A picture of Representative Trent Franks
Trent F.
Republican AZ 8

About Rep. Trent
  • Why We Are Really Here

    by Representative Trent Franks

    Posted on 2015-01-21

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    FRANKS of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is January 22, 2015. It [[Page H471]] marks exactly 42 years to the day since the tragedy called Roe v. Wade was first handed down from the United States Supreme Court. Since then, every foundation of this Nation has been stained by the blood of more than 55 million of its own unborn children. Incomprehensibly, those who have profited from it most have hailed it as freedom.

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

    Mr. Lincoln called upon all of us to remember America's Founding Fathers, and ``their enlightened belief 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 that 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''--that is us, Mr. Speaker--that ``their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their Fathers began.'' Mr. Speaker, for the sake of all of those who founded this Nation and dreamed of what America could someday be and for the sake of all of those since then who have died in darkness so America could walk in the light of freedom, it is so very important that those of us who are privileged to be Members of the United States Congress pause from time to time and remind ourselves of why we are really all here.

    Thomas Jefferson, whose words marked the beginning of this Nation 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 Fifth Amendment capsulizes our entire Constitution. It says that no person shall be ``deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.'' The 14th Amendment says no State shall deny ``to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.'' Mr. Speaker, protecting the lives of all Americans and their constitutional rights is why we are all here; yet, today, a great shadow looms over America. 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. He didn't call it that. He called it ``ensuring fetal demise.'' 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.'' Ashley Baldwin, one of Dr. Gosnell's employees, said she saw babies breathing, and she defined one as 2 feet long that no longer had eyes or a mouth but, in her words, was making like this ``screeching'' noise, and it ``sounded like a little alien.'' For God's sake, Mr. Speaker, is this who we truly are? Kermit Gosnell now rightfully sits in prison for killing a mother and murdering innocent children like the one I just described; yet, if he had killed these babies only 5 minutes earlier and before they had passed through the birth canal, it would have all been perfectly legal in much of the United States of America.

    If there is one thing that 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 greatest atrocity in the United States.

    According to the Bartlett study, a woman seeking an abortion at 20 weeks is 35 times more likely to die from an abortion than she was in the first trimester. At 21 weeks or more, she is 91 times more likely to die than she was in the first trimester.

    Regardless of how supporters of abortion on demand might try to suppress it, it is undisputed and universally accepted by every credible expert that the risk to a mother's health from abortion increases as gestation increases.

    There is no valid debate on that incontrovertible reality; yet supporters of abortion on demand try to suppress that.

    {time} 1730 They also have tried for decades, Mr. Speaker, to deny that unborn babies ever feel pain, even those at the beginning of the sixth month of pregnancy, as if somehow the ability to feel pain magically develops the very second the child is born.

    Mr. Speaker, almost every other major civilized nation on this Earth protects pain-capable unborn babies at this age, and every credible poll of the American people shows that they are overwhelmingly in favor of protecting these children. Yet we have given these little babies less legal protection from unnecessary pain and cruelty than the protection we have given farm animals under the Federal Humane Slaughter Act. Mr. Speaker, it is a tragedy that beggars my ability to articulate.

    But I would submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that the winds of change are beginning to blow and that the tide of blindness and blood is finally turning in America. Because tomorrow we will vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in this Chamber, and it will be a vote that every one of us will always remember and for which we shall be held accountable.

    And no matter how it is shouted down or what distortions, deceptive what-ifs, distractions, diversions, gotchas, twisted words, changing the subject, or blatant falsehoods the abortion industry hurls at this bill and its supporters, it remains a deeply sincere effort, beginning at their sixth month of pregnancy, to protect both mothers and their pain-capable unborn babies from the atrocity of late-term abortion on demand; and ultimately, Mr. Speaker, it is one all humane Americans can support if they truly understand it for themselves.

    Mr. Speaker, not long ago, I heard Barack Obama speak very noble and poignant words that, whether he realizes it or not, apply so profoundly to this subject. Let me quote, if you will, excerpted portions of his comments. He said: ``This is our first task, caring for our children. It's our first job. If we don't get that right, we don't get anything right. That's how, as a society, we will be judged.'' The President asked: ``Are we really prepared to say that we're 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 our freedom?'' The President also 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 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 Obama as those I have just quoted. How I wish that somehow we could all open our hearts and our ears to these incontrovertible words and ask ourselves in the core of our souls why these words that should apply to all children cannot include the most helpless and vulnerable of all children. How does any child become more vulnerable than these little pain-capable unborn babies? Mr. Speaker, it seems that we are never quite so eloquent as when we decry the crimes of a past generation, and we are never quite so staggeringly blind as when we assess an atrocity in our own time.

    What we are doing to these babies is real, and all of us here know that in our hearts. Medical science regarding the development of unborn babies beginning at the sixth month of pregnancy now demonstrates irrefutably that they do, in fact, feel pain. Many of them cry and scream as they die, but because it is amniotic fluid going over the vocal cords instead of air, we can't hear them. It is, Mr. Speaker, the greatest human rights atrocity in the United States of America today.

    I began and I close with the wise counsel from Abraham Lincoln to all of [[Page H472]] us. He said: ``Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the last generation.'' Mr. Speaker, it is time to open our eyes and our souls and recognize that protecting pain-capable unborn children and their mothers is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue. It is a test of our basic humanity and who we are as a human family. It is time to open our eyes and allow our consciences to catch up with our technology. It is time for Members of the United States Congress to open our eyes and recognize that protecting those who cannot protect themselves is why we are all here. And, Mr. Speaker, it is time for all Americans to open our eyes and our hearts to the humanity of these little unborn children of God and the inhumanity of what is being done to them.

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


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