an anomaly. He is just the visible face of this lucrative enterprise of murdering pain-capable unborn children in America. Mr. Speaker, more than 18,000 very late- term abortions are occurring in America every year, placing the mothers at exponentially greater risk and subjecting their pain-capable unborn babies to torture and death without anesthesia. It is the worst atrocity in America today, and this in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    Throughout history there has often been great intensity surrounding the debates of protecting the innocent lives of those who, through no fault of their own, find themselves obscured in the shadows of humanity. It encourages me greatly that in nearly all of those cases the collective conscience was finally moved in favor of the victims.

    The same thing is beginning to happen in this debate related to innocent, unborn children, Mr. Speaker, especially those that are pain capable. We are beginning to ask ourselves the real question: Does abortion take the life of a child? We are especially asking the question recently: Does very late-term abortion torture and take the life of a pain-capable baby? And we are finally beginning to realize as human beings that it does.

    Ultrasound technology now demonstrates to all reasonable observers both the humanity of the victim and the inhumanity of what is being done to them. And we are beginning to realize as Americans that taking brutally the lives of the innocent unborn does not liberate anyone and that 56 million children, Mr. Speaker, is enough.

    Ironically I have heard Barack Obama speak such poignant words that, whether he knows it or not, apply so profoundly to the tragedy of abortion on demand in America. Let me quote excerpted portions of his comments. 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.

    He 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--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 with happiness and purpose? The President went on to say: 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: 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 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 of questions we should all be asking in the midst of this genocidal murder of thousands of unborn babies in America every day? {time} 1500 The President has said: ``Our journey is not complete until all our children'' . . . are ``cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.'' Finally, he said: ``That is our generation's task--to make these words, these rights, these values of life and 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, and yet this President in the most merciless distortion of logic and reason and humanity itself refuses to apply these majestic words to helpless unborn babies.

    [[Page H521]] Oh, how I wish somehow that Mr. Obama and all of us could open our hearts and our ears to his words and ask ourselves in the core of our own soul why his words that should apply to all children cannot apply to the most helpless of all children.

    Mr. Speaker, we honor Abraham Lincoln most because he found the courage as President of the United States in the days of slavery, and 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 still be that President Barack Obama might consider that perspective as well as his own legacy, and even eternity itself, and recognize that those 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 hands were the words written in red: ``Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me''? Whether he does or not, it is time for those of us in this Chamber to remind ourselves of why we are really all 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.

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

    The 14th Amendment tells us that we should have equal protection of the laws for all. 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 unalienable rights, the rights of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Every conflict and 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 truly who we are.

    Yet today another day has passed. As so many sunset memorials that I have given, 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, unborn babies who died today without the protection we should have given them.

    So, Mr. Speaker, let me conclude this sunset memorial in the hope that perhaps someone new who heard it will finally embrace the truth that abortion really does kill little babies, that it hurts mothers in ways that we can never express, 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 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 thousands, the hundreds of thousands out on The Mall marching to protect these little babies, as we consider the plight of the unborn for 42 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 we, too, each one, shall walk from these Chambers one day for the very last time.

    If it should be that Congress is allowed to convene on yet another day, may that be the day when we finally hear the cries, when we finally hear the cries of innocent, unborn children. May that be the day when we find the humanity and the 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, it is now 42 years to the day since Roe v. Wade first stained the foundation of this Nation with the blood of its own children--this, in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.


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