Cong. Smith on Partial-Birth Abortions

Author: Rep. Chris Smith, MC

Taken from the Congressional Record, October 30, 1995

Special Order speech by Representative Christopher Smith of new Jersey

Madam Speaker, we are here this week to debate what some might call a simple medical question. Specifically, whether a certain procedure known as partial birth abortion should be left alone as good and permissible medicine, or legally banned as brutality, masquerading as medicine.

This week the 22 year cover-up of abortion methods is over. I applaud Chairman CANADY for his courage in bringing this very thoughtful legislation to the floor and for exposing this particular abuse of little kids.

For more than two decades the abortion industry has sanitized abortion methods by aggressively employing the shrewdest and most benign euphemisms market research can buy. They have engaged, without question, in cover-up.

Throughout the country there have been proposals at the State legislative level for informed consent legislation to provide, before the woman submits to abortion, a clear understanding of the child's humanity. Pictures, anatomically correct, about the child in utero.

NARAL and the Abortion Rights lobby has opposed each and every one of those efforts to inform the woman about the humanity of the unborn child and about any possible deleterious effects that abortion could have on her life. Gov. Bob Casey recently told me that in Pennsylvania, where informed consent la the law, there has been a 13-percent drop in abortions, and Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a former abortionist himself, has said that if wombs had windows, women would run out of abortion clinics, because they would see that the child that they carry is a little baby.

Now we find ourselves in the midst of a sea change regarding how abortion is addressed by this House. This week, in addition to the debates on whether or not the Federal Government should fund abortions, we will, for the first time, begin to debate whether or not a particular heinous method of abortion, partial birth abortions, should continue to be legal in our land.

This is serious business, Madam Speaker. It is therefore especially fitting that this debate in particular should not be about philosophical abstractions like choice, the rights of women and privacy, all of them laudable when considered only in the abstract. This debate, if it is to shed any light on the serious question at hand, if

It is to be honest and thereby worthy of this House, must be about the very behavior, the methods themselves, and that is why the descriptions of this type of abortion needs to go forward without being gagged.

Madam Speaker, as the gentleman from Florida [Mr. CANADY] pointed out earlier, Dr. Martin Haskell, a medical doctor who unashamedly performs these methods of abortions by the hundreds, unashamedly does this kind of abuse to children, let him describe it in his own words as he told the National Abortion Federation's risk management seminar Abortion Federation's risk management seminar a couple of years ago.

I quote him:

The surgeon introduces a large, grasping forcep through the vaginal and cervical canals into the corpus of the uterus. Based upon his knowledge of fetal orientation, he moves the tip of the instrument carefully toward the fetal lower extremities When the instrument appears on the sonogram screen, the surgeon is able to open and close its Jaws to firmly and reliably grasp a lower extremity. The surgeon than applies firm traction to the instrument causing a version of the fetus and pulls the extremity into the vagina.

Dr. Haskell goes on to say:

The surgeon uses his fingers to deliver the lower extremity, then the torso, then the shoulders, and then the upper extremities. The skull lodges at the internal cervical os. Usually there is not enough dilation for it to pass through. The fetus is oriented doraum or spine up.

The surgeon then takes a bear of blunt. curved Metzenbaum scissors in the right hand. He carefully advances the Up, curved down, along the spine and under his middle finger until he feels it contact at the base of the skull under the tip of his middle finger.

The surgeon then forces the scissors into the base of the skull. Having safely entered the skull, he spreads the scissors to enlarge the opening.

The surgeon removes the scissors and introduces a suction catheter into this hole and evacuates the skull contents. With the catheter still in place, he applies traction to the fetus, removing it completely from the patient.

Madam Speaker, that clinical description of child abuse is what is in the table and will be debated this week. Whether individuals should be permitted to pull a living child out of her mother's womb and stick a scissors through the back of her head and then suck her brains out until she is dead is the brunt and the crux of this legislation. Should that behavior be legal, or should it be criminal is what we must decide this week.

This week, this legislation will, for the first time ever in this debate in this House or in the Senate, finally say whether or not we will approve or disapprove of legalized abortion, particularly in this method.

