[Congressional Record Volume 143, Number 27 (Wednesday, March 5, 1997)]
[Senate]
[Pages S1936-S1937]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                         PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION

  Mr. SANTORUM. Mr. President, this morning, I attended a press 
conference with Representative Charles Canady from Florida, as well as 
Senator Hatch and Congressman Hyde, the chairmen of the respective 
bodies' Judiciary Committees, to introduce the House bill, which is 
companion to the bill I introduced last month, on the issue of partial-
birth abortions.
  At that press conference, Senator Hatch and Chairman Hyde announced a 
joint House-Senate Judiciary Committee, calling witnesses before the 
joint committee hearing to talk about previous testimony given by those 
organizations to Congress in light of the disclosure of Ron 
Fitzsimmons, who heads an organization of abortion clinics, that he 
``lied through his teeth,'' and others, likewise, I will add--this is 
me speaking, not him--lied through their teeth in telling Congress and 
the American public the situations in which the partial-birth abortion 
procedure was used and the number of times that procedure was used.
  I said at that press conference, and I will say to my colleagues in 
the Senate today, as I did last year when we debated this bill, I am 
hopeful that as a result of the new information having been brought to 
light, not just with Mr. Fitzsimmons but, frankly, over the past year 
or so, with this new information that has been brought to light not 
just by him, but by newspaper reports, magazine reports from the 
mainstream media, that we will have Members of the Senate on both 
sides--I ask everyone to relook at this issue and base your decisions 
on the facts as we now know them, not the misinformation or 
disinformation given out by organizations like the National Abortion 
Rights Action League or Planned Parenthood or others who deliberately 
lied to the American public, misled the American public on a variety of 
issues.
  First, they came to the Congress and said--in fact, look at Members 
of Congress on the House side, going to the well, saying this was true 
because these organizations said it was true, that the procedure was 
done under anesthesia and the anesthesia killed the baby.
  We had an anesthesiologist come forward and say, ``Wait a minute, we 
have women now who won't get anesthesia to deliver children,'' which is 
normal in this country, of course, ``because they are afraid they are 
going to kill their baby,'' and so they had to back off. ``Well, we 
didn't really mean that.'' Well, of course they meant it. They 
testified to it.

  Then the next great lie was that this was a procedure done, you know, 
with only a few hundred a year, only with women whose health was in 
danger or whose children were fatally deformed, and, as a result of 
that, we need to have this option available. ``There's only a few 
hundred a year.''
  In fact, you know, tap into NARAL's home page. You will find the 
information still there. At least it was a couple days ago until some 
people found it. Now they may have pulled it. But they still say there 
are only a couple hundred being performed and only in the third 
trimester. That was their argument all along. It is a lie. That is what 
Mr. Fitzsimmons says--he lied through his teeth.
  How would he know? He is the president of an organization of abortion 
clinics. He called up the doctors of the clinics, and the doctors said, 
``No. We perform this fairly routinely,'' not just on third trimester 
babies--and some are--but the vast majority--95 percent is my guess, or 
even more--are on healthy mothers with healthy babies in the fifth and 
sixth months of pregnancy. Those are the facts.
  If Members of this body will look at those facts and vote based on 
the facts as we know them--this procedure, which involves taking a 
baby, late term, fifth, sixth, in rare cases seventh, eighth, maybe 
even ninth month, but in rare cases in that situation, taking this 
baby, delivering the baby feet first, delivering the entire baby except 
for the head, then taking a pair of scissors and puncturing the base of 
the skull, sticking a suction tube in there and suctioning the brains 
out, killing the baby and then delivering this now dead baby.
  If the Members of the U.S. Senate know, as we do know now, that that 
happens, not a few hundred times--in my opinion, a few hundred times is 
pretty horrible--now several thousand times, at least according to Mr. 
Fitzsimmons, 3,000 to 5,000--given the industry track record on what 
they report, probably multiples of that, but at least that many--
whether we are going to condone healthy moms, healthy babies, some of 
them viable, being allowed to have this abortion done in this just most 
gruesome manner.
  So I ask the Members of the Senate to not just fall into your camp 
that you are comfortable with, you know, if you are pro-choice, ``I've 
got to be pro-choice.'' This is not pro-life, not pro-choice, certainly 
not Democrat or Republican. There were Democrats at the press 
conference. Democrats have been some of the most vocal supporters of 
this bill. This is an issue of who we are as a country and who this 
body is as a Senate.
  We have a life-of-the-mother exception. I know Members continue to 
get up and say, ``Well, we need to do this to protect the life of the 
mother.'' There is a life-of-the-mother exception. It is clear. It is 
solid. No one who reads it would say it is anything but a life-of-the-
mother exception.
  So, if this procedure needs to be done to save the life of the 
mother, which I have not found anybody who says it is necessary, but if 
it is, you can do it. But after that, this procedure must be made 
illegal, given the facts as we now know them.
  So I am asking Members, new Members who have not voted on this issue, 
and Members who have voted the other way in particular, to take a look 
at this information.
  Let me challenge folks here in the other gallery, in the news media, 
to start doing your homework. This information was readily available. 
All you had to do was report it. All you had to do was look. All you 
had to do is ask. I know you folks love to believe people who agree 
with you, and you take that as gospel. Well, do your work. Investigate. 
Find out the truth.
  The American public just does not want to hear what your friends in 
these organizations say is the truth. They want to know the real truth. 
It is your job to tell them. We tried to tell them. We were here giving 
you the facts. You just decided not to report them. Tell the truth. Let 
the American public know what is really going on out there. When they 
continue, as they will, to lie on television, these organizations, to 
try to hide their dirty secrets, call

[[Page S1937]]

them on it. Quit pandering to the other side. You owe it to the 
country. We are talking about lives of innocent babies here. You owe it 
to your profession. We owe it to the country. I yield the floor.
  Mr. BROWNBACK addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas is recognized for up 
to 30 minutes.
  Mr. BROWNBACK. Thank you, Mr. President.
  I certainly appreciate what the Senator from Pennsylvania was just 
stating on this very critical issue on partial-birth abortions. It is a 
sad situation that has occurred in this country. I am hoping that this 
body and this Nation and this Government can respond to this situation.

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