It was mentioned earlier by my good friend, Mr. CANADY, and also by some other Members during this special order, that one particular nurse saw this and got deathly sick from what she saw. She saw that living child, the heart beating, the feet kicking, the

hands grasping and making little fists, and she walked out of there never to go back, and now she has turned State's evidence to bring a witness to the Congress and to the American people about partial birth abortions.

It was pointed out earlier that the American Medical Association's legislative council saw fit to join in supporting this legislation, and shame on the American Medical Association when that recommendation came forward for not saying yes, we will stand for children as we have done so historically, going Back to the 1860's and beyond, when they said that abortion takes the life of a baby. Unfortunately, politics intervened with its ugly head and unfortunately, they have now become "neutral" on this particular legislation.

The gentleman from Florida [Mr. CANADY] is a great leader, and he is bringing this debate to this House, and I hope many people who call themselves pro choice will take a good, hard look at the reality of what abortion actually is.

Madam Speaker, when you look at the methods of abortion, this is one of many that is a heinous act. If you look at D&C abortions where the baby is literally dismembered in utero, not so much different from this method. The suction methods which the other side likes to talk about with all kinds of euphemisms, suction curettage and all of those words they we, clinical words, to kill the baby, usually around the 12th week.

Those methods, too, destroy a living growing developing little baby boy or little baby girl.

This legislation is human rights legislation. I hope this whole House, and I know it is hoping against hope because some Members are under instructions from the abortion lobby to oppose it and to speak out against it, but in their heart of hearts, that small still voice will say, that is a crime. That is child abuse.

We need to speak out loudly and clearly because we have an affirmative obligation to protect children from that kind of abuse. I applaud the gentleman from Florida [Mr. CANADY] for his leadership. It is a good bill and deserves the support of every Member of this House.

Mr. CANADY of Florida. I thank the gentleman from New Jersey for his comments tonight. I want to also thank the gentleman from New Jersey for his long-standing leadership in defense of the unborn. There is no one in the Congress who has fought harder and more consistently to protect the rights of the unborn than our colleague from New Jersey, Mr. SMITH. We all owe a debt of gratitude to him for his leadership.

Taken from the Congressional Record November 1, 1995


(Mr. SMITH of New Jersey asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, why is the pro-abortion movement even more fiercely opposed to the partial birth abortion bill than other pro-life measures? They insist that this bill would regulate only a small percentage of abortions, yet they are outraged that the bill is on the docket today.

I think it is this. Usually when we discuss abortion we talk about everything but abortion itself. According to the rules of the game the abortion controversy is about philosophy or religion or economics, about everything but what actually happens in each and every abortion.

By addressing one particular kind of abortion, this legislation forces us for the first time to acknowledge the dark, dirty secret of what actually happens. The baby dies. The 23 year cover-up about the brutal methods of abortion, including dismemberment, injections of chemical poisons and now brainsucking procedures is over. The cover-up is over. The gruesome spectacle of partial-birth abortions forces us to admit that what happens is death. It forces us to acknowledge that what dies is a baby, and we see all too clearly that the death inflicted on that baby is unspeakably cruel.

Taken from the Congressional Record November 1, 1995 (On the rule)

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I think the record should be very clear that in the past, prior to Roe versus Wade, abortion was illegal and unborn children were protected In most of the States and it was the doctors that were prosecuted, the abortionist, the quacks, who were doing those abortions. So the previous speaker's statement simply is not true.

Mr. Speaker, the vote on this rule bolls down to one simple question. Will our discussion and our votes today be about the procedure known as partial birth abortion or will the organized pro-abortion forces succeed again in diverting the debate and muddying the waters?

The professional abortionists and the paid representatives of the abortion industry desperately want to avoid a congressional debate on what actually happens in this procedure or any other method of abortion for that matter. They already know better than anyone else the gruesome details about every method of abortion. The abortion lobby also knows that most Members of Congress who generally vote on their side of the issue, like most Americans, are really not pro abortion in their heart of hearts.

Mr. Speaker. they know that today, if this rule is adopted, the abortion debate will shift from the abstract to the real. They know that the 23 year cover-up by the multibillion dollar abortion industry, with the complicity of many in the media, will be over and history will be made.

For the first time ever we will directly confront the violence of what the abortionist actually does. For the first time ever we will directly confront the child abuse called legal abortion and say yes or no. if this rule is adopted Members of Congress who have sincere differences about abortion will be faced with one important question and only one: Whether this procedure, which inflicts a death so cruel that it would never be inflicted on a convicted murderer, so cruel that it would surely be a crime to inflict such torture on a dog, is too cruel to be inflicted on a child.

Mr. Speaker, the abortion industry knows that it can never win unless it deflects attention away from itself, away from the abortion procedures and on to something else. So this industry and its supporters are particularly infuriated when anyone threatens to describe an abortion procedure in detail. They attack as dangerous, an extremist, anyone who would describe such a procedure either with words or with pictures. So they know if this rule is adopted, if we have a fair and honest and thorough discussion today, not about side issues, but about the partial birth abortion procedure itself, the abortion debate will forever change.

Americans will see that the real extremists are not the people who insist on calling attention to the grizzly details of abortion, such as dismemberment of the unborn child, including injections of high concentrated salt solutions and other kinds of poisons that chemically burn and then kill the baby, or this particular method, a brain sucking method of abortion. They will see that the real extremists are those who actually do these heinous procedures and want to keep it a secret.

The dangerous person is not the one who shows us the pictures or who describes abortions, the dangerous person, the child abuser, is the one depicted in the picture, the person holding the scissors at the base of the baby's skull.

Mr. Speaker, Dr. Martin Haskel, one of the leaders in trying to promote this method who has actually done hundreds of these partial birth abortions, said in a recorded interview that 80 percent of the partial birth abortions are elective abortions, abortions on-demand, not life of the mother abortions, which again this bill would allow. Dr. Haskel describes it this way. These are his words. "The surgeon forces the scissors into the base of the skull. Having safely entered the skull, he spreads the scissors to enlarge the opening. The surgeon then removes those scissors and introduces a suction catheter into the hole and evacuates the skull contents. That is the brain of an unborn baby. Evacuates the skull contents." How dehumanizing.

Mr. Speaker, let us have a real debate on this issue today. Abortion methods and the cover-up that has gone on for so long must end. Abortion is child abuse. This is a particularly heinous form of that child abuse. Why are so many good people on the other side and on this side, that I know and respect, defending this kind of abuse against children?

I urge Members to vote for the Canady bill. Vote for this rule. We need to end this legalized child abuse. We have to look at life and birth really as an event that happens to each and every one of us. In this particular bill we are talking about a baby who is half born. The feet are literally out of the mother's womb. Vote for the Canady amendment and vote for this rule.

Taken from the Congressional Record November 1 General Debate

Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New Jersey [Mr. SMITH]

Mr. SMITH Of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, this is a historic day for our Nation. The cover-up of abortion methods is over.

Today, Congress comes to grips with the specifics of what an abortion actually dose, and it ain't pretty. From this day forward, we will no longer be able to say we did not know. We now know and every Member of this Chamber should know, that every abortion takes the life of a child. Whether it be a partial-birth abortion or D&E abortion, where the baby is literally dismembered while in utero, or the suction abortions routinely done, thousands per day, where a high-powered vacuum, 20 to 30 times more powerful than a vacuum cleaner in one's home, literally dismembers the child. All of these methods kill the baby. This is all about human rights for children, and it is about preserving and protecting the right to life of baby girls and baby boys.

Somebody said this is anti-woman. Half of those little infants killed are baby girls. Let us not ever forget that. Then again, let's also remember what Dr. Haskel himself has said. I would like to repeat it very briefly. Dr. Haskel said and I quote: "The surgeon forces the scissors into the base of the skull." This is medical practice? And then a high- powered suction catheter is introduced, and the baby's brains are sucked out.

This is not medical practice.

This is child abuse.


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